Prof_cropped.jpg
Dr. Jessica Castillo Vardaro

Assistant Professor

Dr. Castillo Vardaro joined the Department of Biological Sciences in January 2019. For more details click here.

 

Courses:

Evolutionary Genetics (BIOL 118)

Functional Morphology (BIOL 114)

Molecular Ecology (BIOL 145)

Graduate Students

Interested in joining the lab? Click here for more details

Emily Hadjes

Emily joined the lab in Fall 2020. She received her bachelors degree from Sacramento State. She is studying population and landscape genetics of American pikas in northwestern Nevada and the southern Sierra Nevada's.

Michael Hernandez

Michael joined the lab in Fall 2020. He received his bachelors from UCSB and worked with the National Parks Service before joining the lab. He is studying population genetics of American pikas, including how diet and gut parasites affect population health.

Hadjes.JPG
Hernandez.jpg

Undergraduate Students

Interested in joining the lab? Click here for more details

Salvador Martinez

Salvador is a general Biology Major with a Minor in Public Health.  He joined the lab in Fall 2021.  He is investigating plant DNA to identify the plants collected to further understand the diet of specific pika populations of different regions with distinct vegetation.  With the experience in our lab, Salvador was able to secure a year-round internship at Sandia National Laboratories in their R&D Systems Biology department. 

Stephanie Thang

Stephanie is a Biology Major with a concentration in Microbiology. She joined the lab in Spring 2021 and focuses on the plant diversity of the Northwest Nevada and Southeast Sierra Nevada mountain regions as it pertains to American pika diets. Outside the lab, Stephanie enjoys painting and taking care of her cats.

 

 

 

 

 

Giovanni Quezada

Giovanni is a Biology Major with a concentration in Molecular Biology and a Minor in Chemistry. He joined the lab in Fall 2021 and focuses on grinding plant samples for DNA extractions. The lab experienced gained helped Giovanni get accepted into the McNair Scholarship Program and begin his own research. Outside the lab, Giovanni likes to work on his research, read and go on hikes. 

Muhammad Rashid

Neha Guru

Cecilia Rios Del Rio

Cecilia is a Biology Major with a concentration in Microbiology. She joined the lab in Fall 2021 and is focusing on the grinding plant samples for DNA extraction. Outside the lab, Cecilia likes to read, start new crochet projects and has three dogs whom she enjoys walking to parks. 

Lab Alumni

Image from iOS (1).jpg
Image from iOS.jpg

Yvonne Luong

Yvonne joined the lab in Fall 2020. She is a Biology major with a concentration in Ecology & Evolution and she is interested in Wildlife Conservation Biology. 

Monica Villaseñor

Monica is a Biology Major with a concentration in Ecology & Evolution. She joined the lab Summer 2019. She is working on population genetics of American pikas in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin.

Theodore Tran

Theodore is a Biology Major with a concentration in Marine Biology. He joined the lab in Spring 2019. He is assessing the effectiveness of a new protocol for molecular sexing of American pika from non-invasively collected fecal pellets. Theodore is also optimizing a protocol for collecting non-invasive genetic samples from tree squirrels.

 

Kelcey Brown-Meacham

Kelcey is a Biology Major with a concentration in Marine Biology. She joined the lab in Spring 2019. She is investigating the relationship between American pika morphology and environmental factors, including climate and vegetation. To accomplish this, she is combining natural history museum specimen data with remotely sensed climate data.

Brent Alvey

Brent is a Biology Major with a concentration in Ecology & Evolution. He joined the lab in Fall 2019. Brent is working on the Urban Ecology of San Jose State University, with a focus on tree squirrels (Sciurus sp.)

Athena Tani

Athena was a lab member in Fall 2019. She investigated the contact zone between two American Pika subspecies in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Kenny Makmuri

Kenny was a lab member in AY19-20. He investigated the contact zone between two American Pika subspecies in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO.

Jazmine Gomez

Jazmine was a lab member in Spring 2020. She contributed to various lab projects.

IMG_20190911_134240_004.jpg