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About Lila

Name:                         Lila Higgins
Title:                           Manager, Citizen Science and Live Animals

I'm a Naturalist and I love nature!

I grew up on a farm in England, where I was able to play in fields, hollow trees, and streams. The plants and creatures that surrounded me became my course of study, and the wild fruits and berries became my sustenance (okay I ate real food too)! These experiences fostered a natural sense of curiosity and eventually, along with a wild-haired, bow tie-wearing science teacher, led me to pursue a degree in science. My science of choice was, like my experience growing up in rural England, a little off the beaten path. I chose to study entomology, the study of the world's six-legged animals, at UC Riverside where there were only four other undergraduate students. After graduation I worked in a California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) research lab, where I reared minute parasitic wasps. These wasps were an alternative pest-control means for the grape and citrus pest, the Glassy-winged Sharp Shooter. During my time working at the CDFA I was able to go into classrooms and do outreach, which is when I realized I care more about getting other people excited about insects, than I do about researching them (the fact that I would dream about counting bugs had absolutely nothing to do with it, I swear).

Fast forward eight years, and now I'm living and working in L.A.. When I talk to people about nature in this city, they fall into one of two types. Those that believe there's no nature worth seeing here, and those that give me tips for new places to visit. There's so much nature in L.A., and I'd contend there's lot of nature worth seeing. It might not always be right there in front of your nose, you actually have to go out and find it. That for me is the most exciting part, and the reason why I'm so excited about the North Campus project. We'll have an urban wilderness, right smack-bang in the heart of the city, a place to explore, a place to find out what's living under our noses, and a place to see how nature in our city changes over time.

  • The L.A. river (specifically off Fletcher Avenue)
  • Franklin Canyon Park and the Sooky Goldman Nature Center
  • Deb's Park
  • Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
  • Griffith Park-Trail from Ferndell to Observatory