Peer Advising has concluded for this year. Check back with us in the Fall!

Peer Advisors can help you with...

  • Scheduling and course recommendations
  • General info about the major
  • Course planning in preparation for declaration
  • Research opportunities
  • Information about pre-med or graduate school requirements

Meet with a peer advisor:

Madison Seifer will be our department health worker for Spring 2021. Make an appointment Friday 1-2 PM.


Peer Advisor Hours - Spring 2021

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00-10:00am CLOSED Nicole   Nicole  
10:00-11:00am McKenna     Lauren  
11:00am-12:00pm Anna Alyssa Anna Lauren Anna
1:00-2:00pm McKenna Linnea   Linnea Madison
(Health worker)
2:00-3:00pm Alyssa Linnea Lauren Alyssa  
3:00-4:00pm Nicole McKenna     CLOSED

Peer Advisor Bios:
Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 1, Conservation and Resource Studies minor
Research: Rauri Bowie & Carla Cicero, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ): Researching song variation in songbirds in the genus Vireo, with a focus on mapping those traits to morphology, habitat, and evolutionary relationships.
Post Graduate Plans: Graduate School after a research gap year
Major Courses Taken: IB 104LF, IB 150, IB C156, IB 157LF, IB 160, IB 175LF, UC NRS California Ecology and Conservation (Group B+Field Lab)

Hi! My name is Linnea, and I'm a fourth year IB major, with a minor in Conservation and Resource Studies. I'm from the Central Coast, and I love spending time outdoors, which is what got me into field biology. When I'm not studying or watching TikToks, I like hiking, bird-watching, trying new recipes, and drawing. Feel free to stop by if you have any questions! I'd love to chat about classes with Field Lab components, URAP, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, or if you're interested in spending a semester travelling California and studying cool organisms through UCNRS.

Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 2, Global Poverty & Practice minor
Research: Levine Group, Haas: Focused on hygiene heroes, a curriculum that is shared with countries abroad in hopes of improving hygiene habits and informing them about other health topics.
Walker Sleep Lab, Psychology: Researching the effects of sleep on patients with Alzheimer's.
Post Graduate Plans: Medical School
Major Courses Taken: IB 131, IB 184L, MCB 102

Hi! My name is Nicole and I am a third year majoring in Integrative Biology on the Human Biology track with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice. I was born and raised in the Bay Area. I chose Integrative Biology because I was more interested in the macro side of biology and found the classes within the major applicable to what I want to do in the future! I love to travel, try new food places out in the Bay Area, and explore hiking spots within Berkeley. I have a large interest in housing issues in the Bay Area and how that affects homelessness. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions about pre-med, being in a pre-health fraternity, volunteering, research, or anything else!

Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 2, Molecular & Cell Biology-CDB Track 2, Global Public Health minor, Chicano Studies minor
Research: Barton Lab (MCB): study the evolution of self/non-self discrimination strategies within the innate immune system.
Post Graduate Plans: MPH followed by Medical School
Major Courses Taken: IB 114, IB 128, IB 131/L, IB 132/L, IB 140, IB 169, MCB 102, MCB 104, MCB 136, PH 142

Hello, my name is Ruben Vargas and I am a 4th year double majoring in Integrative Human Biology & MCB Neurobiology with minors in Global Public Health and Chicano Studies. I was born and raised in a small city, Watsonville, which is about 20 minutes away from Santa Cruz. I chose both MCB and IB because they gave me the opportunity to learn biology from the cellular level to more of a big picture perspective. With the little free time that I have I enjoy going on hikes with friends, binging a good show on Netflix, and just kicking back on the glade. Please don't hesitate to approach me if you have any questions or concerns about classes, professors, double majoring or anything else really. I look forward to meeting you!

Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 1
Research: Whiteman Lab, IB: I previously worked on chemosensory feeding assays on Scaptomyza Flava to study the evolution of herbivory in insects. This year I will be working on my senior thesis with Dr. Moe Bakhtiari on balancing selection in wild radishes in California.
Post Graduate Plans: Graduate School, Research
Major Courses Taken: IB 117, IB C144, IB C156, IB 160, IB 168L, BIO3002F: Marine Biology (Univ. Cape Town)

Hi! My name is Anna Leipertz and I am a fourth-year majoring in Integrative Biology with an emphasis in evolution, ecology, and organismal biology. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and outside of academics, I love hiking, reading, running, listening to music, and going to concerts. I chose the IB major because I love all aspects of biology from areas like ecology and evolution to the medical sciences, and I felt the IB major gave me the most freedom to choose classes across this vast range. Please come talk to me about choosing classes, the URAP program, finding summer research and research in general, study abroad ( just completed a semester at the University of Cape Town), navigating academic institutions, or life in general!

Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 2
Activities: Cal Women's Club Soccer, Chi Omega, Cal 1 Card Office student staff member
Post Graduate Plans: Physician Assistant School
Major Courses Taken: IB 114, IB 131/L, IB 132/L, IB 140, IB 164, IB 169

Hi everyone! My name is McKenna and I am a fourth year majoring in Integrative Biology on the Human Biology track. I am from the North Bay and am so grateful that I am able to go to school so close to home. I chose IB because I love learning about the broader aspects of biology and the human body as a whole. Also, I felt that the classes offered in this department better aligned with what I want to do most in the future... being a physician assistant! Outside of class and being a peer advisor, I work at the Cal 1 Card Office over in Sproul and am a member of the Cal Women's Club Soccer team. If you have any questions about what it means to be pre-PA (physician assistant), managing your class schedule, or anything from having a work study job on campus to just needing someone to talk to, feel free to reach out!

Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 1, English
Research: Caldwell Lab, IB: URAP helping maintain the husbandry of stomatopods (mantis shrimp) and pygmy octopuses, observing their behavior and development.
Post Graduate Plans: Vetinary or Medical School
Major Courses Taken: IB 104LF, IB 148, MCB 102, PH 142

Hi, my name is Alyssa! I am a third-year double majoring in Integrative Biology and English. I'm from a small town that has lots of cows near Sacramento, California. I decided to major in IB after participating in the field section of Bio 1B, and I really enjoy the flexibility IB gives me to explore several different areas of biology applicable across humans and other animals! I love to teach, volunteer with animals, read classic literature, learn new languages, and march the tenor saxophone in Cal Band. Please feel free to come talk to me about being pre-health (including pre-vet!), balancing schoolwork with life, double majoring in humanities, or just anything else!

Major(s)/Emphasis/Minor: Integrative Biology-Emphasis 1
Research: Vasquez-Medina lab, IB: currently working on a meta-analysis of telomere length as a measure of chronic stress induced oxidative stress for my honors thesis
Post Graduate Plans: Hopefully a Ph.D. program! I'm really interested in the intersection of aquatic toxicology and environmental epigenetics.
Major Courses Taken: IB 148, IB 151, IB 158LF, IB 162, MCB 140

Hello! My name is Lauren and I'm an IB major from San Diego, CA. I chose IB because the flexibility of the upper division requirements allow students to approach biology from different organizational levels from biochemistry to ecology. I absolutely love being in and around the ocean, so in my free time you can find me surfing, snorkeling, or just chilling on the beach. URAP has been a part of my undergraduate experience since my first semester and I have completed research internships at Duke University and with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, so please come talk to me about undergraduate research opportunities, applying to Ph.D. programs, course planning, the ocean, or anything else!

Madison (Health Worker)
Pronouns: She/her/hers
Major: MCB, Cell & Developmental Biology Track 2
Contact: Make an appointment Friday 1-2 PM or anytime at

My Role as Health Worker:
Health Workers are non-judgemental peers who support people of different backgrounds for a range of health issues by empathizing with their complex challenges as a safe, private resource. This semester I'll be posting weekly funky and informative tips, acting as a liaison between students in MCB/IB and the Tang Center, and helping by providing specific resources to effectively resolve issues!

IB Peer Advising Application

How can I become an IB Peer Advisor?

The application to be a peer advisor for the 2021-2022 school year has closed. You can also talk to staff advisors Zac or Natalie for more information on joining the program.

Information for 2021-2022 Applications

The application for 2021-2022 has closed. You can review our info session from March 31 on YouTube and review the slides with common questions of current peers. Mandatory weekly meetings will be Thursdays 10-11am during Fall 2021.

Application Timeline

April 23 Applications Due
May 3 Interview Week
May 14 Notifications Sent
May 21 Deadline to Accept
August 24 All Day Training

What we look for in an IB Peer Advisor:

Beyond a passion for the IB major and an interest in helping your fellow students, we look for people who are unique, both academically and as a person. Things that can help make an outstanding peer advisor include, but are not limited to: research experience, participation in the honors program, overcoming personal and/or academic adversity, tutoring, participation in clubs on campus, or the transfer student experience. Ultimately, what we want to see on your application is what makes you stand out as a student AND as a person!

Requirements at time of application:

  1. Be declared in Integrative Biology at the time of application, or be eligible to declare by the following fall semester.
  2. Have completed at least one semester at Cal.
  3. Able to work at least three shifts (1 hour each) and attend one 1-hour meeting per week.
  4. Willing to commit to working as a peer advisor for at least two semesters.

* Please note that peer advisor positions are unpaid. IB peer advisors earn academic credit for their work.