Curatorial Assistant, Herpetology, Cal Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA
2006 – 2007

  • Kept nomenclature and taxonomy up-to-date with current literature, under direction of the collections manager.
  • Managed loans: kept records up-to-date, packaged and shipped fragile and hazardous materials.
  • Entered data (relational database) and performed quality control.
  • Drew biological illustrations for a new lizard species description (manuscript in prep).

Mammalian diversity survey – Field Technician

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley

Virginia Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA
  • Backpacked into historically sampled sites in Yosemite National Park to survey small mammal, reptile, and amphibian populations.
  • Set and monitored traps (Shermans, tomahawks, pitfalls, snap traps, gopher traps), handled and identified animals to species.
  • Prepared study skin specimens for museum collection.
  • Used GPS devices to obtain locality coordinates.
  • Entered data (Microsoft Excel) and performed quality control.

Data collection contributed to manuscript “Impact of a century of climate change on small-mammal communities in Yosemite National Park, USA”, published in Science, 2008.

Population genetics of sparrows and salamanders – Laboratory Technician

Museum of Vertebrate Zoology
University of California, Berkeley
2002 – 2005

Ensatina eschscholtzii. Photo by Juan Parra.
  • Conducted genetic analysis of over 3000 samples with minimal to no supervision.
  • Extracted DNA from tissue samples (extraction kits, phenol-chloroform, high-salt protocols)
  • Amplified nuclear and mitochondrial DNA via PCR (optimization, troubleshooting)
  • Performed (Sanger) cycle sequencing reactions, edited and analyzed sequence data (Sequencher, PAUP, MacClade, GeneScan).
  • Operated and maintained automated DNA sequencers (ABI 377, ABI 3730).

Data collection contributed to studies on geographic variation and secondary contact in the Sage Sparrow complex and hybridization in the Ensatina salamander ring species complex.