Michele is an evolutionary biologist. She is interested in the evolution of symbiosis and biodiversity. Michele joined the foundation as a fellow for the Science Program to help explore opportunities for foundation impact in symbiosis research.
Previously, Michele studied symbiosis systems associated with coral reefs. Many organisms host algal symbionts that allow them to survive in tropical oceans. Michele studied evolutionary patterns to understand how these relationships helped build such complex communities in nutrient poor environments and why they are under threat.
As part of various interdisciplinary research groups, Michele incorporated and emphasized capacity building as part of scientific research in the developing world. She is also interested in increasing diverse engagement in science through citizen science projects.
Michele graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in molecular and cell biology and a PhD in integrative biology.