Advisory Board

Andrew Allen, Ph.D.

Director of LXS Advisory Board

Andrew Allen, PhdAndy is Joint Associate Professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO), University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). He has authored or co-authored over 50 scientific papers. Funding for research in his laboratory is provided by federal entities such as U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as well as the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and other private and agencies.  Research topics in his laboratory group are related to uncovering genomic adaptations of organisms to their biotic and abiotic environment  Most of his work is related to the genome biology, and comparative and functional genomics of eukaryotic marine phytoplankton; especially diatoms. Areas of interest are based on investigation into the molecular and evolutionary basis of metabolism in marine phytoplankton populations.  Biochemical, cellular and signaling and sensing mechanisms that regulate metabolic pathways that play a role in driving marine biogeochemical cycles, such as carbon (C), nitrogen (N), iron (Fe), and silica (Si) cycles, are of particular interest. Various ongoing physiological, biochemical, and functional genomics based wet-lab, computational/bioinformatics based research projects are centered on addressing hypotheses related to controls on the diversity and activity of marine microorganisms.

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Prior to joining JCVI and UCSD, Andy was a postdoctoral fellow at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, France and at Princeton University in the labs of Chris Bowler and Bess Ward where he worked on phytoplankton genomics. He received a PhD in Ecology from the University of Georgia where he worked on the molecular basis of nitrogen assimilation in marine bacteria. He received a bachelor’s degree in Biology and English from Vassar College


2002                          Ph.D., Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Nitrate Uptake by Heterotrophic Bacteria and the Diversity of Bacterial Nitrate Assimilation Genes in Marine Systems.

1996                          B.A. Biology and English, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Professional Experience

2013-                Associate Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

2009 –               Associate Professor, J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)

2006 –  2008      Assistant Investigator, J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)

2005 –  2006      Visiting Fellow, École Normale Supérieure (ENS), Paris

2004 –  2005      NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Microbiology, Princeton University/ENS, Paris

2002 –  2003      Post-doctoral Research Associate, Princeton University

1998 –  2002      Graduate Research Assistant, Skidaway Institute of  Oceanography

1996 –  1998           Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Georgia

1995 –  1996           Undergraduate Research Assistant, Vassar College, Department of Biology

Classes taught:

Microbial Systems Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

Plankton Ecology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

An Introduction to the Marine Environment, Princeton University

Ecological Basis of Environmental Issues, University of Georgia

Vertebrate Diversity and Anatomy, University of Georgia

Organismal and Cell Biology, University of Georgia

” Andy is incredibly down to earth. After seeing his super ability of filling multiple pages of content with his academic and civilization changing feats, Andy is best known by me as the guy I would most want to have a beer with. The advisory team (aka the A-Team) lead by this mega mind will ensure that LXS is always evolving its tours and curriculum and tools. His work is more impressive than I can state. That said, for me, Andy’s real super strength is in his most genuine hugs. It is there that you find the bright complex fuses in his mind are no match for his earth shattering love of life. He has surly passed this amazing ability down to his son along with beautiful wife. ” Jeane Wong

Dr. Lisa Zeigler Allen, Ph.D.

Vice President

Dr Lisa Zeigler Allen, PhdLisa is an assistant Professor in the Department of Microbial and Environmental Genomics at the J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla California.

Her research is directed towards understanding microbial and viral interactions through community-level sequencing of nucleic acids, single cell/virion genomic and cultivation based approaches. Through community level analyses of the microbial and viral consortia and culture-based virus/host dynamics, she is investigating the influence of viruses on host function, ecosystem performance, community-level diversity and the evolution of hosts and associated viruses.

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In addition, Lisa has been involved with STEM education geared towards the promotion of young women in science as well as mentoring middle and high school educators and students, and she finds a sparking interest in the science of nature a fulfilling endeavor.

Lisa says “Working with LXS, my hope is to continue fostering education in science and promote avenues for all young students to pursue their interests, while assisting, either directly or through networking, the distribution of information and materials to educators.”

” Much like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus, Lisa shows us incredible new worlds that use super microscopes and glowing compounds to observe, discover, and learn. An amazing marathon runner, a super mom and a leader in micro worlds that make our world possible, Lisa is our illuminator. Her ability to infect us all with her passion and excitement for science is leading us onto roads we could have never seen without her.” Jeane Wong

Paige Howorth.

LXS Board Member

Paige Howorth | Board MemberPaige Howorth is the Animal Care Manager and head of the Entomology Department at the San Diego Zoo. Paige began her career at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, caring for the arthropod collection in addition to several species of birds and reptiles. In 2003, she moved to the San Diego Zoo to develop an invertebrate program there, and has overseen the design and construction of San Diego Zoo Global’s first dedicated insectarium and the establishment of the Entomology Department. Paige manages a broad collection of invertebrate animals from both terrestrial and aquatic habitats, including two endangered insect conservation programs.

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Paige is a steering committee member for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group (TITAG), and holds the elected position of Secretary. She is a professional member of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and a supporter and collaborator for AZA’s Butterfly Conservation Initiative (BFCI). She contributes regularly to invertebrate themed symposia and workshops, and has authored numerous papers and articles on invertebrate husbandry, natural history and conservation. In addition, she is an artist in a variety of media, specializing in metalsmithing, insect jewelry design, and scientific illustration.

