Skip to content

Who We Are

UPP Co-Directors



left to right: Marie Clifford, Susan Waters, UPP intern Tessa Forbes

Susan Waters:

Susan is a co-founder/co-director of UPP, with Marie Clifford.  She received her PhD from the University of Washington Biology Dept. in 2013 and currently teaches ecology and experimental design at the UW Bothell campus. She loves pollinators, forests, fields, species interactions, and her P-Patch community garden (Picardo).  As a former k-12 biology teacher, she also loves talking about ecology with anyone and everyone, and is avidly interested in persuading people that ecology is relevant to their lives.  Susan’s research area is plant community ecology, with a focus on how plant-pollinator interactions will be affected by global change (e.g., climate change, invasions).  She also loves hiking, playing Irish fiddle, and hanging out with her family.

Marie Clifford:

Marie is a PhD student in Biology at the University of Washington, and one of the co-founders/co-directors of the Urban Pollination Project. Along with Susan, she oversees the project in its entirety, and really (really!) enjoys the great interactions she gets to have with the P-Patch gardeners, teachers, and students that are citizen scientists with UPP. She gets deep enjoyment out of mentoring UPP interns in their independent research projects, and doing educational outreach with UPP in classrooms and community centers all over the city. Marie is passionate about equal access to education for all people, and is excited to expand UPP’s reach to include more folks that are traditionally underrepresented in science. As a PhD student, her dissertation research looks at how the sensory systems of insect pollinators and pests process cues from plants they do and do not visit, and how this affects the evolution of chemical cues in the passionflowers. She hopes that this will help us better attract beneficial insects to our crops. In her free time, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, fitness, and programming.

UPP Interns

Tessa Forbes:

photo (2)

I’m a senior and an undergraduate in the Biology department at the University of Washington and I’m also working on a History degree. I intend to go to veterinary school on the east coast after I finish all that up. I love wildlife and animals of all kinds and I hope be to a wildlife veterinarian and work with birds after I complete all of my education. I’ve been working on the Urban Pollination Project for three years and am the intern in charge of field research coordination as of this summer 2014.


Olisavia Veliz:

oli website pic

I’m a senior biology major at UW and I’m interested in ornithology, conservation, and microbiology. I love music and am a member of the Husky Marching Band. In my free time, I like to go birding and explore the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been with UPP for three years and I’m the Outreach intern for this summer 2014.


Delaney Merrick


I’m a senior at the UW with a major in International Studies and an emphasis in Environmental Studies. I have a strong interest in environmental movements and in non-profits and I have interned and worked as an environmental educator for the Mercer Slough, as a fundraising intern at Fuse Washington, and in corporate affairs at Sapphire Energy (an algae biofuel company). In my free time I spend a lot of time doing volunteer work for my sorority Alpha Omicron Pi, and I also spend as much time as possible outdoors, whether its hiking, sailing, or surfing. I love them all! I am the Development and Communications intern for this summer 2014.


Elliot Keder


Elliot is an undergraduate informatics major at the University of Washington. With experience in software, database, and web development, Elliot has recently joined the UPP team as a technology intern. His interests include hiking, camping, and cutting edge technologies.


Emmi Lia

emmi's website bio

“As a senior at the University of Washington majoring in Evolution, Ecology and Conservation Biology, my interests lie in wildlife conservation with a focus on the intersection between urban built environments and natural green spaces.  I am enthusiastic about the environmental benefits of urban homesteads (having come from one myself) and p-patches.  I plan to continue my education in biological research upon graduation next year.”


Kaylie Lungberg


Ever since I was old enough to hold a shovel, I have been gardening with my family. As I grew older, my fascination with plants and animals alike grew and I decided to learn more about this interest through my studies and am currently majoring in Biology (Physiology) at the University of Washington. My work with UPP has allowed me to learn a great deal about pollinator ecology and has even bloomed into my own independent research project; attempting to quantify the impact of pesticide use on urban pollinators. 


Ashley Powell


Ashley Powell is a senior at University of Washington majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, and a minor in Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management. Born and raised in the Pacific NW her love for nature came at an early age. Her interests lie in building collaborative bridges and partnerships between groups of people that otherwise may not be actively involved in conservation of the world’s incredible biodiversity. When not swarmed by the honeybees at the apiary on campus, she is Vice-President of Beekeeping at UW (RSO). She is always working on outreach events for the public to learn about the importance of maintaining honeybee health & native bee diversity. She is also an active volunteer, in her second field season, for WDFW and Northwest Trek surveying for native amphibian species. She is currently a candidate for the JBLM Fish & Wildlife Ecological Field Work Certificate and Field Assistant for Beesearch: The Search for the Western Bumblebee (Summer 2014). Ashley’s work with UPP is overseeing a group of citizen scientists at her CrossFit gym, Tacoma Strength & Conditioning, to collect data this summer on the young, freshly planted tomatoes! Her goal is to get a grasp for what bumble bee species are visiting the plants, as she works to restore the area into a native pollinator garden both for the gym and [tentatively] the City of Tacoma.

More intern bios to come!