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.

Sonja Smith ’10

Sonja Smith ’10 is a PhD student at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL studying the ecological role of marine wrack under Dr. Jim Fourqurean.  She will soon be participating in a soft-sediment LTER working group – a collaboration of researchers at different long-term ecological research (LTER) sites across the country – and will be representing the Florida Coastal Everglades site (FCE-LTER).

Jacob S. Kopp ’10

Jacob S. KoppJacob S. Kopp ’10 served as an Army Ranger, Special Operations Combat Medic, and member of the Joint Special Operations Task Force during two combat tours before attending UCLA. While here, he continued his service as Acting First Sergeant and Battalion Medical Officer for the 445th Civil Affairs Battalion in Mountain View, Ca. He is now halfway through a master’s degree at Columbia University and is currently a principal and Vice President of Marketing for a fast-growing manufacturing company in the mining and minerals sector.

Bridgett vonHoldt ’10 PhD

Bridgett von HoldtBridgett vonHoldt ’10 PhD (Wayne) writes, “I am a post-doctoral researcher in Dr. Brandon Gaut’s lab, in the Ecology and Evolutionary Department at UCI. My research interests broadly include evolutionary/population genetic analysis of domesticated species, as well as exploring how genetic variation is shaped by selection. My dissertation research focused on understanding genetic structure among the endangered gray wolf populations, and exploring how genome variation among wild and domesticated canids was shaped by the domestication process. For my post- doc, I am exploring the dynamics of transposable elements (TEs) through comparative analyses of domesticated plant genomes. Methylated TEs are transcriptionally deactivated, but there is likely an impact on nearby gene expression. By intersecting the genome, methylome and transcriptome of two domesticated rice subspecies (Oryza sativa), I am investigating how TE insertion and deactivation is acted upon by selection to maintain genome stability.”