LMU Faculty

Kristen Covino, Ph.D., Faculty Affiliate

LMU Biology 

Dr. Kristen Covino is an avian biologist who integrates multiple fields to explain the complex interactions between an individual’s environment and their physiology. Dr. Covino’s research encompasses many scales of inquiry, ranging from avian physiology to continental-scale migratory movements, and seeks to understand the movement biology and whole life cycle biology of migratory birds. Her interest in birds started as an undergraduate when she took ornithology and conducted research while earning her B.Sc. in Biology (2004) from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where she also grew up. After a year of field work and research, Dr. Covino began her Master’s research at the University of Maine-Orono where she studied migratory decisions of songbirds on stopover. In 2011, Dr. Covino began as a doctoral student in the Migratory Bird Research Group at the University of Southern Mississippi under the direction of Dr. Frank Moore. Her dissertation work investigated breeding development in several inter-continental migrants en route to their breeding grounds and demonstrated that the phenology of physiological breeding development in these species is sex-specific for which she received her Ph.D. in 2016. Dr. Covino conducts research in collaboration with the Appledore Island Migration Station in Maine and with the Shoals Marine Laboratory where she teaches a summer Field Ornithology course. Some of Dr. Covino’s currently research projects include studying the hormone-behavior relationship in breeding Great Black-backed Gulls, using feather hydrogen isotope ratios to model population-level migratory movements in songbirds, and a series of hormone-related questions in various songbird species as part of a collaboration with the Islands High School Scientific Research Program.

Dr. Covino is also interested in addressing issues related to making ornithology and undergraduate research more accessible to women and the LGBT community, as well as promoting undergraduate participation in research. Dr. Covino is the co-chair of the student and young professional committee of the Wilson Ornithological Society and a member of the Early Professional Committee of the American Ornithology Society.

John H. Dorsey, Ph.D., Senior Faculty Fellow

LMU Civil Engineering & Environmental Science

John Dorsey

John Dorsey received his B.S. in Marine Biology (1972) and M.S. in Biology (1975) from California State University, Long Beach, then traveled to Australia where he received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne in Zoology (1982). Presently he is a Professor at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, in the Department of Civil Engineering & Environmental Science where he teaches courses in environmental, atmospheric and marine sciences. Prior to LMU, he worked as a marine biologist for the City of Los Angeles (1983-2002), focusing on marine monitoring in Santa Monica Bay and storm water management. John sits on numerous local and state technical committees dealing with water quality issues and policy, and is past-president of the Southern California Academy of Science where he remains an active member of their Board of Directors and Research Training Program for high school students. His research interests focus on the dynamics of fecal indicator bacteria in coastal waters and wetlands. John's passion for good water quality is natural — he is an avid surfer, so most days he can be found at dawn surfing at El Porto near his home and LMU's campus.

Demian Willette, Ph.D.

LMU Biology 

Demian Willette

Dr. Demian A. Willette is an Instructor in Biology at Loyola Marymount University, an Assistant Project Scientist at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), and a current US Fulbright Scholar. He received his Bachelors degree in biology from Iowa State University, Masters degree in biology from California State University Los Angeles, and Ph.D. in Public Health from UCLA. He was a NSF post-doc for 3 years in Southeast Asia, including with the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries, conducting fisheries research. He has published over two dozen peer-reviewed scientific articles in the fields of applied ecology, marine biology, molecular genetics, and biological invasions, and his work has been featured in Time Magazine, Science, the New York Times, among others. He leads an active research group of promising undergraduate and graduate students, and has ongoing collaborations with partners in Israel, Germany, Ecuador, the Caribbean, the Philippines, and across the U.S.

Non-LMU Affiliates

Isaac Brown

Isaac Brown

Isaac Brown is a nationally recognized ecologist and planner specializing in urban ecosystem services and management. Isaac has integrated these concepts into professional urban design and green infrastructure projects worldwide including the San Francisco Sewer System Improvement Program, the Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority's Sustainability Management Tools, and the Arizona State Land Department's Superstition Vistas growth area, which is envisioned to include up to 1M new residents over the coming century. Isaac is currently coordinating the development of an urban biodiversity strategy for the City of Los Angeles. Isaac holds Master's and Bachelor's Degrees from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a doctoral candidate Environmental Science and Engineering at the UCLA Institute of Environment and Sustainability. His research includes developing urban ecosystem health indicators for Los Angeles that integrate biodiversity, ecosystem services, pollution management, and natural hazards. This is the first attempt to create a comprehensive urban ecosystem framework for L.A.'s built environment, and represents a promising new direction for sustainability of cities worldwide.

Erich Eberts, Graduate Fellow

Erich Eberts

Erich Eberts is a graduate student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Erich received a B.S. in Biology from Loyola Marymount University in 2016, and served as the 2016-17 CURes Research Fellow. His research interests include avian ecology in the context of the urban ecosystem and global climate change.

While at CURes, Erich worked on projects including hummingbird nesting ecology, least tern-american crow interactions at Venice Beach, and crow cognition, but his main area of interest was in developing a study to quantify the energetics associated with nesting female hummingbirds using thermal imaging. This work was a primary factor in securing his position at University of Toronto. Erich continued his affiliation with CURes as a graduate student, utilizing the LMU campus as a field site and engaging LMU undergraduates in his work.

Richard Shope, Ed.D., Community Science Fellow

Richard Shope

Richard Shope is a science educator who directs research, education and workforce development programs for urban youth. He is the Vice President of the World Space Foundation; Program Development Officer at the Youth Science Center (as a Consultant with Shope Performance Group); Founding Director of Urban Science Corps; Director of EcoVoices at the San Gabriel River Discovery Center and Artistic Director of the Sci Mi Theatre.

Prior to coming to CURes, Shope was the Science Communicator and Educator for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 15 years, where he coordinated education and outreach programs for various flight projects at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Through this program, he focused on reaching urban youth and rural American Indian youth nationwide. With over 40 years of experience as a poet, mime artist, and educator, Shope is known for his abilities to communicate science through narrative mime.

He first encountered the art of mime in the midst of university studies in intercultural communications. Mentored by Marcel Marceau and Mamako Yoneyama, he has performed as a professional mime artist since 1971. He created Mimewrighting, a kinesthetic teaching method that has reached over a million schoolchildren, nationwide and throughout Mexico. Shope holds a B.A. degree at Antioch University Los Angeles; M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. degrees in Science Education at the University of Southern California. Research/Practitioner interests include: inquiry-driven informal science education and teaching for conceptual change. He has served on the Board of the California Association for the Gifted, the Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair Committee and the Governing Board of the Ambassador School of Global Leadership.