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BPA Board 2020-2021

Core Leadership


President

Clotilde Cadart
Molecular and Cell Biology


Clotilde is a 3rd year postdoc at UC Berkeley studying cell-to-cell organism scaling relationships in frog embyos. 

 

 

Favorite Pastime: I love backpacking in the National Parks

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: The cheese shop of Cheeseboard

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Swim in the ocean at Stinson Beach

 

 

 

 


Vice-President

Zara Bagdasarian
Physics Department


Zara started as a postdoc at UC Berkeley in February 2020 and is optimizing the future detectors for catching mysterious tiny particles called neutrinos.

 

Fun Fact: Fluently speaks 5 languages (for now)

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Kamado Sushi

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Hiking

 

 


 


Treasurer

Mary Kristina Wharton (Kristina)
School of Public Health


Kristina is a first year postdoc at UC Berkeley working at the Prevention Research Center (PRC) on alcohol and other substance co-use prevention by analyzing social mechanisms of adolescent initiation and use, including social and environmental contexts of alcohol and substance use. Alcohol and substance use screening and treatment in safety net health settings serving special and vulnerable populations.

 

Favorite Pastime: Hanging out with my dog

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: People's Cafe

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Hiking in Marin, kayaking in Sausalito, biking the Bay Trail, exploring San Francisco by foot.

 


Secretary

Laura Casto
Space Sciences Laboratory & Chemistry Department


Laura is a 2nd year postdoc at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab (SSL) working on the science team for the Encealdus Organic Analyzer (EOA) and Microfluidic Organic Analyzer for Biosignatures (MOAB). Both EOA and MOAB are organic analyzers being developed for high sensitivity targeted analysis of potential biosignatures in search of extraterrestrial life on icy moons. 

 

Favorite Pastime: Hanging out with friends, traveling, listening to music, and reading

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Artichoke Basille's

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Take a weekend and head up to Napa Valley :) 

 


 

 

Board Members


Helena Cantwell - Chair of Social Events Committee
Molecular and Cell Biology


Helena is a 2nd year postdoc at UC Berkeley interested in mechanisms of subcellular size and shape control.

 

Favorite Pastime: Singing, cooking, travelling

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Comal

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Kayaking with sea otters at Elkhorn Slough

 


James Utterback- Chair of Career & Development Committee
Chemistry Department


James is a 2nd year postdoc at UC Berkeley in the Chemistry department. His research focuses on visualizing the transport properties of energy carriers (charges, excitons, heat and ions) in material systems using ultrafast spectroscopy and microscopy.

 

 

Favorite Pastime: Writing and recording rock music

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Burma Superstar (Oakland)

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, Tahoe, SF museums, ultimate frisbee
 

 

 


Caroline Figueroa - Chair of Diversity & Inclusion Committee
School of Social Welfare


Caroline is a 2nd year postdoc at UC Berkeley conducting research on digital health (apps, mobile phones) for preventing and treating mental health disorders in low-income ethnic minority populations.

 

Favorite Pastime: Salsa dancing

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Ippuku 

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Hiking Muir Woods

 

 


Molly Kozminsky
QB3


Molly is a 3rd year postdoc at UC Berkeley in QB3 using DNA-directed patterning to conduct cancer research.

 

Favorite Pastime: In my spare time, I like to run, bake, do yoga, and read.

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Comal

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: There are two Salt and Straw locations in SF.

 

 


Florentine (Flora) Rutaganira
Molecular and Cell Biology


Flora is a 4th year postdoc at UC Berkeley using chemical tools to decipher the roles of key signaling networks in choanoflagellates, single-celled organisms that are the closest living relatives of animals. I am focusing my research on studying tyrosine kinases to see if they regulate choanoflagellate colony formation.
 

Favorite Pastime: Animal Crossing :)

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Sliver

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Use all trails and take visits to see all of the waterfalls
 

 


Thibaut Brunet
Molecular and Cell Biology


Thibaut has been a postdoc as UC Berkeley for 4 years studying the evolutionary origin of animals. In particular, Thibaut is interested in the mechanisms by which the first animals established and regulated their shape.

 

Favorite Pastime: Whistling, biking, contemplating the impermanence of things

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: Too many! Most of the time, Great China

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: If you like animals: see the sea lions at Point Reyes, see the sea lions at Pier 39, go to the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Sciences. If you don't like animals: make sure to not do any of those things.

 

 

 

 

Ludovica Luisa Vissat
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management


Ludovica is a second year postdoc at UC Berkeley working on research in movement ecology: data analysis of GPS tracking and activity data and mathematical modeling of animal movement.

 

Favorite Pastime: Baking, travelling, juggling

Favorite Place to Eat in Berkeley: A Cheeseboard pizza on Indian Rock

Recommendation for things to do in the Bay Area: Hiking the Dipsea Trail (7 miles from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach)

 

 

 


 

Rajit Rajappa
Molecular and Cell Biology

 


 

 

 

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