Statement May 2nd 2024 STATEMENT OF ISG FACULTY in Response To The Attacks On The Encampment And Ensuing Police Violence, April 30th To May 2nd
The Institute is a community of researchers dedicated to analyzing complex problems at the interface of biology and society and training the next generation of crossdisciplinary thinkers.

Classes | COVID-19

Outreach: The Labyrinth Project

The Labyrinth Project is a collaborative inquiry into nature in Los Angeles. Wetlands, lawns, rats, cats, coyotes, mountain lions interact with human affect, state power, indigenous politics, aesthetic pleasure, local governmental power and much more. Also, Satan. Using a mix of participant-observation, structured interviewing, collaborative urban anthropology, historical and archival digging, ecological observation, and analysis of social media content, we explore the diverse and surprising ways in which Los Angeles is full of different natures— a veritable trophic cascade of the absurd and surprising. We write research papers and we have produced a podcast project in collaboration with the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies at UCLA.

Lab members include ISG faculty Christopher Kelty and Jessica Lynch along with graduate students from anthropology, environmental science, and public health and a team of undergraduates majoring in Human Biology and Society at UCLA.

Student Spotlight

Derek W. Ren (HBS, B.S. ’24) has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award for the 2024-2025 academic year. “Understanding global health through the Fulbright program is a fantastic opportunity for me to really apply and expand my interdisciplinary education” Derek shares. “It’s all about preparing myself to face and solve complex health issues around the world.” Read more.

Alumni Activities

Michaela Serafica (Alumni) Pic

Michaela Gabrielle Serafica, ISG class of 2019 graduate, shares her work experience as a Health Emergency Preparedness Analyst at San Mateo County Health Emergency Medical Services. Read more.

Student Capstone Projects

Students in the Human Biology and Society major at UCLA complete an original research project at the intersection of biology and society in just 10 weeks. Students in Winter and Spring 2020 completed this project remotely during the COVID19 pandemic, and finished them during some of the largest protests against police violence in US history. To view their projects, click here.

Featured Research: Watts Oral History

Bharat Venkat and his students in Heat Lab collaborate with UCLA faculty Kelly Turner and Mark Vestal to conduct a case study of Watts, Los Angeles — a historically Black neighborhood where temperatures are 4.7°F hotter than the city average — to pinpoint what discriminatory interventions contributed to the the present-day heat burden. Student researchers are conducting an oral history to document thermal narratives and idioms of heat, encouraging participants to speak about their everyday experiences of heat.

Press: https://innovation.luskin.ucla.edu/2021/10/15/turner-and-colleagues-receive-grant-to-pinpoint-sources-of-heat-injustice/

Recently at ISG

The Institute's Index

74% of the students that applied to our Class of 2022 HBS major were admitted.


In total, ISG faculty are collaborating with 23 different academic institutions nationally and 12 internationally.


The HBS major is the 8th most popular major in a poll recently taken of incoming UCLA students for the 2020-2021 academic year.


In 2019, ISG faculty gave 15 talks in 9 countries, across 4 continents.

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