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Our Team.

In the same way that we know that biological communities are more resilient when there is diversity, we think that human groups are also more resilient, stronger, and more enriching when they are diverse. Our lab is a welcoming, supportive, and inclusive place for all members of society, independent of their race, religion, ethnicity, or gender.

Text borrowed from my friend and collaborator Anahi Espindola - an amazing human being and scientist. While the text is borrowed, the meaning is no less authentic.

Assistant Curator, Dr. Sarah Jacobs
I was born and raised in the southern US and made the move "west of the Rockies" after my undergraduate at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. I completed a Masters degree at Washington State University, a PhD at the University of Idaho, and a postdoc at UCLA. I've also worked professionally for the Forest Service.

Herbaria and collections-based research have been at the center of my work from the beginning of my interest in plants, throughout my education, and into my professional career. My original love of taxonomy led to a fascination with systematics and evolution. I am particularly interested in how speciation proceeds, especially the early stages, and how we think of "species" in light of that knowledge. My work with Castilleja lets me ask the question, "How does speciation happen in plants" from all sorts of angles.
Rose Postdoctoral Scholar, Dr. Adriana Hernandez

Adriana is a postdoctoral researcher working to integrate genomics and population genetics with morphological and ecological studies to inform species boundaries in Castilleja, the paintbrushes. Adriana is a native to southern California, which drove her to investigate the evolution and ecology of California native plants as a population biologist.

She received her Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Cornell University in 2022 working on mariposa lilies, Calochortus (Liliaceae). Her research overall leverages natural history collections and comparative genomic and transcriptomic molecular techniques to inform our understanding of the patterns, processes, and mechanisms that drive and maintain biodiversity across the California landscape. Her goal is for these studies and associated outreach projects to ultimately inform conservation action and to deepen people's connection to plants.

Research intern, Magdalene Lo
Magdalene joined the lab in February 2022. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from UCLA in 2020 and has done botany fieldwork in California chaparral and Great Basin shrubland communities. She's working on the coastal perennial Castilleja complex where she's primarily collecting phenomic data from CAS herbarium specimens. Additionally, she's spearheading our chromosome squash protocols and generating the first Jacobs lab chromosome counts in Castilleja!
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