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Diversity at UC San Diego Biological Sciences

Diversity in the UCSD Division of Biological Sciences

Achieving a culture of inclusion

We seek outreach, introspection, and community discussion in order to create a culturally welcoming and professionally enriching environment.

This mandate cannot be relegated to just a few. All faculty, staff and students in the Division of Biological Sciences must work to develop and implement programs as well as embody principles that create and sustain a culture of inclusion.


High School Students Present Their Research

High Tech High Students - group shot on the grass.

High Tech High Students presented their research at UCSD on November 11, 2011 at a special meeting of James C. Nieh’s laboratory. The 45 11th grade biology students presented their results from a three-month research experience studying bee behavior in Dr. Nieh’s lab. The students worked on a project, entitled “Pollinators and Predators” in which they investigated whether bees would avoid foraging when presented with some cue that a predator was present. Students chose their own experiment to complete, with some students presenting the bees with live spiders, others spider webs, or the scent of a dead spider. The group that chose webs found the most dramatic results, with most bees avoiding the webs; bees’ reaction to spiders was less clear. Regardless, their teacher, Jesse Wade-Robinson, and Eben Goodale, a postdoctoral fellow in the Nieh lab who worked with them closely, were delighted at their performance, and overall at the opportunity to work together and have the students experience the research environment up close. Watch Presentation Videos


  • Pamela Reinagels

    "The environment at UCSD is exceptionally collegial, collaborative, and supportive."

    Pamela Reinagel
    Associate Professor, Reinagel Lab

  • Jim Kadonagas

    "At UCSD, every person is just a person - not any particular kind of person. There is a nice positive environment."

    Jim Kadonaga, Professor, MB
    Chair, Graduate Education Committee, UCSD Biological Sciences

  • Susan Cohen

    "I am very encouraged by the division’s commitment to including postdocs as a part of the scientific community and to providing career development opportunities for both academic and non-academic careers. Such efforts have already proven extremely valuable and will allow postdocs at UCSD every opportunity to succeed."

    Susan Cohen
    Ph.D. Postdoc, Golden Lab

  • Chris Palmer

    "I truly value the commitment that UCSD has made to inclusiveness, and in its ongoing efforts to provide training to faculty, postdocs, staff and students in increasing diversity throughout all levels of our community. The integration of the diverse insights and points of view that UCSD encourages has greatly enhanced my experience as a postdoc."

    Chris Palmer
    Ph.D. Postdoc, Neurobio

  • Dawn Nagel

    "It’s very encouraging to be part of the division’s commitment to diversity, and in sustaining an inclusive environment. For postdocs, the division’s effort and support beyond the bench has allowed for an array of career development opportunities, training and involvement, in areas of diversity and outreach that I find invaluable."

    Dawn Nagel
    Ph.D. Postdoc, Kay Lab

  • Suzanne Lee

    "The Division builds an inclusive environment through its support of career development opportunities for post-docs, including faculty-postdoc mentoring events, involvement in Divisional committees, and teaching at UCSD and elsewhere in San Diego. I have felt encouraged to establish a learning community centered on STEM education and diversity issues, which is invaluable to my development as a scientist and future mentor."

    Suzanne Lee
    Ph.D. Postdoc

  • Gentry Patrick

    "Maintaining a diverse faculty is a major challenge in any institution. UCSD Biology has attempted to face this challenge head on by actively recruiting top-notch diverse faculty as well as creating an infrastructure to attract and train excellent graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from diverse backgrounds."

    Gentry Patrick
    Associate Professor, Neurobiology

  • Debbie Yelon

    "Of the three major universities where I have been a faculty member, I have felt most valued at UCSD. The Division of Biological Sciences is a great place for women scientists at any stage of their career."

    Teresa Markow
    Professor, Cell & Developmental Biology

  • Yishi Jin

    "I truly value the opportunity to interact with diverse members of our faculty both scientifically and socially. I particularly enjoy learning about the life experience behind the success and struggle of individual colleagues. I feel grateful to be a member of a world-class academic community with strong effort to increase the representation of our society."

    Yishi Jin, Professor, Neurobiol
    Director, UCSD Neurosciences Graduate Program

  • Kim James

    "I think that every person wants to have a sense of belonging and as a staff member at UCSD, I can honestly say that the faculty, staff and student body are diverse and although not every person is the same, we all have similarities that bring us together."

    Kim James
    Academic Personnel Manager

  • Elsa Cleland

    "I am continually impressed and inspired by both my fellow faculty and the students... I appreciate the recognition among my colleagues that work-life balance is essential, and I feel supported as I navigate the challenges of being a mother to two children while maintaining the rigorous research program required of an Assistant Professor."

    Else Cleland
    Assistant Prof., Ecology, Behavior & Evolution