Dean's Office


University of California, San Diego
Natural Sciences Building 6205
Mail Code: 0376
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0376


General: (858) 53 2-4622

    • Bill McGinnis

      Bill McGinnis, Ph.D.
      (858) 53 4-4281

    • Lorraine Pillus

      Lorraine Pillus, Ph.D.
      Associate Dean
      (858) 24 6-1783

    • Laurie Smith

      Laurie Smith, Ph.D.
      Director of Undergraduate Education
      (858) 82 2-2531

      Leads and coordinates the undergraduate education mission of the Division, including planning and staffing of courses, appointment of instructors, and curriculum development. Provides oversight for activities of the DO/Bio (Discovering Opportunities in Biology) Center, CCE/Bio (Center for Continuing Education in Biosciences), and other student-centered activities within the Division.

Administrative Staff

    • John C. Bauer
      Assistant Dean and Executive Officer
      (858) 53 4-8202

      Responsible for budgetary and fiscal matters, space planning, and analysis and policy development; consults on academic personnel policy, divisional safety program, capital planning, and divisional administrative questions and organizational issues.

    • Melanie Ridenour
      Senior Personnel Analyst
      (858) 53 4-1967

      Serves as academic personnel point of contact for the division; reviews and analyzes all academic personnel actions; provides counsel to the Dean, Section Chairs, faculty and staff regarding current, proposed and new academic personnel policies, procedures and practices.  Melanie also coordinates endowed chair appointments and works on various special projects.

    • Alex Tea

      Alex Tea
      Dean’s Office Executive Assistant
      (858) 53 4-4281

      Alex assists the Dean with the operations of the Dean’s Office, manages the Dean’s calendar, and provides administrative support to the Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Director of Undergraduate Education.

External Relations / Communications / Development Staff

  • This is a picture of Mario Aguilera

    Mario Aguilera
    Director of Communications
    (858) 82 2-5148

    Serves as the communications director for Biological Sciences; publicizes research and other features of the division through news releases, articles, interviews, videos, and social media.

  • Katarina Trojnar

    Katarina Trojnar
    Senior Director of Development
    (858) 53 4-1966

    Katarina's major focus is on cultivating new major-gift donors for Biological Sciences, including attention on building the division’s corporate and foundation relations.

  • Sarah Turner

    Sarah R. Turner
    Director of Alumni Engagement
    (858) 53 4-5635

    Sarah’s goal is to cultivate and sustain meaningful connections with Biological Sciences’ valued alumni both locally and regionally through programing, in-person visits, events, and activities. Her mission is to bring value to alumni by providing opportunities for them to re-connect to UC San Diego and the Division of Biological Sciences.

  • Leigh Eck

    Leigh Eck
    Development & Diversity Outreach Assistant
    (858) 53 4-1920

    Leigh coordinates programmatic and fundraising efforts and communications for diversity and inclusion related initiatives for the Division of Biological Sciences.

  • Gentry Patrick

    Gentry Patrick
    Director of Mentorship and Diversity
    (858) 53 4-4838

    As Director of Mentorship and Diversity, Dr. Patrick drives efforts to bridge the Division and UC San Diego campus to the San Diego community, build collaborative partnerships with key community partners, improve upon diversity among students and faculty on campus, and create a more inclusive environment within the Division of Biological Sciences.

  • Allyson Aguero

    Allyson Aguero
    Dean's Office & External Affairs Specialist
    (858) 82 2-4622

    Allyson performs a wide range of duties in support of the Dean’s Office of Biological Sciences, including: office reception and maintenance, meeting coordination and logistics, fiscal processing, travel, research and data analysis, events, and special projects.