Urban Nature Research Center

In the field with Miguel Ordeñana detecting bats

It may surprise you, but Los Angeles exists inside a “Biodiversity Hotspot,” which is a Conservation International designation for an area with plants and animals that are incredibly diverse, but also under threat. The Urban Nature Research Center's (UNRC) goal is to help to spotlight ways to boost and sustain that biodiversity, and ultimately make L.A. a hospitable place for wildlife—and, by extension, humans—to thrive.

But our scientists need help from all Angelenos. Most of L.A.’s wildlife lives in private property—backyards, schoolyards, the courtyard of your apartment building. Scientists can’t trespass there! UNRC wants to engage the public to collect large amounts of data—data that wouldn’t be possible without community scientists who share their observations with museum researchers by e-mail and through social media. 

 

Our Staff

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Greg Pauly, Ph.D.
Curator, Herpetology & Director, Urban Nature Research Center

Dr. Greg Pauly is Curator of Herpetology and Co-director of the Urban Nature Research Center. He studies the natural history, evolution, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

Brian Brown, Ph.D.
Curator, Entomology

Dr. Brian V. Brown, head of the Natural History Museum's Entomology Department and Curator of Entomology, has pursued an interest in insects since he was 5, when he created an insect zoo in his backyard in Toronto, Canada.

Greg Pauly, Ph.D.
Curator, Herpetology & Director, Urban Nature Research Center

Dr. Greg Pauly is Curator of Herpetology and Co-director of the Urban Nature Research Center. He studies the natural history, evolution, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

Jann Vendetti, Ph.D.
Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacological Research and Associate Curator, Malacology, and Associate Director, Urban Nature Research Center

Jann Vendetti is NHM’s Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacological Research, and a founding member of the Urban Nature Research Center.

Kayce Bell, Ph.D.
Assistant Curator, Mammalogy (Terrestrial Mammals)

Museum collections form a vital component of Kayce's research on mammal and parasite diversity and distribution. She is interested in the processes that lead to new species and how host diversity impacts parasite evolution.

Brian Brown, Ph.D.
Curator, Entomology

Dr. Brian V. Brown, head of the Natural History Museum's Entomology Department and Curator of Entomology, has pursued an interest in insects since he was 5, when he created an insect zoo in his backyard in Toronto, Canada.

Jann Vendetti, Ph.D.
Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacological Research and Associate Curator, Malacology, and Associate Director, Urban Nature Research Center

Jann Vendetti is NHM’s Twila Bratcher Chair in Malacological Research, and a founding member of the Urban Nature Research Center.

Adam G. Clause, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Herpetology & Urban Nature Research Center

Adam earned his Ph.D. at the University of Georgia, where he studied how natural history and human dimensions can improve conservation practice for threatened vertebrates in California, Mexico, and Fiji.

Saori Lobbia
Research Assistant, Entomology

Saori identifies phorid flies from around the world and from BioSCAN samples from urban backyards across Los Angeles using DNA barcoding.

Kayce Bell, Ph.D.
Assistant Curator, Mammalogy (Terrestrial Mammals)

Museum collections form a vital component of Kayce's research on mammal and parasite diversity and distribution. She is interested in the processes that lead to new species and how host diversity impacts parasite evolution.