Lab: 266 SCI
California State University Dominguez Hills
1000 East Victoria St.
Carson, CA 90747
Curriculum vitae: PDF
Fieldwork Photographs: Gallery
I am an animal physiologist interested in how organisms acquire energy based on their specified feeding mechanisms and digestive strategies. My research uses a blend of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to answer biological questions about performance, mainly in marine animals. I also enjoy pairing my research with various outreach endeavors.
April 2023: Congratulations to undergraduate student, Crystal, for winning the Dr. Lois W. Chi Emeritus Faculty Association Science Scholarship!
January 2023: This year is off to a great start! Kevin, Meia, Beatriz, and Crystal all won CSU COAST Undergraduate Research Awards! Congratulations! Kevin also won a Gilead Student Research Award! Nice work! I was awarded a grant from the Save Our Seas Foundation to continue work on shark spiral intestines. Finally, we are partnering with SCCWRP on their Bight Monitoring Program and with the Natural History Museum in LA on some exciting microplastics work. Lots of great science to come this year!
Highlights from Previous Years:
2022: The lab traveled to Friday Harbor, WA for field work funded by an FHL New Faculty Research Award. I published a paper in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A (see publications page). Kelsie and Kevin presented at SCAS and Kelsie graduated from CSUDH! Three new undergraduates joined the lab (Meia, Crystal, and Beatriz). My work on shark spiral intestines was mentioned as one of the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2021 that may lead to new inventions by Smithsonian Magazine!
2021: I was awarded a CSU COAST Grant Development Award! I also secured funding to purchase two new virtual cadaver tables for the department. Three new undergraduate researchers joined the lab (Kelsie, Kevin, and Raven). Kelsie and Kevin earned funding from CSU COAST and the CSUDH Office of Undergraduate Research! I published one paper in Marine Biology and another one in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (see publications page). Master's student William joined the lab and I ended the year with a keynote address at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC!
2020: I accepted a position at CSUDH as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department! I am so excited for this new chapter of my career! My bonnethead shark research was highlighted by National Geographic as one of the "most fascinating shark discoveries of the past decade." Check it out here.
2019: This year I had a publication in Biology Open. I also graduated with my PhD from UC Irvine, started a postdoc at CSUF, taught four new courses, won a Biomechanics Early Career Fellowship, presented at SICB, was invited to speak at multiple seminars, and more!
2018: Another productive year! I won a Sigma Xi GIAR. I presented my research at SICB and APS, winning an award for my abstract at APS and an award for "Best Talk" talk at SICB. I completed the Pedagogical Fellows Program. I published a chapter of my dissertation on seagrass-eating bonnethead sharks in Proceedings of the Royal Society B and it received a ton of press! I co-organized the first UCI Climate Solutions Summit. I became a writer for the NPR radio show the Loh Down on Science. I accompanied UCI Vice Provost Dr. Frances Leslie to Sacramento for Grad Research Advocacy Day where I met with legislators to advocate for UC graduate programs. I also debuted my first sci-art piece at Art in the Park. On to even more amazing things in 2019!
2017: A great year! I advanced to PhD candidacy, I had one paper published in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries and another one published in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B, I presented at four conferences and won "best talk" awards at two of them (SICB, AES, ESA, and SWOB), I was awarded four major fellowships (UCI OCEANS, UCI Newkirk, UCI Distinguished Public Impact Fellowship, UCI Microbiome Initiative Pilot Project Award), I completed my internship with NOAA through the UCI Climate Action Training Program, and I became more active in science communication (Brews and Brains, SciComm Monday, Gills Club).
2016: I was honored to be awarded an NSF GRFP, as well as a YEG from National Geographic, a GIAR from the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, the Raney Grant Award from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, and a GIAR from Sigma Xi. I was also fortunate enough to participate in the Friday Harbor Labs Fish Functional Morphology course and be accepted to the 2017 UCI Climate Action Training Program.
2015: Watch me and three young scientists explore the California coast in the SciGirls episode "Terrific Pacific" on PBS! The full episode is now available online here.