Meet the team behind the Vantuna Research Group.

Assistant Director

Chelsea started working with the Vantuna Research Group in 2007 as an undergraduate research assistant and went on to graduate from Occidental College with a B.A. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology. She then worked as Research Associate and Grants Manager for the VRG from 2011 until 2021...

Associate Director

Jeremy earned his B.S. in Aquatic Biology from UC Santa Barbara in 2000. He later joined the Vantuna Research Group in 2009 as a post-doctoral researcher after earning his M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Jeremy is currently Associate Director of the VRG and an...

Research Scientist

Jonathan has been working for the VRG since 2006, originally as a Research Associate, and now as a Research Scientist. He got his B.S. from UNC Wilmington and M.S. from CSU Northdridge. He has served as a data manager, lab manager, and field research leader, in addition to authoring or co-authoring...

Postdoctoral Researcher

Zoë is a postdoctoral researcher with VRG working to better understand the impacts of artificial reef structures such as oil and gas platforms on biodiversity. After graduating from Yale College, she spent two years developing fisheries curriculum and scientific diving for the University of Alaska...

Research Associate

Julia earned her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of Maine, where she developed a keen interest in marine subtidal invertebrates. Her passion for subtidal kelps and marine ecology developed while studying the distribution of benthic flora and fauna in Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, for her...

Research Assistant

Brynn started working with the Vantuna Research Group in 2022 as a Research Assistant. She received a B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2021. Her previous experience includes a season diving for PISCO, a long-term kelp forest monitoring program, a Research...

Research Assistant

Jessica began working for the Vantuna Research Group in 2023 as a Seasonal Field Research Assistant and was subsequently hired as a Research Assistant. She received a B.S. in Marine Biology from CSU Long Beach in 2018, and then a M.S. in Biology from CSU Northridge in 2023. During her time at...

Field Research Assistant

Brian began working for the VRG in 2021 as a Research Associate and was recently hired by the Orange County Sanitation Districts, and now works as a Field Research Assistant. He received his B.S. in Marine Biology from California State University, Long Beach in 2016 and his M.S. in Biology from...

Larval Fish Taxonomist

Gary Jordan has been associated with the Vantuna Research Group since April 1976.  In that year, Gary supervised the identification of larval fish collected from the various waterways of King Harbor Redondo Beach. In 1977, he became a part of the Taxonomic Quality Assurance Program (TQAP), a program...

Field Research Assistant

Adam started officially working with Vantuna Research Group in 2016, though has collaborated on various dive and research activities since 2012. He previously worked with NOAA Fisheries on habitat policy, invasive species management and recovery of ESA listed abalone and rockfish. In addition to...

Collections Manager, Marine Biodiversity Collection

Clay started working in the VRG in 2017 as an undergraduate research assistant. He graduated from Occidental in 2020 with a B.A. in Biology with an emphasis in Marine Biology and a minor in Spanish. Clay then worked as a Fisheries Observer off the coast of Oregon and Washington for a year and...

Field Research Assistant

Bill has been diving with the VRG since 2007 but only recently joined as a staff member in 2020. Bill graduated from UCLA in 1986 with a B.S. in Geology and a focus in Paleobiology. He then worked as Supervising Scientist and Dive Safety Officer for the LA County Sanitation Districts from 1989-2020...

Field Research Assistant

Mac began diving with the VRG as a Field Research Assistant in 2021 and joined as a full-time Research Assistant in 2022. He received a B.S. in Aquatic Biology from UC Santa Barbara in 2019. Prior to working with the VRG, he worked with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game on salmon escapement...

Research Assistant & Larval Fish Taxonomist

Daniel started working as a research assistant focusing on larval fish taxonomy for the VRG in 2016. He graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.S. in biology and emphasis in zoology in 2018. During his time at Cal Poly, he worked at the Rain Bird Biotrek providing educational tours where he handled...

Field Research Assistant

Juliana started working at the VRG as a seasonal field research assistant in May of 2023. She received a B.S. in Environmental Science in 2018 from California Lutheran University where she studied succession of fouling communities and microplastic contamination in the Channel Island Harbor, Oxnard...

Field Research Assistant

Laurel received her B.S. in Marine Biology from UC Santa Cruz in 2005. She began working for the VRG in 2008 as a Research Assistant while working on her M.S. degree at CSU Long Beach. After receiving her M.S., she held positions of Research Associate and Assistant Diving Safety Officer for the VRG...

Undergraduate Research Assistants - Spring 2024

Chiara Atkin

Maia Breslin

Martha Burkhart

Molly Crown

Clio de Jong

Kristie Dela Cruz - Age and growth of Sargo (Anisotremus davidsonii)

Andrew Dinh

Addie Fabel

Mikayla Fojas

Dylan Gould

Julia Lindemuth

Ozzy Madrid - Machine learning and image recognition

Jimmy Miller

Logan Morris

Marisa Mow - Reproductive patterns in the parrot rock bass (Paralabrax loro)

Andrew Notter

Katie Placensia

Alyssa Player - The role of a novel artificial reef as a refugium for echinoderm populations at Palos Verdes Peninsula

Eli Saliman

Anna Seevak

Bob Shi

Madi Valiente - Age and Growth of the California Corbina (Menticirrhus undulatus)


Katie Lam (University of Washington '21)

Ada Newton (Westridge School)

Matthew Kim (Cal Poly Pomona)

Brenda Calderon, M.S. (Cal Poly Pomona '23)

Maggie Dillon (Cal Poly Pomona)

Alysa Gould (University of Michigan '23)

Contact Vantuna Research Group
Anderson Center for Environmental Sciences

1600 Campus Road 
Los Angeles, CA 90041