Leyla specializes in supporting research, learning, and instruction in the plant science disciplines. She holds an M.S. degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a B.S. degree from Humboldt State University, both in the field of botany. Her research experience reflects her interest in the interplay between plants and human culture, and includes the evaluation of plant species for rooftop gardens and bioenergy production, surveys of culturally significant wild plant populations, and interview-based research on plant use in immigrant communities. She has also worked in community-based crop conservation efforts in Australia, India, Hawaii and California, most recently as a regional outreach coordinator for a network of organic seed farmers across the state.
Leyla joined the Library in 2016 as the inaugural participant in the UCD Library Diversity Fellowship, a mentorship program for new librarians.