Becca is a scientist and educator, passionate about patient empowerment and scientific storytelling for all audiences. She is most excited about harnessing her unique educational background and relentless curiosity to enrich the scientific understanding of the microbiome and its impact on our health.
Becca received her BS in Biology from the George Washington University and her MS in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and Evolutionary Medicine from UCLA. She has clinical experience in emergency medicine, trauma, and pediatrics, but forewent medical school in favor of exploring the new field of evolutionary medicine.
It was through her studies that she discovered the microbiome—and was immediately blown away by the bacterial symbionts who live in and among us.
Outside of the office, she enjoys life with her partner, Zach, and their two dogs, Layla and Nala. Layla is a sweet, subtle, white German Shepherd mix and unquestioned queen of the house, and Nala is a rambunctious Pitt-Husky mix filled with personality and a never-ending supply of priceless, microbial-diversifying puppy kisses.
In conversation with Becca:
Six word story of your life. Had questions. Sought answers. Still seeking.
What was your first brush with science? Looking up at the stars as a kid and marveling at just how small we are on this one planet, orbiting this single star, in just one galaxy among multitudes. My mom couldn’t answer all my budding questions about the universe, so we got an encyclopedia. It didn’t have all of the answers I wanted, so I went to the planetarium.
Why do you think bacteria are important? Bacteria are the root of all life on earth. They were here long before us and will be here long after we’re gone.
How do you define science? The perpetual search for answers to questions about the workings of the world—from microscopic interactions in our bodies to galaxies far, far away.
How do you define health? The ability to adapt both physically and mentally to the external environment while maintaining a balanced internal ecosystem.
What are you currently reading / listening / watching? 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric Cline; Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers; and The Core by Peter V. Brett.
Favorite microbiome-nurturing food? Berries. So many berries!
Scientist, dead or alive, you’d like to eat with? Theodosius Dobzhansky
Microbiome perturbation you’re trying to give up. Pizza. I may be trying, but I’m not succeeding quite yet.
Favorite science joke or best mindgasm fact? Imagine you could hold hands with your mom, and she her mom, and so on. How many miles would the chain stretch until it reached our common ancestors with chimpanzees? The answer is less than 300 miles. For reference, that’s about the same distance from Santa Monica, CA to Las Vegas, Nevada (or a 3 hour car ride).
One fact most people don’t know about you: I’ve never eaten Taco Bell.