Our Team

Ocean Exchange Team

Regina Wetzer

Director, Marine Biodiversity Center at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Regina Wetzer is Associate Curator and Director of the Marine Biodiversity Center at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (LACM).

Since high school Regina has been fascinated with invertebrates — their bizarre forms and crazy life histories. She was introduced to marine field work in the Sea of Cortez as an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University and fell in love with both invertebrates and exotic places.

After completing a Master’s Degree at California State University Long Beach working on gills of snails, followed by a year working for a Southern California supplier of marine invertebrates for scientific research, she joined the LACM as Curatorial Assistant in Crustacea. She moved to the San Diego Natural History Museum as Senior Invertebrate Collections Manager, and completed her Ph.D. at the University of South Carolina on molecular and morphological systematics of crustaceans.

Returning to the LACM in late 1999, she works with an extraordinary team of Invertebrate Collections Managers who collectively oversee, curate, and manage the great diversity of animals (35 phyla) in the LACM marine invertebrate collections. LACM holds tens of millions of such specimens, some dating from as long ago as the Ediacaran (542 mya) to the present day.

Her research interests include exploring evolutionary hypotheses involving previously unexplained life history traits, homoplastic morphological features, and biogeographic distributions.

In 2016 Wetzer and her team launched the Diversity Initiative for the Southern California Ocean (DISCO) at the LACM. This research initiative is greatly enhancing biodiversity documentation in the marine environment by applying modern genetic technology.

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Ocean Exchange invites you to learn more about Awards Program, our ecosystem and success of our award winners and participants. Together, we can chart a powerful course to help ensure the future of our oceans and the Blue Economy.

“Ocean Exchange has a platform to enable people with information that they need to know about the ocean and then to showcase new technologies that are on the forefront of really helping the ocean and the planet.”

“The quality of the content and the people who are involved with Ocean Exchange is all high end.”

“Besides funding, Ocean Exchange provides access to a wide area network of incredibly talented people in organizations that really do just want to help people.”

“Ocean Exchange is really about helping the little guys grow and in so doing, helping the big guys be better ocean citizens.”

“Ocean Exchange seems to be much more focused on bringing to light under-capitalized, wonderful new technology ideas. And it’s all about two-way access to this new technology and to the people who can help with the experience to grow that technology.”

“Ocean Exchange is a force multiplier to enable sustainable innovation.”

“Ocean Exchange is a global, novel innovation forum that has a greater ability to attract a broader range of impactful stakeholders than any other event that’s out there.”

“Unquestionably, one of Ocean Exchange’s primary strengths is how it brings together people from different paths. That makes its event a delegator experience as well as experience for an innovator or awards nominee.”

“Ocean Exchange is entirely different from any of the other organizations that I’m involved in. It is about sustainable innovation. I think it’s also very different in the extremely broad range of stakeholders that it involves.”

“There’s nothing better than going to an event or engaging with people so you walk away and say, ‘Wow!’”