“As a bug lover, I was star struck when meeting Paige. Finally–someone else who understood that a vinegaroon is not a kind of salad dressing. Paige has traveled to other continents to help endangered species and make us all aware of their contributions. She and her husband clearly are on a quest to impact this world in a way that only a family of supers can. It is my belief that she has such a passion for conservation and education because her whole family lives, loves and plays in all that nature has provided. As the defender of even the creepiest species, Paige makes it clear how we all are connected.” Jeane Wong

Kelley Simon

LXS Chief Financial Officer
Kelley Simon | CFOKelley Simon has been the brawn behind the brains at LXS. She is an intricate part of the founding team. Kelley enjoys serving non-profit organizations both professionally and personally.

Kelley is a Certified Public Accountant, specializing in business filings, research and consultations for tax-exempt organizations.  She earned both her B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from the University of Cincinnati.  She relocated to San Diego ten years ago from the Midwest and enjoys the outdoors.

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” Kelley would be a perfect partner to X-Men’s STORM.   She has been the calm that clears the skies of all of the red tape that allows for amazing things to happen.” Jeane Wong

Steve Simon

LXS Board Member

Steve Simon | Board Member

Steve is a professional civil engineer in California.  For the last 10 years he has performed facility planning duties for the San Diego County Water Authority, including a variety of analysis and preliminary engineering studies leading to the successful implementation of the largest seawater desalination water treatment facility in the western hemisphere.  Prior to his current position, Steve worked as a detailed civil engineering designer for Black & Veatch and a facilities engineering for Corning Incorporated.  Steve’s technical experience focuses on planning and preliminary engineering of infrastructure project and hydraulics.

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Steve was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated with a civil and environmental engineering B.S. degree from the University of Cincinnati.  Upon meeting the lovely and talented Kelley Russell (later to be Simon) the two hitched all their belongings to the back of the Jeep and headed west to San Diego.  He sits on several industry committees including Secretary of the California-Nevada Water Desalination Committee and the American Society of Civil Engineers Environment and Water Resource Institute.

” Steve’s super powers are more visible during early mornings, when only the hardest working roosters will witness it firsthand.  The son of an English teacher, Steve grew up knowing the heroic powers of our educators. Triple S (aka Super Steve Simon)  is that guy who can engineer a structure withstanding  the most powerful furious fury. He can do this while making pancakes for his daughter and wife. He completes these feats of a hero, right before he rides his bike into the day alongside the sunrise. *insert swoosh sound here!  Amazingly Triple S does not ignore some valuable time to get his pretty on.  All of this before most of us have had a cup of coffee.   As the other 50% of the Wonder Twins YIN YANG Steves, Triple S is developing some hands on tools right now (given that you are reading this in the am).”     ” oh and when you read this, please insert that drastic commentator voice over. It really brings it home. ”   Jeane Wong

Saliha LaCoursiere

Board Member
saliha-lacoursiereSaliha LaCoursiere has a degree in mechanical engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Saliha has 15 years of engineering experience. For the last 11 years Saliha has worked for Solar Turbines Incorporated a manufacturer of industrial gas turbines. She is currently a senior principal design engineer and a group lead in the systems and controls development department.

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Prior to working at Solar Turbines Saliha worked as a controls engineer with Xcellsis, a joint venture with Ford/Daimler Chrysler/Ballard Power, working on fuel cell systems for vehicle applications.

Saliha and her husband Troy have two smart and adorable sons, Ezra (5) and Asher (2). ” Saliha will run a marathon, walk her enormous dog , solve complex problems for society through engineering and never let you forget that her number 1 priority is her family. Her arch nemesis might Captain Procrastination as she is an EXTRAORDINARY MULTI-TASKER.”

Steve Walker Mayman

Board Member
steve-walker-maymanSteve is the principal founder of ERGO ARCHITECTURE in 1998.

He worked for GOLBA ARCHITECTURE 1995 to 1998, and BSHA DESIGN GROUP 1994-1995

In addition to his daytime job, Steve has a passion for teaching. He has been an educator at the NEW SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, SAN DIEGO, CA and the Adjunct Faculty, Graduate Studio Instructor 2004-2005.

Steve attended :CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND Economics Summer 1984, CARLETON COLLEGE, NORTHFIELD, MN Bachelor of Arts Spring 1985 ,RICE UNIVERSITY, HOUSTON, TX and earned a Master of Architecture Spring 1991.

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If Steve were an actor, his accomplishments and awards would rival that of Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Just to name a few awards in his super tool belt :American Institute of Architects, San Diego 1998, GOOD WORKS , AIA Board of
Directors: Public, Awareness Commissioner December 2002 – December 2004 ,AIA Design Awards Committee Chair 2003,Lecture Committee Chair 1998 ,By Design Week Committee Chair 1994, 1995 ,Built Environment Education Program Classroom Teacher 1994-1995. AWARDS YOUNG ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR American Institute of Architects, San Diego 2003 .

“Mayman is that guy that owns the phrase JUST FIX IT. His creativity and out the box thinking mixed with a deep passion for educating and lifting the minds of youth has driven him to be super hero not only to the community but more directly to his 2 boys. Mayman in 50% of our WONDER TWINS team the YIN YANG STEVES.”

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