Board of Directors

Angel S. Fernandez-Bou, PhD (President) José Luis Susa Rincon, PhD (Treasurer)
Anna Gurevitz, MA (Secretary) Elisabet Perez-Coronel, PhD
Manuel Cornejo, PhDAna Paula Simões, MA
Humberto Flores-Landeros, BE
Jose Luis Susa Rincon PhD.

Co-Founder Ph.D. Electrical Engineering and Computer Science | University of California, Merced
Jose Luis Susa Rincón one day discovered robots and since then decided to spend his life building, programming, and creating more and more of these cool companions. Because college was not enough, he went to France to study more, and because that was still not enough, he went to UC Merced in the US to become a doctor in robotics. After all that study and work for many years, now he is ready to teach you all the tricks he knows about robots and together have the best time building and learning about technology in general.

Anna Gurevitz

Co-Founder | Masters of Arts in Teaching, University of Southern California | M.A. World Cultures, University of California, Merced  
Hailing from Arizona, I began my life in the Central Valley of California as a graduate student at the University of California, Merced where I received a M.A. in World Cultures in 2017. While there, I focused on a field called bioarchaeology – which just means that I studied the skeletal remains of individuals at archaeological sites. I loved what I did, but while studying, I got involved with conducting workshops for middle and high school students about my field, which made me switch career fields. I left the research world of academia and pursued a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Southern California, which I received with a teaching credential in Science in 2020. I am now a high school biology teacher and president of 4 Venir, Inc. where I am working for equity in quality and critical education.

Humberto Flores

Humberto is a doctoral student at the University of California, Merced, in the Environmental Systems Program. His hometown is Santa Rosa, California where he first discovered his passion for the environment. His field of research is environmental engineering with a focus on water management and sustainable smart agriculture.

Jorge A. Montiel (Picture from UC Merced News)

Co-Founder | Ph.D. in Environmental Systems | University of California, Merced

Jorge A. Montiel was born in Mexico City, and pursued his PhD in Environmental Systems at UC Merced. He is interested in researching plant adaptation via fungal endophytes and disentangle the mysterious amphibious behavior of vernal pool plants. He obtained his B.S. in Biology from Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) and Master’s degree in Life Sciences in Environmental Biology from the Scientific Research and Higher Education Center of Ensenada (CICESE). His interests range from conservation biology, plant ecology, microbial ecology, fungal biology, and Mediterranean ecosystems ecology.

Angel S. Fernandez-Bou PhD.

Co-Founder Ph.D. Environmental Systems | University of California, Merced
Angel S. Fernandez-Bou likes to look at weird things like ponds and insects, and to dig holes in the ground to see what’s going on. Sometimes, he invents machines to measure invisible gases, and he definitely loves to hug dogs, cats, and trees. Angel S. is originally from Spain, but now he is from everywhere (he speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish quite well! and a few other languages less well). He works on amazing projects to protect the water, the air, the soil, and the money using combinations of Engineering, Environmental, and Socioeconomic approaches. He likes to think he is an Environmental Systems Engineer (because he is an Engineer with a Master in Engineering and a Doctorate in Environmental Systems).

Ana Paula Simões

Co-Founder | PhD candidate in Quantitative Psychology, University of California, Merced (exp. May 2021). | M.A. Psychology, American International College Originally from Brazil, Ana Simoes moved to Massachusetts in 2012 to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. In 2016, she continued her studies and obtained a Masters of Arts in General Psychology. Ana is currently a PhD candidate in Quantitative Psychology at the University of California Merced where she studies mathematical modeling and statistical analysis applied to the social sciences. 

Elisabet Perez-Coronel PhD.

Co-Founder | Ph.D. in Environmental Systems | University of California, Merced 

Eli grew up in Mexico and has been passionate about caring for the environment since she was young. She majored in Environmental Engineering and during her studies she learned that little tiny organisms regulate what happens in our water, dirt and even in our bodies. After college she moved to the U.S to pursue a PhD in Environmental Science at UC Merced where she studied microbes that live in lakes and how they can influence climate change. She enjoys teaching Earth and Environmental Science, hiking, dancing, reading, and traveling.

Manuel Alejandro Cornejo

PhD candidate in Quantitative and Systems Biology (exp. May 2021).  I grew up in Tijuana, Mexico, and moved to Merced to pursue my Ph.D. degree. I am interested in diverse topics on biology and chemistry, especially those related to health, such as physiology and pharmacology. As an undergrad I helped graduate students to develop a more efficient medicine for hypertension, and worked with bacteria to develop a vaccine for cows. Nowadays, I work looking at the effect of different treatments on Japanese diabetic rats. I went to Japan during three summers to work with other students in my lab, and tried to pick up the basics of the language (it’s hard!). I liked to practice martial arts at Tijuana and Merced, and will definitely pick up once I finish my Ph.D!


J. Pablo Ortiz-Partida.

Ph.D. in Hydrology and Water Resources Management | University of California, Davis. Pablo is a Climate and Water Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He works on developing strategies for vulnerable communities in California to cope and adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change, particularly related to water impacts

Alan Cai

Alan was a Master’s student in UC Merced’s Environmental Systems Graduate Group from 2017 to 2020. He is interested in using the tools of science and policy to better manage ecosystems, particularly rivers, for a variety of objectives. His research project involved using a survey of Western United States hydropower facility operators to develop a baseline understanding of the priorities, attitudes, and decision-making processes of this group, with a focus on their implementation of environmental water releases. Alan previously studied environmental and atmospheric science as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, and has completed internships in applied ecosystem science and land use policy in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington state.

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