Dr. Lauren Esposito is an arachnologist and currently holds the Schlinger Chair of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences. She is also the co-founder/director of a science, education, and conservation non-profit called Islands & Seas. Lauren’s current research investigates the patterns and processes of evolution in spiders, scorpions, and their venoms. Previously, as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow through the University of California at Berkeley, Lauren travelled extensively in the Caribbean region studying the biogeography of arachnids in one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots in the world. She got her start in the world of science research while an undergraduate at the University of Texas at El Paso, and went on to complete her MS and PhD at the American Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the City University of New York, focusing on the medically important North American scorpion genus Centruroides.
A passionate educator, Lauren has organized education programs on the importance of conserving biodiversity in local communities throughout the Americas, has worked in digital science curriculum development, and has taught courses on a range of topics for elementary through graduate students. She currently leads field-based education programs for undergraduate students in Baja California, Mexico, and teaches a conservation biology summer intensive at Columbia University. When she’s not sailing around the Caribbean islands or trekking through forests of the Darien Gap, Lauren can be found basking in the San Francisco fog.
Lauren is a fantastic speaker and Sea & Learn groupies may remember her exciting night hike looking for scorpions. She will be back and ready to discuss and explore more avenues regarding her favorite creepy crawlies.