About the Department

The Biological Sciences department mission is to engage and foster our students in an inclusive environment to learn more about the biological sciences, encourage critical thinking about how life functions, and help students become scientifically literate citizens who can make informed decisions about biologically related issues.

The Biology Department helps students explore biology every semester through a variety of unique courses. Our faculty have a diverse array of experience; some worked for years in industry before coming to Orange Coast, while others come from a background of academic research.

For more information about being a biology major, view Biology Majors: degrees and courses

The Marine Science Department and the Environmental Science and Ecology Department also offer courses on biological topics that cover their more specific disciplines.
For more information on which course is right for you, talk to one of Orange Coast College’s academic counselors, consult the college catalog, or contact an instructor (see faculty listed below) that is currently teaching the course you're interested in taking.

Biology Faculty

Baker, Cherryl - email cbaker@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-0202 x21283 / Office: Bio Sci 212B

Bialecki, Mike - email mbialecki@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-0202 x21213 / Office: Bio Sci 212A

Blystone, Allissa - email ablystone@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-5097 / Office: Bio Sci 209C

Boyer, Derek - email dboyer@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 714-7367 / Office: Bio Sci 212A

Elliott, Kelli - email kelliott@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 714-7441 / Office: Bio Sci 212C

Goerrissen, Jan - email jgoerrissen@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-0202 x21162 / Office: Bio Sci 212C

Lew, Chih - email clew7@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-0202 x25069 / Office: Bio Sci 212B

Lovero, Karissa - email klovero@cccd.edu / phone (714) 714-7371 / Office: Bio Sci 212D

Parsell, Jill - email jparsell@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-0202 / Office: Bio Sci 209C

Wells, Julie - email: jwells@occ.cccd.edu / phone: (714) 432-0202 x23239 / Office: Bio Sci 212D





Ahad, Sally - email sahad@occ.cccd.edu

Allen, Bob - email rallen48@occ.cccd.edu 

Caldani, Patricia - email pcaldani@coastline.edu

Djang, Stephane - email sdjang@cccd.edu

Gardner, Manuela - email mgardner22@cccd.edu 

Haeri, Shadi - email shaeri@occ.cccd.edu 

Knauer, Mary - email mknauer@occ.cccd.edu

Lewis, Kacey - email klewis74@cccd.edu 

Madsen, Brenda - email bmadsen@occ.cccd.edu 

Michelotti, Ron - email rmichelotti@occ.cccd.edu

Millard, Laura - email lmillard@cccd.edu 

Moniz, Pam - email pmoniz@occ.cccd.edu 

Navidnia - email snavidnia@coastline.edu

Nowroozi, Nakisa - email nnowroozi@occ.cccd.edu 

Salcedo, Daniel - email dsalcedo7@coastline.edu


Barba, Nakia - email nbarba@cccd.edu 

Pham, Duy - email dpham@occ.cccd.edu / phone (714) 432-5095 x25095

The Orange Coast College Biology Department would not be where it is today without the contributions of the many emeritus faculty who have served the department over the decades:
  • Marc Perkins, 2002-2023
  • Farah Sogo, 2000-2023
  • Sharon Daniels, 1973-2011
  • Ted Bandaruk, 1971-2010
  • Nancy Kryder, 1973-2009
  • Ann Harmer, 1978-2007
  • John Lenanton, 1970-2006
  • Frank Visco, 1968-2004
  • Norm Cole, 1973-2004
  • Don Collins, 1969-2004
  • Lance Gilbertson, 1965-2002
  • Betty Yost, 1976-1990
  • Joan Pontney, 1968-1981
  • Lloyd Smith, 1956-1980


About the STEM Academy

​The Orange Coast College STEM Academy serves as an academic support program that connects STEM-declared and/or STEM-interested students to the resources and tools they need to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses offered at the college.  

Interested in joining the STEM Academy and want to know if you qualify? Click on this link to learn more.

Research Symposium

Research Symposium

The Giles T. Brown Student Project and Research Symposium provides a venue for students from any field at OCC to showcase work they've done in class or independently with faculty or staff mentors.

  • April 26, 2024
  • College Center, 3rd floor


Join us on canvas for more details. 

About Project RAISE

Project RAISE integrates a variety of services and project components to increase the number of Hispanic/Latinx/a/o/e and low-income STEM students and increase persistence, retention, and graduation rates among participants.

Students can engage in:

  • Outreach visits to CSUF for presentations and lab tours and outreach presentations at partner community colleges
  • Undergraduate Research Program (URE), an 8-week summer research experience guided by CSUF faculty
  • RAISE Transfer Program (RTP), a peer advising and academic support program for students who transfer to CSUF
  • Internship Preparation Program (IPP), a program to prepare RTP participants to pursue and participate in internships in STEM
  • Research Preparation Program (RPP), a program to prepare RTP participants to pursue and participate in research activities in STEM

Click on the following link for more information.