Lisa (Tolman) von Biela ’80

Lisa Marie (Tolman) von Biela ’80 graduated with a BS in Biology. She is thrilled to announce that her novel Blockbuster, was released this week on January 6, 2015! Blockbuster is her fourth book so far and is a BigPharma medical thriller.  She has been reviewed as the “Queen of the Medical Thriller.”

Brain Teng ’12

Brian Teng ’12 graduated with a BS in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution. He has just started a new job at the University of San Diego. He is the Project Assistant for a 5-year NSF-funded research project on climate change education for key influentials. His responsibilities include website design and maintenance, social media strategy, event planning, and administrative activities. More on the project is available here (

Leslie Grant ’12

IMG_2747Leslie Grant ’12 graduated from UCLA with a Biology degree. She is currently finishing up her second year in Teach for America, where she works in an Alliance charter school in Downtown Los Angeles. She currently teaches a 10th grade Anatomy & Physiology course at this school. The most recent project they have done was a dissection of rats and fetal pigs, which was funded through Donor’s Choose. Attached is an image of the students engaging in the dissection.

Michael Haymer ’10

Michael Haymer ’10 graduated from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He was selected last year (2013) by the UCLA Academic Senate to receive the UCLA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award presented by Chancellor Dean Block last May (photo attached). Please find an article attached from UCLA Today:
He worked with Dr. Blumstein and Dr. Fong, along with JP Drury, on the FMBQ (2009) and was published for the project we conducted together. He was also selected as 1 of 26 LGBTQ scholars to receive the Point Foundation Scholarship in 2013.

Patrick Green ’09

Patrick Green ’09 graduated with a BS in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.  After some time spent teaching outdoor education, he returned to work in EEB as a field assistant for Dr. Greg Grether, a research assistant for Dr. Blaire Van Valkenburgh, and a TA in the department. He began a PhD program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 2011, and this year he moved (with my PhD advisor, Dr. Sheila Patek) to Duke University. He is now in my 3rd year, researching the interaction of functional morphology and animal behavior in mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda).

“I frequently look back on my time at UCLA as broadening my interests, and then allowing me to shape them into my current career path. I truly appreciate Dr. Grether and Dr. Van Valkenburgh’s help in allowing me to work with them, and the flexibility of the EEB program in allowing me to teach undergraduates. The wonderful experiences I had in the EEB program stick with me to this day!”

Gina Lovasi (Schellenbaum) ’01

Gina Schellenbaum (now Lovasi) ’01 graduated with a BS in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution. “Dr. Lovasi awarded Calderone prize Dr. Gina Lovasi, assistant professor of epidemiology, has been awarded the Frank A. Calderone Junior Faculty Prize, which gives $25,000 to support her research efforts on the project “Neighborhood commercial resources and sudden cardiac arrest.” The prize was established by the Calderone family in 1986 to honor Dr. Calderone’s distinguished career and life-long commitment to the health of the public.”

Kristin Searcy Bell ’97

Kristin BellKristin Searcy Bell ’97 holds both an MS and a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from NorthwesternUniversity.   She is a manager for the Environ Foundation, which is an international consultancy working to help resolve demanding environmental and human health issues.  She has over seven years of experience in environmental engineering, with particular emphasis onassessing the fate and transport of contaminants in river systems. She has served as the manager for sediment remediation and restoration projects that involved contaminated sediment assessment, remedy evaluation, and remedy selection. Kristin has written and co-authored several peer-reviewed papers addressing contaminant and pathogen transport in riverine systems.

Peter Girguis ’94

Peter Girguis ’94 graduated from the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. He worked closely with David Chapman, Len Muscatine, and Bill Hamner.  This September (2013), he was promoted to full professor with tenure at Harvard University.  “I’m very grateful for being promoted, and I believe wholeheartedly that my training and experiences at UCLA made me the scientist that I am today.  I wanted to thank my mentors, of course, but also the many faculty, graduate students and my peers who took the time to teach me what they knew and encourage me to do my best.”

Lisa Gunn Adams ’93

Lisa Gunn AdamsLisa Gunn Adams PhD ’93 (Gordon) is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Biology Education in the Department of Biology and Physics at Kennesaw State University, located just north of Atlanta. Adams’ research program deals with establishing student monitoring programs using the Basic Observation Buoy (BOB).  BOB is a low cost, educationally friendly, monitoring device that is made primarily of PVC tubing. The buoy is assembled by students and serves as a platform for sensors that continuously sample the water. Students collect data on various parameters, like pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Salinity, and Temperature levels of protected waters, like tidal creeks, estuaries and lakes. BOB has been implemented in many users groups, ranging from middle school to university level students.   Students are able to share their data with their community and contribute to the coverage of our existing coastal monitoring efforts.  Adams is the Chair of the Education and Outreach Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), which is part of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).