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Undergraduate Researchers

I am always on the lookout for students interested in functional morphology and evolution. If you are interested in my research, feel free to contact me with your research interests/ideas, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts. 

Anna Moreland. UC Santa Cruz 2018

Project: "Measuring the physical performance of southern alligator lizards in a changing climate"


Carly Sanchez. UC Santa Cruz 2018

Project: "Quantifying kinematics of sea otter tool use behavior"


Parker Kaye. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2017–2018

Project: "Small mammal population survey of Younger Lagoon Natural Reserve"


Jennilyn Stenske. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2017–present

Project: "Population dynamics of small mammals at UC Santa Cruz FERP"


Ekai Richards. UC Santa Cruz 2017

My name is Ekai Richards and I have recently graduated from UCSC with a Marine Biology B.S. and Education minor. I am currently working on using collected data from dry skull methods on a variety of Musteloidea to determine evolutionary allometric relationships between different dietary groups and bite force. Additionally I am working on receiving my scientific diving certification to further my capabilities as a researcher. While plans remain uncertain I wish to continue to expand my skills as both a researcher and educator to be able to help teach future marine scientists.

Project: “Effects of Diet on the Scaling of Bite Forces in Musteloidea”


Sam Sambado. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2017

Project: "Believe it or not, it’s truei: correction of misidentified Peromyscus boylii as P. truei in Santa Cruz County."


Kaz Jones. UC Santa Cruz. SMURF Intern. 2016–2017

Project: “Differentiation of craniomandibular morphology in two sympatric Peromyscus mice (Cricetidae:


Meghan Yap-Chiongco. UC Santa Cruz 2016–2017

I recently completed my undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, with a degree in Ecology and Evolution. Previously, I have worked at the California Academy of Sciences under Dr. Richard Mooi studying the morphology, ontogeny, and evolution of ophicephalous pedicellariae in clypeasteroid sea urchins. In the Mehta lab, I am working on a phylogeny of amphibious fishes in order to character map elongation onto the phylogeny. The goal of this project is to see what morphological adaptations coincide with colonization events. I am very interested in systematics and functional morphology, and am currently in the process of applying to graduate school in order to continue with research.


Shohei Burns. UC Santa Cruz 2014

Shohei is a fourth year UCSC student double majoring in Neuroscience and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is interested in animal physiology/morphology and has extraordinary plans to become a wildlife veterinarian once he graduates and attends vet school. He is the MSI instructor for Bio 20B and has done independent research projects in both Costa Rica and Corsica, France. He’s currently working with Chris Law on estimating bite forces in the Musteloidea super family – they hope use molecular data from Genbank and morphometric data from numerous skull collections to correlate and reconstruct certain phylogenies within Musteloidea. In his free time, Shohei loves to surf, SCUBA dive, backpack, and write bios in the third person! He can be further contacted at


UC Santa Cruz
130 McAllister Way
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Contact Info