Regular Faculty

Professor Kerry Thompson

Kerry Thompson, Chair

Professor, Biology
B.A., M.A., Ph.D., UCLA
Kerry Thompson teaches introduction to cell and molecular biochemistry, stem cell biology, and neurobiology.
Professor Renee Baran

Renee Baran

Professor, Biology
B.A., Macalester College; Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Renee Baran teaches genetic analysis, developmental biology, and introduction to cell and molecular biochemistry.
Professor Elizabeth Braker

Elizabeth Braker

Professor, Biology
B.A., Colorado College; Ph.D., UC Berkeley
Elizabeth Braker teaches courses in conservation biology, animal behavior, and biodiversity.
Shana Goffredi headshot

Shana Goffredi

Professor, Biology
B.A., University of San Diego; Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara
Shana Goffredi’s research interests concern beneficial symbiotic partnerships between bacteria and invertebrates.
John McCormack photo

John McCormack

Director and Curator of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology; Professor, Biology
B.S., University of Arizona; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. McCormack uses museum specimens and genomes to study the evolutionary history of birds, focusing especially on how both ancient landscape changes and more recent human-caused environmental changes affect birds’ distributions, appearance, and DNA. As Director of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology and Curator of its bird and mammal collection, he is a champion of museum collections and their potential for understanding and reversing the biodiversity crisis.
Professor Gretchen North

Gretchen North

John W. McMenamin Endowed Chair in Biology
B.A., Stanford University; M.A., University of Connecticut; M.A., College of William and Mary; Ph.D., UCLA
Gretchen North investigates how plants cope with physically challenging conditions.
Professor Cheryl Okumura

Cheryl Okumura

Associate Professor, Biology
B.A. Pomona College; Ph.D. UCLA
Cheryl Okumura teaches Public Health Biology, Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology and Microbial Pathogenesis.
Alexandria Pivovaroff

Alexandria Pivovaroff

Assistant Professor, Biology
B.A., Whittier College; Ph.D., University of California, Riverside
Alexandria Pivovaroff is a global change biologist who specializes in plant water relations, hydraulics, and functional traits to understand how forests are responding to changes in the environment.
Roberta Pollock

Roberta Pollock

Professor, Biology
B.S., Emory University; Ph.D., Harvard University
Roberta Pollock teaches immunology, molecular biology, introductory biology, and Gender and Science.
Dan Pondella

Daniel Pondella

Professor, Biology; Director, Vantuna Research Group
A.B., M.A., Occidental College; Ph.D., UCLA
Dan Pondella teaches the biology of marine fishes, biodiversity of marine ecosystems, and biological oceanography.
Professor Joseph Schulz

Joseph Schulz

Professor, Biology
B.S., Indiana University; Ph.D., UC San Diego
Joseph Schulz teaches zoology, biochemistry, and vertebrate physiology. His research focuses on the activity and evolution of venom peptides in fish-hunting cone snails.
Amber Stubler

Amber Stubler

Assistant Professor, Biology
B.S., Stony Brook University; Ph.D., Stony Brook University
Amber Stubler teaches Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography.
Professor Amanda Zellmer

Amanda J. Zellmer

Associate Professor, Biology
B.S. University of Wisconsin, Ph.D University of Michigan
Amanda Zellmer’s research focuses on the utility and development of computational methods for studying spatial ecological and evolutionary processes, particularly in the context of conservation biology.

Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Alejandra Martínez Berdeja

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
B.S., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Ph.D, University of California, Riverside

Stephanie S.L. Birnbaum

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
B.S., Emory University; P.h.D., Vanderbilt University
Babak Hassanzadeh

Babak Hassanzadeh

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
B.S., UCLA; Ph.D. University of Southern California
Zoe Kitchel headshot

Zoë J. Kitchel

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
B.S., Yale University; Ph.D, Rutgers University

Mia Mattioli

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
B.A., Barnard College; M.D., The Pennsylvania State University

Karen Molinder

Resident Assistant Professor, Biology
B.A. Occidental, Ph.D U.C.L.A.
Dr. Molinder teaches biochemistry and molecular biology.

Jeffrey Morse

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
A.B., Pennsylvania State University; M.S., Ph.D., University of Rhode Island
Professor Garyt Schindelman

Gary Schindelman

Resident Full Professor, Biochemistry
B.S., State University of New York at Binghamton; Ph.D., New York University
In addition to teaching at Occidental, Gary Schindelman is a biological curator for WormBase at Caltech.

Lucie Suchomelova

Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology
M.S., P.h.D., Charles University
Jonathan Williams

Jonathan P. Williams

Resident Senior Instructor, Biology
B.S., UNC Wilmington, M.S., CSU Northridge
Research Scientist, Vantuna Research Group

Sigfrido A. Zimmermann

Visiting Instructor, Biology
B.A., M.S., California State University, Northridge
Contact Biology
Bioscience Building Room 200