CSUN professor of biology MariaElena Zavala has been named a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, joining a group of more than 450 distinguished scientists and other leaders who have made notable contributions to science or science education and communication.
Nominated by their colleagues and selected by the Board of Trustees for their cutting-edge research and science communication, the Academy Fellows are partners in the pursuit of the Academy’s goal to regenerate the natural world through science, learning and collaboration. The distinguished group of scientists helps to extend the Academy’s positive impact on research, public engagement and education, through individual and collaborative efforts with Academy researchers and staff.
Zavala’s research focuses on the developmental regulation of plants including root growth and seed filling. Zavala also works on increasing participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with a focus on preparing people who have been marginalized, as well as providing them access to opportunities in STEM. Her work as a mentor and successfully initiating and leading training programs have been recognized locally, regionally and nationally. Zavala is the first Mexican-American woman in the country to earn a Ph.D. in botany and has taught at CSUN since 1988.