Ryan Hechinger is primarily an ecologist, parasitologist, and naturalist. He was born and raised in west side of L.A. He got a BA from UC Santa Cruz in ’94. He worked for 5 years as a marine science instructor—teaching field trip classes for the great diversity of K-12 kids from throughout the giant L.A. County on boats, the rocky intertidal zone, sandy beaches, estuaries, and even a fossil class—and as the head collector/biologist for a cool, little public aquarium. During this time, he developed four main interests—parasites, food webs, estuaries, and deserts—and decided to combine 3 of those for his PhD work at UC Santa Barbara, where he did a lot of things, including developing trematode parasites as indicator tools of biodiversity and food web function. He became a research scientist at UCSB’s Marine Science Institute, and, for 7 years, ran programs dealing with various aspects of ecological/evolutionary parasitology. He moved his operation to SIO in 2014, where he has since been teaching, providing miscellaneous service, and, of course running a research lab, which has been filled with many excellent folks!
(Updated February 2021)