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UC Berkeley UPMC About Us

Meet The UPMC Team

Dr. Vernard Lewis - Team Leader

crawl space inspection

Vernard inspecting a crawl space at a field site.

Vernard Lewis is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Insect Biology at UC Berkeley, where he received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Entomology. He joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1990 and specializes in structural insect pests and outreach to the public including k-12 students. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 scientific publications and trade magazine articles and given hundreds of professional and educational presentations.

His current research interests involve developing improved methods of termite detection and nonchemical methods of control. Dr. Lewis has membership in numerous professional societies, including being the acting chair for the United Nations expert termite group.


Robin Tabuchi - Lab Manager

Robin Tabuchi nothing

Robin showing termites to junior high students.

Robin graduated with a B.S. in Entomology from UC Davis in 2002. After graduating, she worked for Dr. Michael Haverty at the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. In 2006, she started working for UC Berkeley at the Richmond Field Station in the lab of Dr. Vernard Lewis.

As a Lab Manager, Robin studies the behavioral ecology of subterranean termites and tests the efficacy of baits for subterranean termite control. She also evaluates drywood termite detection devices to find improved methods for locating and treating drywood termites. Robin assumed the role of lab manager shortly after hire in Dr. Lewis’s lab and now supervises student workers, maintains computer and lab equipment, and provides training to both staff and pest management professionals.


Contact Info

  • email: rtabuchi@berkeley.edu
  • work: (510) 665-3661

Sara Moore - Research Assistant

Sara Moore

Sara using the microwave to detect drywood termites.

Sara graduated from UC Berkeley in December 2007 with a degree in Molecular Environmental Biology, emphasizing in biodiversity. She studied molecular approaches to environmental problem solving. She began working in the Lewis Lab in June of 2006 as a student, and now works as a research assistant.

She studies the ecology and behavior of termites, as well as effective methods of detection and control in the lab. Her duties in the lab are varied. She evaluates x-ray, microwave, and infrared technologies for termite detection. She is in charge of executing protocol objectives: installing and checking protocols, data collection and maintenance, and preliminary data and statistical analysis.


Contact Info

  • email: saramoore@berkeley.edu

Michael Haverty - Visiting Researcher

Dr. Michael Haverty

Mike lecturing in Chile.

Dr. Haverty serves the UC Berkeley UPMC as a resident mentor and editor to the laboratory staff. He and Dr. Lewis have been research and education collaborators for nearly 20 years. Together they have served as co-principal investigators on nine grants and cooperative agreements generating over $650,000. They have co-authored 19 publications thus far.

Dr. Haverty received his B.S. in zoology from UC Davis and his M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Arizona. From 1975 until 2005 he was a research entomologist and project leader with the USDA Forest Service. After his retirement he continued working as an emeritus scientist with the Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service in Albany, CA. In addition he holds a courtesy position of Visiting Researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in the Division of Organisms and the Environment at UC Berkeley. Recently he was appointed as an Adjunct Scientist in the Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona. His specialty is the biology, ecology, behavior, chemical taxonomy, and control of termites. He has authored over 140 scientific papers on termites and forest insects and given over 150 presentations at scientific meetings, as well as professional training sessions.

His current research interests involve the diversity of termites in North America and Hawaii, biology and ecology of subterranean termites, and evaluation of bait technology as a means of controlling subterranean termites and protecting wooden structures. Dr. Haverty served as the instructor for a structural pest control course, “Wood-destroying Pests and Organisms: Prevention, Control, Repairs and Corrections,” for Independent Study, University of California Extension from 1981-1995. He was the organizer of the William L. and Ruth D. Nutting Graduate Research Award for Basic Research in Termite Biology under the auspices of the North American Section of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, and chairs the selection committee. He is one of the founding members of the United Nations-sponsored Global Termite Expert Group. He is using his 40 years of post-graduate experience as a consultant and expert witness for issues involving wood-destroying insects, especially termites, in the Pacific Southwest region of North America.


Contact Info

Lori Nelson - Biological Science Technician

Lori Nelson

Lori running hydrocarbon samples in the lab.

Lori is a technician for the USDA Forest Service, researching the chemical ecology of forest insects. She graduated from the UC Berkeley with a BS in Bioresource Sciences. She has worked with Dr. Michael Haverty for many years, studying chemotaxonomy and ecology of termites, bark beetles and other forest and urban insect pests. She conducts chemical analysis of insect and plant-produced compounds using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, providing insight into the interrelationships of forest ecosystems.


Contact Info

  • email: lnelson@fs.fed.us
  • work: (510) 665-3426

Directions to the Richmond Field Station (RFS)


Please notify us via phone or email at least a week in advance if you are planning to visit Dr. Lewis's Lab and the UPMC at RFS. Let us know if you need help with directions beyond what is already provided on this page.


From I-80/580 (coming from Oakland or San Francisco)
From I-80 E, take I-580 towards Richmond-San Rafael (right lanes). Exit on Bayview Ave. (second exit after the freeway splits). At the stoplight, turn left on Bayview Ave. Go straight at the stop sign and continue onto Meade St. Turn left at Seaver Ave. and continue to the right to enter the RFS gate.


From I-80 (Coming from Sacramento)
Take the Carlson Avenue exit. Turn right at the light and then left at Bayview Ave. Go over the freeway towards the bay. Go straight at the stop sign and continue onto Meade St. Turn left at Seaver Ave. and continue to the right to enter the RFS gate.


From I-580 (Coming from Marin County)
Take the Regatta Boulevard exit. Go straight through the light (onto Meade) and take the first right on Seaver Ave. and continue to the right to enter the RFS gate.


From the UC Berkeley Campus
Head west down University Ave. and merge onto the I-580W toward Richmond/Sacramento. Stay to the right when the freeway splits to continue onto I-580 towards Richmond-San Rafael. Exit on Bayview Ave. (second exit after the freeway splits). At the stoplight, turn left on Bayview Ave. Go straight at the stop sign and continue onto Meade St. Turn left at Seaver Ave. and continue to the right to enter the RFS gate.


Access to RFS via UC-RFS Shuttle Bus
You can catch the RFS shuttle bus at the Heart Mining Circle by Evans Hall. The shuttle schedule (the purple RFS icon, last on the list) is very accurate and each one-way trip costs $1.50 - exact change only. When returning to campus, the RFS shuttle stop is located by the front gate at RFS. Please note that the 5:00PM shuttle departing from RFS is the last shuttle that will make a stop at the Heart Mining Circle on campus.


Once you arrive at RFS, the map below will help guide you to our buildings (in blue). You must purchase a parking permit at the main gate entrance for 50¢. The permit is good for one-day parking at RFS. We hope to see you soon!

Sitemap of RFS

RFS sitemap