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Dean's Office


Reception: 858-822-4622


M-F, 8:00am - 4:00pm


Natural Sciences Building, Suite 6205
Nearest intersection: Scholars Dr S & La Jolla Shores Drive
Closest Visitor Parking: Scholars Parking Structure

Mailing Address

Biological Sciences Dean's Office
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail Code: 0376
La Jolla, CA 92093-0376

Academic Leadership

Administrative Staff

  • Katherine Emmett
    Katherine Emmett
    Assistant Dean
  • Melanie Ridenour
    Melanie Ridenour
    Senior Academic Personnel Analyst
    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.
  • Cheyenne Cross
    Cheyenne Cross
    Assistant Academic Personnel Analyst
    Cheyenne assists the Senior Personnel Analyst in the review and analysis of academic personnel actions, and provides support with various special projects.
  • Sara Werner
    Sara Werner
    Strategic Programs Project Manager

    In her role as Strategic Programs Project Manager, Sara supports the Dean's office, faculty, and staff to ensure that resources and facilities are leveraged for research development activities. Sara serves as the program manager for the Technology Sandbox and the UC San Diego program manager for strategic industry-academia partnerships centered within Biological Sciences.

  • Alex Tea
    Alex Tea
    Dean's Executive Assistant and Administrative Support Supervisor
    Alex provides direct support for the Dean, assists the Dean with the operations of the Dean's Office, and coordinates Dean's Office meetings and activities. In addition, Alex supervises the Faculty Assistant Team.
  • Joanna Wallace
    Joanna Wallace
    Administrative and Events Coordinator
    Joanna provides general front desk and administrative support for the Dean’s Office and coordinates a variety of special events and programs.

External Relations / Communications / Development Staff

  • Mario Aguilera
    Mario Aguilera
    Director of Communications
    As the Communications Director for Biological Sciences, Mario coordinates communication strategies and publicizes research and other features through news releases, articles, interviews, videos and social media. He also serves as co-leader of the campus' Research Communications Program, which trains scientists to clearly and effectively communicate their research to public audiences.
  • Augie Garibay
    Augie Garibay
    Director of Alumni Relations
    As the Director Alumni Relations for Biological Sciences, Augie strives to cultivate and maintain a strong affinity among alumni with UC San Diego and the School of Biological Sciences. With 24 years of experience working in higher education in a variety of roles, Augie aims to authentically and effectively engage with alumni to facilitate connections with current students, faculty, and staff.
  • Christopher Sickels
    Julie Paolillo
    Executive Director of Development
    Julie serves as the lead philanthropic gift officer for Biological Sciences, providing leadership, management, and overall program strategy in planning, coordinating, and implementing fundraising activities for the Dean, Faculty Members, volunteers, and other key collaborative partners for the Division. Her mission is to build a comprehensive development program that will engage local, regional, national, and international donors and alumni to actively participate in personalized partnerships that will further the mission and strategic goals of the Division to best serve our students and maximize our broad impact in society.
  • Sarah Turner
    Sarah R. Turner
    Director of Development
    Sarah serves as a philanthropic gift officer for the School of Biological Sciences, working closely with the Dean and faculty to develop strong relationships with the UC San Diego community and industry partners. Sarah is a higher education advocate and connector for the life science community regionally and nationally. Sarah has a passion for student success and support programs and working to advance sustainability and human health efforts. Sarah is a proud alumna of UC San Diego.
  • Melissa Hoon
    Melissa Hoon
    Director of Corporate Relations and Professional Development
    Melissa supports the Division's Co-Op Program and Corporate Affiliates Program (BioCAP) by engaging students, alumni, and industry partners in an effort to expand a diverse and robust talent pipeline. She also assists with career exploratory and communications courses that focus on soft skills to support students' professional development and career success.