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Rebecca Rivera PhD

Research Scientist II

Marine Veterinary Virology

Rebecca started workin on her bachelor's degree at age 16 where she had the opportunity to work on a molecular genetics related project entitled “Reconstructing the Population History of Puerto Rico by Means of mtDNA Phylogeographic Analysis.”  In 2000 she got a Travel Award to present her data at the 50th Annual Congress of the American Society of Human Genetics Project later published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

By age 20 she was accepted at U.C. DAVIS to do her Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology with a pre-doctoral NIH grant.  There her work was mainly immunology and virology related. She focused on vaccine developments for HIV-1, HCV and HPV.  Rebecca graduated in 2006 and her Dissertation title was Immunogenic Properties of a Synthetic Peptide Mixture Derived from the Hypervariable Regions of HIV-1 Envelope Glycoprotein gp120.

Since then she’s been at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, first as a Research Biologist in 2006, then as a postdoctoral research associate in 2007 and now as a Laboratory Manager/Research Scientist II, looking for viruses that may affect marine mammals.




Rebecca Rivera

Major Research Areas


Ph.D.,  Comparative Pathology, University of California, Davis