Current Lab Members

Principle Investigator

Paul Barber
Paul H. Barber

Professor Paul H. Barber is an evolutionary and conservation geneticist. His  Ph.D. research at UC Berkeley focused on the dispersal of frogs among the  sky islands of the desert southwest, but turned his attentions to marine ecosystems of the Coral Triangle as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Harvard. He moved to UCLA in 2008 from Boston University. Honors include the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award, UCLA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, and the Life Science Award for Excellence in Educational Innovation.

Contact Information                Curriculum Vitae

 Current Members

Aji Anggoro

Aji Anggoro  is interested in the  interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes that shape species and genetic diversity in coral reef ecosystem, particularly in Coral Triangle. He is interested in using this information to advance marine sustainability in the Coral Triangle. He received B.S in Fisheries and Marine Science from Bogor Agricultural University and Master of Science in Biology from University of the Ryukyus Japan and joined the Barber lab  as a PhD student in fall 2015 supported by a fellowship from the Indonesian Ministry of Education.

Eric Caldera

Eric joined the lab in 2018 as a Smithsonian postdoctoral research fellow. He is interested in microbial evolutionary ecology and is exploring the dynamics of marine microbial diversity in the Coral Triangle biodiversity hot spot. Eric’s Ph.D. research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison focused on coevolution and population genetic structure among fungal and bacterial symbionts of fungus-farming ants in neotropical rainforests. While currently focused on microbes, he has also worked with invasive fire ants, argentine ants, and threespine stickleback. Eric’s teaching experience includes Microbial Ecology, Evolution & Diversity (UW-Madison) and Introductory Biology, Advances in Microbiology (California State University – Fullerton). Eric received his B.S. (Biology) from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dita Cahyani

Dita is a researcher from the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center, Denpasar, Bali. She joined the lab as Ph.D. student in Fall 2015 supported by a Fulbright Scholarship. Her research background is in marine biodiversity, phylogenetics and marine connectivity. She is  interested in evolutionary processes and using molecular techniques to support direct management and conservation. She received her B.S in Biology from Gadjah Mada University, Jogjakarta and holds a M.S in Environmental Science from Udayana University, Denpasar, Bali.

Kelcie Chiquillo

Kelcie joined the lab as a Ph.D student in 2014. She is broadly interested in marine conservation and invasive biology. Her thesis uses multidisciplinary approaches to understand the origins and ecological dynamics of an invasive seagrass in the Caribbean seas in hopes to better informing management. She received her B.S in Marine Biology and Limnology from San Francisco State University. She is an NSF Bridge to Doctorate Fellow and a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Contact

Sam Degregori

Sam joined the Barber lab in 2016 as a PhD student. He is largely interested in endogenous microbes that live in marine hosts and how these microbial communities are shaped by their host phylogeny and environment. He is currently investigating fish gut microbiomes and whether such microbial communities are altered by diet diversity and anthropogenic stressors. Sam graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a B.S. in Molecular Biology. In addition to conducting research, Sam is also dedicated to increasing diversity in STEM and using his thesis as a gateway for undergraduates to obtain experience in scientific research.

Zack Gold

Zack joined the lab as a PhD student in 2015. He is interested in  the interplay between local (pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction) and global (climate change and ocean acidification) stressors on marine ecosystems and using this information to improve marine policy and coastal management under climate change. Currently, Zack is focused on using environmental DNA (eDNA) and metagenomics to create rapid marine biodiversity assessments to study marine protected area design in the Channel Islands. He received his B.S. in Marine Biology with Honors from Stanford University and was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Visit his website here.

Onny Marwayana

Onny joined the lab as a master student in 2016 funded by USAID PRESTASI Scholarship. His current research focuses on using environmental DNA (eDNA) to ascertain the distribution and diversity of marine fishes across Indonesia and test the  efficiency of employing eDNA methods on time-series biodiversity monitoring. Since 2010, Onny has worked as a marine biologist in the Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). He holds a B.S. degree from Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia.