Jeffrey Esparza is a tropical ecologist, biologist, and San Fernando Valley native. He has a background in ecological research, formal and informal education, and community outreach. Jeffrey graduated from California State University, Northridge with his Bachelor’s of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2016 and his Master’s of Science in Biology in 2021. His research experiences have taken him into the tropics of South America including the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, Galápagos Islands, and the southern Pantanal of Brazil. Jeffrey has conducted research on spiders, birds, bats, insects, and armadillos. Jeffrey has also worked as a wildlife educator at a local non-profit zoo and as an Education Specialist at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
For his Master’s thesis, Jeffrey investigated the ecological coexistence between two species of armadillo in the southern Pantanal. Outside of his research, much of his time was dedicated to teaching in the biology department and in the public school system. Jeffrey was also a member of the Girls in Science and Technology program (GiST) which consisted of a team of graduate students facilitating science workshops at multiple public schools in the San Fernando Valley. The GiST workshops focused on fostering curiosity and demonstrating that science is inclusive for all. Before graduating, Jeffrey was awarded the “Donald E. Bianchi Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award” for his work as a Teaching Associate and instructor in the department.
Jeffrey believes that the power and beauty of science are best demonstrated through teaching — for what good is knowledge if you have no intention of sharing it?
Jeffrey strives to give his gift of teaching at Biocitizen by sharing his passion for the natural world. Ultimately, he hopes to inspire the future generation of scientists, naturalists, and critical thinkers.
When Jeffrey isn’t thinking about science, you will likely find him playing video games, watching anime, or playing with his dog.