Sphaeromatid Project Students

2004 and 2006 Students

Jennifer McCard (2003 to 2006)

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Jennifer first visited the Natural History Museum on a fieldtrip for her freshman biology class. A few weeks later, she began working in the Research and Collections Department with Regina Wetzer and her isopods. She is currently helping in the molecular lab extracting, amplifying, and sequencing isopod DNA. Jennifer is planning to major in Environmental Studies, and she is glad to be gaining experience in the current scientific arena.

Laura A. Ponce (Summer 2006)

NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program
University of Hawaii

Laura is a senior at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, majoring in biology. As an REU intern during the summer of 2006, she enjoyed learning about isopod morphology, taking a multitude of SEM images, and finding strange parasitic isopods in her barnacles. She hopes to continue to pursue her interests in biological research by going on to graduate school, hopefully somewhere near the very awesome Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. Laura also enjoys spending time at the beach, relaxing with a good book, watching movies with her friends, discovering new music to rock out to, and finding interesting new places to see.

Jennifer Zieba (2005 - 2006)

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Jen is a Sophomore majoring in biology and minoring in cinema television. She enjoys SCUBA diving, rock climbing, sailing, camping, reading, and various amounts of nerdy things (i.e., Star Trek and Steve McQueen). Working at the museum has let Jen do some real hands-on work with the specimens she has been studying for so long in school. Jen's favorite specimen is the little alien baby living in the Crustacea collection room.

Christian Perrodin (2005 - 2006)

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Besides being a die-hard Trojan fan, Christian is a Junior, currently a biology major with a minor in biotech science. Christian is also a pre-med student with hopes of entering a medical school by the Fall of 2008. He enjoys surfing in the summer, snowboarding in the winter, and being in the outdoors whenever at all possible. On the weekends Christian enjoys riding BMX and spending time with his family, but only after tons of homework and studying is completed. Being a part of the museum staff has opened an entirely new realm of interests. "Finally I get to apply the knowledge learned in previous biology classes." Upon first being introduced to the museum he was absolutely floored by the incredible collection of marine organisms. Christian plans to become a pediatrician and have his own practice.

Jean Christophe Le (2006)

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Chris is a junior majoring in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. Ever since he saw Jurassic Park as a kid, he was fascinated by the inner workings of a lab. Having a chance to get hands-on experience with invertebrates is broadening his biology experience. Chris is passionate about acting and modeling. He also practices and instructs martial arts. He is a black belt 3rd degree in Tae Kwon Do and recently began learning a new form of Chinese martial arts called Wushu Kung Fu.

Rachel Stern (2005)

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles

Rachel is doing an internship in the lab summer 2005. She's having a smorgasbord of learning experiences from specimen sorting, extracting, amplifying, sequencing isopod DNA, to editing sequences. Rachel is hoping to get a SCUBA certification soon and pursue her interests in marine biology.

Celia Carter (2004 to 2006)

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Celia has always enjoyed going to museums with her family and she is truly enjoying working behind the scenes, learning about different species and all the work that goes into developing exhibits and doing research. The science books about animals are finally becoming understandable and interesting. She is a freshman at the University of Southern California, majoring in Communications. She wants to double major in Film and later, direct/produce music videos or compile movie soundtracks.

Jonathan Brown (2004 and 2005)

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Jon has always enjoyed learning about biology and is excited to finally get some real experience in this field. Born and raised in Ohio, Jon somehow finds his way to the beach every weekend. He is often overheard muttering about how Californians don't realize how lucky they are. He is currently a freshman at the University of Southern California, majoring in Biology. Jon is also learning to surf and is taking salsa-dancing classes at USC in an effort to 'woo' the ladies. He wants to someday become a research scientist in the field of genetics.

2003 Students

Aaron Sunshine (2003)

Stanford University


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This project supported by grant DEB-0129317 from the National Science Foundation


Natural History Museum
of Los Angeles County