Lab Members & Alumni

During my time at Pepperdine, I’ve been honored to work with some amazing students! Check out their bios below.

Mayra Hernandez (2021 – present)

Ahoy hoy! My name is Mayra Hernandez and I am a student at CSU Dominguez Hills. During my undergrad I majored in biology with an emphasis on ecology and environmental biology, and minored in bio/organic chemistry. Throughout my research I have been privileged enough to explore the dynamic ecology of native shrublands of the Santa Monica Mountains with Dr. Justin Valliere at CSUDH and Dr. Helen Holmlund at Pepperdine. I enjoy the work I do and love teaching kids about it to provide early exposure to the field of ecology. Coding for statistical analysis programs is an essential skill for researchers across many fields. I took an interdisciplinary approach, to illustrate my research with Dr. Holmlund, by utilizing the coding program SCRATCH to introduce the concept of vegetation-type conversion. Follow the link and enjoy!

Mayra’s Scratch Project↗

Camille Sicangco (2021)

I am a botany and mathematics double major at the University of Florida. As an REU student in the Holmlund lab, I studied the effects of water availability and plant community composition on soil respiration in the Santa Monica Mountains. More frequent fires and severe droughts have led to shifts in plant community composition. My project helps us to understand how such shifts may affect carbon cycling. In addition to my research at Pepperdine, I study traits of low-growing rosette plants that enable them to persist at the soil surface of Southeastern pine savannas with Jack Putz at UF.

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