Technology & Innovation in the Silicon Valley:
Meet Our Experts
Aaron Pomerantz is a National Geographic grantee and PhD student at UC Berkeley’s Department of Integrative Biology. His research is focused on structural coloration and wing transparency in butterflies. He also applies novel technology to conduct fieldwork in remote locations of tropical rainforests, such as the origami-based portable Foldscope microscope and handheld gene sequencers. Prior to starting his doctoral program, Aaron spent over two years leading expeditions as a field biologist and science reporter in the Peruvian Amazon, based primarily at the Tambopata Research Center. His work has been featured in media outlets such as the BBC, PBS Nature, CNN, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Buzzfeed. His motto: “The coolest discoveries are the ones you make.” Aaron will join the Technology and Innovation workshop in the Silicon Valley.
National Geographic Emerging Explorer, engineer, physicist, and inventor Topher White has come up with an ingenious method of detecting illegal logging and poaching in remote rain forests, using recycled cell phones. He is the Founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Rainforest Connection whose mission is to stop illegal logging and poaching operations around the world—from Indonesia to Brazil. Topher was named an Engineering Hero by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his work. Prior to launching Rainforest Connection, he worked at the Department of Energy and Stanford’s SLAC National Accelerator Lab on high energy physics, and at the ITER Organization in France on fusion power. Topher will join the Technology and Innovation workshop in the Silicon Valley.