Laboratory & Collections Manager
Curator of Herpetology, Emeritus
Dr. Manuel Luján
John J. Rose Postdoctoral Fellow, Botany

Documenting the world's vast plant diversity has been one of the most challenging endeavors in the natural sciences. Inspired by the exuberant tropical plant diversity, my research interests in plants started with floristic projects, tropical wet forest relicts in Venezuela. I have studied species diversity and taxonomy of the giant genus Croton (Euphorbiaceae) and participated in collaborative projects on the systematics of the diverse genus Ruellia (Acanthaceae).

image of John McCosker
Chair and Curator of Aquatic Biology, Emeritus

My research focus has combined field and laboratory studies of aquatic animal evolution and behavior, ranging from microscopic bioluminescent bacteria to macroscopic man-eating elasmobranchs.

Program Coordinator

I am the Project Coordinator for the California Academy of Science’s involvement in the LEARN CitSci research project. In collaboration with the Natural History Museum of LA, Natural History Museum of London and education research partners in the the UK and US, this project aims to better understand the ways that citizen science can affect and educate youth.

Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
Echinoid systematics and evolution

When I was about 8 years old, I sat at the kitchen table and used a blue ballpoint pen to draw the "blueprints" for the research vessel I would be using when I became a marine biologist. Things don't always go the way you plan--even when you start early. But I can say that my life as a field biologist and phylogeneticist of marine organisms has never wavered from the exciting endeavor represented by those childhood sketches.

Nathalie Nagalingum, PhD
Associate Curator and McAllister Chair of Botany

Nathalie Nagalingum studies the evolution and diversification of plants, particularly ferns and cycads, and also oversees the Academy’s botany collection. Nagalingum is one of just a handful of researchers worldwide who studies cycads, a palm-like plant that comprises the most endangered group of organisms on Earth. In addition to her research, Nagalingum is passionate about museum science and the opportunity to use her research findings to inform broader conservation projects.

Sue Pemberton
Curatorial Assistant I
Hudson Pinheiro
Ph.D. Student, Ichthyology Researcher
Biodiversity, ecology and evolution of mesophotic reef fishes

The study of mesophotic reef fish communities is among my major research interests. I am exploring biodiversity and evolutionary processes of reef fishes in isolated seamounts and oceanic islands of the Atlantic Ocean. The discovery of endemic species and the assessment of their distribution and genetic patterns have contributed to a better understanding about the origin of species and biodiversity in these isolated environments.

Collection Manager, Invertebrate Zoology
Marine Invertebrate Collections; Polychaete Systematics

Chrissy Piotrowski is responsible for the care and maintenance of a vast, taxonomically diverse invertebrate research collection (excluding entomology specimens).  She oversees all collections-related activities and documentation: acquisitions, curation, taxonomic determinations, loan and exhibit of specimens, research visits, inquiries, and maintenance of an online searchable database of digital specimen records.

Pages