• A row of six people pose in front of a picnic table beneath tall trees in a city park
  • Mikhail, Cate, Jeremy, and Alby standing in front of a Joshua tree

Jeremy Yoder, the PI (or principal investigator) for the lab, grew up in Pennsylvania, went to school in Virginia and Idaho, and worked in Minnesota and British Columbia before coming to CSUN in 2017. He got into biology because he loves exploring the natural world, and because he belives understanding how living things work, and how they work together, can help people take better care of each other and the world around us. He’s way into science fiction — especially Star Trek — and he drinks too much coffee.

Current students

Caitlin MacGregor moved around a lot growing up, but California is by far her favorite place that she’s lived. Cate received her B.A. in Biology from the University of San Diego and then moved across the country (again) to work as a research technician in the Physiology and Neurobiology department at the University of Connecticut. She loves studying biology because she loves learning about all the living things we share our planet with and how we can best protect them. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, swimming and surfing, and making Spotify playlists for every mood imaginable.

Lab Alumni

Albert Dang completed a B.S. in Zoology at San Francisco State University, and worked as an assistant museum scientist at the Essig Museum of Entomology at UC Berkeley before becoming the first Yoder Lab graduate student in 2018. His Master’s project examined the role of pollen quality in determining the dynamics of Joshua tree’s mutualism with its specialized pollinators, and he graduated in 2021.

Mikhail Plaza worked for the U.S. Geological Survey as a botany technician for several years before joining the Yoder Lab in 2019. For his Master’s research, Mikhail’s completed a linkage map for Joshua tree and used it to better understand how the trees have adapted both to varying climate and to their specialized pollinators. Mikhail graduated in 2021, and went on to pursue a PhD from Northwestern University, in Chicago.

Maria Adjamoglian joined the lab while midway through here B.A. in Biology, and initially assisted with Alby Dang’s project. She transitioned into working on her own project alongside Michael Kolden to survey the diversity of weeds in the lawns of LA county parks. Maria graduated in 2021.

Michael Kolden worked with the Yoder Lab while pursuing a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. They conducted fieldwork in Los Angeles city parks to understand the distribution and diversity of weedy species in the lawns, and helped with Joshua tree sampling. Michael graduated in 2021.

Nick Poulos took the lead on the lab’s contribution to the GLUE Project, and tackled data management for the early stages of developing a Joshua tree linkage map. Nick graduated in 2019 and went on to doctoral research in Entomology at U.C. Riverside.

Daisy Lopez, worked in the Yoder Lab for her undergraduate research experience with the CSUN BUILD PODER program. Her interest is in plants with medicinal properties as well as plant adaptation to different geological formations (phylogeography).