BASIS Steering Committee

The BASIS Steering Committee is a group of seasoned BASIS volunteers in various science and engineering fields who help with departmental recruitment, outreach, and event coordination.


Meredith Triplet, Chemistry

As a child, Meredith was curious about everything, and one of her life goals was to learn everything about everything. She enjoyed participating in a range of science fair projects from stomata opening in various light environments to the calorie content of various wood species. Eventually, she decided it would be more practical to try to learn everything about something, and so is now engaged in learning everything there is to know about the way proteins interact and signal on lipid membranes. 

Rose Abramoff, LBNL

Rose is a postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and studies how plants and soil interact with the changing climate. Like many youngsters in the East Bay, Rose was not offered science classes until middle school and had to learn about the scientific method from Dana Scully. Rose is glad that BASIS is helping scientists like her to provide East Bay students with a less horrifying introduction to hypothesis-testing through fun, hands-on lessons!

Riva Bruenn, Plant & Microbial Biology

When Riva was younger she loved learning the names of plants. Like the wizards and witches in her favorite stories, she believed that knowing the true names of things gives you power and understanding. Now Riva knows so many names of plants and parts of plants that she can talk about them for hours! Did you know for example that sunflower "seeds" aren't seeds at all? They are fruits! Riva studies the symmetry of ginger flowers through gene evolution and expression.

Colin BurkeChemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Colin is a graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering where he studies new battery technologies for electric vehicles. He is very thankful of countless fantastic science teachers throughout his education and enjoys working with BASIS to give back to teachers.

Erin CreelChemistry

As a little girl, Erin always wanted to live in a castle and be a magical, pink princess named Sparkles Magic Girl. As she got older, she realized that the closest she could get to doing magic was doing science! Instead of ruling the world, she is now trying to save it by using pieces of gold that are so small that they turn pink to make fuels using energy they absorb from the sun.


Sally Demaio-Turner, Chemistry/Physics

Growing up, Sally was captivated by everything she could see. Fireflies, caterpillars, volcanoes, you name it, she was interested. Little did she know all of the fascinating things around her that her eyes couldn’t see. Now she is a PhD student in chemistry and studies teeny tiny particles almost a million times smaller than our eyes can see!


Ben KellerElectrical Engineering

Ben is a graduate student in the Electrical Engineering department at UC Berkeley. He has wanted to be an electrical engineer since he was small. His research interests include low-power digital design and efficient energy modeling to inform architectural design space exploration. 

Katie KimuraPsychology

When Katie was younger, she couldn't wait to be a grown-up. But, now that Katie's a grown-up she wishes she were younger. These days, in order to stay a child at heart, she studies how children learn, specifically how they acquire knowledge and later update their beliefs.

Jesyka MelendezIntegrative Biology

"Animals have always fascinated me! What they do, how they do it, and why they do it, are questions I pondered even as a child.  Now, as a student of behavioral ecology, I get to live my life long dream of answering these fantastic questions while simultaneously gaining insight into the secret life of rodents!"

(Left: Juvenile dusky-footed wood rat, Hastings natural history reservation)


Sara PophamNeuroscience

When Sara was younger, she wondered why she was so clumsy. In order to try and understand this, she started learning the brain and motor system. Sara is still very clumsy as an adult, but now she does research on how the brain combines information from multiple sensory modalities.

Armbien SabilloMolecular & Cell Biology

Armbien grew up by the sea and loved observing sea creatures grow from gooey eggs to tiny hatchlings. Now, he is a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying embryo development. He loves to teach others about how a single cell can become an entire organism made up of lots of different cell types like bone, brain, and muscle! 


Lindsey Young, Molecular & Cell Biology

I like getting the best view possible of the biomolecules within our cells in order to understand how they function, and to do that I use a powerful electron microscope! I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I joined BASIS because I enjoy working with passionate people and engaging with inquisitive minds.

Xinyi ZhouBioengineering

I'm Xinyi, a student in the UCB/UCSF joint bioengineering PhD program. I used to grow bioluminescent (glow-in-the-dark) dinoflagellates (plankton) in my closet and wade through salt marshes, but now that I've grown up I try take pictures of the inside of your body using a machine made of magnets and 3D printed parts! 

Professor Robert BergmanChemistry