Meet the people of the Oxy Comp Bio Lab.


Amanda Zellmer – Assistant Professor | @ajzellmer

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. Her research uses an integrative approach combining computational analyses with next-generation sequencing, field observations, and experimental data to address questions in spatial ecology, landscape genetics, and phylogeography. The main computational methods used in her research include Machine Learning techniques, including Species Distribution Modeling, Least-Cost Path and Resistance Modeling, and Multivariate Analyses and Model Selection. Her work is primarily focused on amphibians, although also includes many other types of organisms such as carnivorous pitcher plants, rocky reef fish and invertebrates, birds, and humans.


Chelsea Williams – Graduate Student

Chelsea is currently a graduate student at Cal Poly Pomona studying spatial patterns in the life history and demography of the Garibaldi, the California state marine fish. Her research interests include kelp forest ecology, fish biology, marine conservation, long-term monitoring, spatial ecology, and marine habitat restoration.


Mudaser Basam – Undergraduate Researcher | @mbasam33

Mudaser’s research involves studying Batrachoseps nigriventris for changes in their skin microbiome across different habitats. His goal is to use spatial mapping and microbiome data to find how environment plays a role in amphibian diversity and its implications for the future.

Roshni Katrak-Adefowora – Undergraduate Researcher | @roshnikatrak

Roshni has camera traps set up around Oxy to observe wildlife in an urban setting. She also worked on a citizen science study with the camera traps to test accuracy of wildlife identifications by citizen scientists.

Atif Malik – Undergraduate Researcher | @abaloneatif

Atif is currently developing a protocol for combining Species Distribution Modeling with eDNA sampling to enable locating rare abalone in Southern California.


Pavlina Slezak – Undergraduate Researcher | @pavlinaslezak

Pavlina’s research is focused on the impacts of non-climatic variables on species distribution models (SDMs). She is currently studying how adding tree cover variables impacts the SDMs of a local shade-loving salamander, Batrachoseps gabrieli.

Madeline Gillman – Undergraduate Researcher | @hereismaddie

Madeline is interested in how the distribution of Quercus lobata (valley oak) will shift with respect to climate change. To answer that question, she is creating species distribution models and using physiological variables to refine those models. She has also studied leaf hydraulics of a tropical tank bromeliad, Guzmania monostachia, in the North Lab. Maddie is the 2017 Kurata Undergraduate Award winner!

New Students:

  • Samantha Herdman



  • Susan Piacenza


  • Devon DeRaad
  • Grant Uba
  • Tatum Katz
  • Marjorie Morales
  • Claire Shellem
  • Alex Roeper
  • Stuart Schwab
  • Zoe Goozner
  • Louis Jochems

grantunspecified2tatumdevonSusan Piacenza