Meet the people of the Oxy Comp Bio Lab.


Amanda Zellmer – Associate 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. This research includes the application of Species Distribution Modeling, Connectivity Modeling, and Community Science for assessing the impacts of human-mediated environmental changes, such as urbanization and global climate change.

Amanda Zellmer

Auxenia Grace Privett-Mendoza – Postgraduate Researcher

Auxenia Grace is the Program Director for the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy and is the project lead on our Urban Wildlife Information Network camera trap transect that runs through the Verdugo Mountains, San Rafael Hills, and foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. At Occidental, Auxenia Grace is a Computational Biology Research Assistant. Her research interests include urban wildlife ecology, long-term ecological monitoring, community science, and applying findings to on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Auxenia Grace Privett-Mendoza
Auxenia Grace Privett-Mendoza

Katie Lam – Postgraduate Researcher

Katie graduated from the University of Washington in 2021, where she earned her degree in Environmental Studies. She started volunteering with the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy shortly after finishing school as part of the Urban Wildlife Network research program before joining staff as the Education and Outreach Intern. She hopes to be able to discover more about the wildlife of her home region while sharing her love of nature with the next generation.

Katie Lam

Max Yasuda – Volunteer

Max works on our camera trap photo database and developing pipelines for managing and processing wildlife photos. He also works in bioinformatics with the CALeDNA project He is interested in community science and using technology to help understand and protect natural ecosystems.

Max Yasuda

Jodhan Fine – Education-in-Action Facilitator

Jodhan Fine is a sophomore Biology and Urban Environmental Policy (UEP) undergraduate. His research interests include urban wildlife, community science, and investigating ways to improve cities for humans and wildlife. Jodhan works as the Education in Action Facilitator for the lab, coordinating research and educational opportunities between the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy (AFC) and the Oxy Comp Bio Lab. Jodhan leads our biweekly meetings with the wildlife camera team, writes grant applications, maintains camera traps, identifies wildlife in camera trap images, assists in administering the lab’s iNaturalist project, and writes public comments on draft environmental impact reports. Finally, he has and will continue to lead naturalist hikes as a docent at AFC’s Rosemont Preserve.

Jodhan Fine

Nate Hall – Undergraduate Researcher

Nate is a junior Computer Science major. Nate’s research project involves using audio machine learning models to learn more about the distribution of an introduced species of frogs in the Galapagos.

Nate Hall

Penelopi Perez – Undergraduate Researcher

Penelopi is a senior Biology student at Occidental College interested in the sustainable development of urban areas and green space accessibility. She is currently working on the lab’s urban wildlife connectivity project in partnership with the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains and Stillwater Sciences. Her work involves establishing the scientific basis for the design of alternative crossing locations and structures of the Newhall Pass I-5 Wildlife Crossing via a scientific literature review and connectivity modeling written in R.

Penelopi Perez

Ian Becker – Undergraduate Researcher

Ian is a senior undergraduate Biology major that is interested in urban ecology and anthropogenic effects of wildlife. He is currently working on a project looking at the effects of humans on wildlife in relation to traffic on hiking trails in partnership with the Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy.

Ian Becker

Charlotte Whorton – Undergraduate Researcher

Charlotte is a senior Biology major currently working on the Security Camera Wildlife Observation Project that explores using security camera footage to expand our knowledge of urban wildlife. She also has a few camera traps around campus to monitor the species there.

Charlotte Wharton

Yash Karandikar – Undergraduate Researcher

Yash is a junior Computer Science major and his research explores the intersection of biology and computer science. He currently works on the Photo ID project, developing automated tools written in Python and troubleshooting the machine learning pipeline. (He also likes fieldwork from time to time, especially if there are computers involved!) Yash joined the Oxy Comp Bio Lab in the Galapagos in winter 2022/23 to deploy automated audio detectors in an effort to study introduced frogs.

Yash Karandikar

Zerlina Lai – Undergraduate Researcher

Cocoe Miyake – Undergraduate Researcher

Cocoe is a sophomore Biology major at Occidental College. She is interested in conservation and research in marine ecosystems. She is currently volunteering with Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy by ID-ing and uploading photos from their camera traps. In addition, she has just started to work on a project modeling sea slug abundance and species distributions.  

Cocoe Miyake

Roman Myron – Undergraduate Researcher


New Students:

Oxy Comp Bio Lab Alumni:


  • Susan Piacenza

Postgrads/Grad Students

  • Chelsea Williams


  • Maya Gonzalez
  • Erin Woods
  • Remy Barbiero
  • Faith Hutapea
  • Em Schissler
  • Mia Forsline
  • Bryce Lewis-Smith
  • Pavlina Slezak
  • Roshni Katrak-Adefowora
  • Samantha Herdman
  • Mudaser Basam
  • Atif Malik
  • Madeline Gillman
  • Devon DeRaad
  • Grant Uba
  • Tatum Katz
  • Marjorie Morales
  • Claire Shellem
  • Alex Roeper
  • Stuart Schwab
  • Zoe Goozner
  • Louis Jochems

High School Students

  • Abbey Piatt-Price
  • Erisa Rosen
  • Shuli Wong
  • Maya Parthasarathy
Summer Research Program 2016
Grant Uba
Tatum Katz
Devon DeRaad
Roshni Katrak-Adefowora
Susan Piacenza
Susie Piacenza
Mudaser Basam
Mia Forsline
Mia Forsline
Chelsea Williams
Madeline Gillman & Hannah Hayes
Pavlina Slezak
Atif Malik
Erin Woods
Erin Woods
Remy Barbiero
Remy Barbiero