Laleh Coté

A California Bay Area native, Laleh has always been interested in education, music, writing, and people. In her 20s, she discovered a passion for human health and began studying biology at the local community college. As an undergraduate, she was involved in research in molecular biology; microbial ecology; immunology; and natural resources at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab); the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of California, Berkeley.

She received AS and AA degrees in Science and Liberal Arts from Laney College in 2010, and a BA in Biology from San Francisco State University in 2012. She began her doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 2016, where she is studying Science Education (PhD) and Microbiology (Master’s) in the Baranger Group.

She has 10 years of professional experience working in science education at Berkeley Lab, where she currently serves as the STEM Education Specialist. To fund her research, she has obtained support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP); Berkeley's Graduate Division; the Barbara Y. White Fellowship; and the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI).

She is a Member of the Collaborative Around Research Experiences for Teachers (CARET); Co-chair of the Coalition for Education & Outreach (CEO); Judge for the Cards Against Humanity Science Ambassador Scholarship; and application reviewer for a number of science education/outreach programs.

Her research interests include how undergraduate students learn science through research experiences, with a special focus on mentoring practices; program evaluation/assessment; and access for community college, first-generation students, and other folks typically underrepresented in STEM fields. She is also interested in exploring ways to connect students' culture and community with scientific concepts and research projects. Most recently, she has begun to explore the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on the STEM community, and how this may impact the workforce moving forward. She works with undergraduates on her projects whenever possible.

Specializations and Interests

Science education; mentoring; science research experiences; culture in science; STEM career access


Master's Equivalency (MEQ) in Microbiology, UC Berkeley

B.A., Biology, San Francisco State University

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Laleh Coté