Sara Simmonds

Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1606


After growing up in beautiful but land locked Minnesota I moved to the island state of Tasmania to study marine biology.

DCF 1.0

Bruny Island, Tasmania. 2002

I graduated with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Zoology from the University of Tasmania and moved to Mystic to work as a research assistant at the University of Connecticut.


Whitlach lab circa 2003

Then decided to go join Dr. Danielle Zacherl’s lab at California State University, Fullerton and spent lots of time diving in the kelp forests of Baja and California when I wasn’t shooting lasers at statoliths.

Adult Kelletia at Eagle Rock

Kellet’s whelk, Kelletia kelletii

Ali an Sara blue 3

Scuba diving off the Channel Islands, California 2007
Photo credit: Crow White

I completed my PhD in Dr. Paul Barber’s lab at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2016. Every summer during my PhD I was lucky enough to work with the amazing people at the Indonesia Biodiversity Research Center at Udayana University in Bali, Indonesia.

Photo credit: Herton Escobar

Free diving in Bali, Indonesia. 2011
Photo credit: Herton Escobar

After completing my PhD I worked as a fisheries research geneticist on the ESA listed Snake River Sockeye Salmon and the Salmon River Chinook Integrated Broodstock programs using next-generation sequencing technologies.