MICROBIOLOGY GRADUATE STUDENTS

BENJAMIN AMERICUS

I am interested in the conservation of wild salmon stocks and the proliferation of sustainable aquaculture.  While sometimes conflicting, these two goals can be pursued simultaneously through the careful anticipation of increased competition, genetic introgression, and disease transmission.  I will investigate two parasites, Myxobolus cerebralis and Ceratomyxa shasta which are transmissible between cultured and wild stocks of salmonids and responsible for extensive mortality among both populations.  I am analyzing gene expression of these parasites during infection in order to develop treatments which will allow aquaculturists to better manage disease.

Dr. Bartholomew:  M.S. candidate; Nash 514; 541-737-9664; americub@oregonstate.edu

KRISTINA BAKER

My research will use omics to study microbial communities in lagoons on the northern coast of Alaska. Seasonal shifts in salinity, temperature, freshwater runoff, and increasing permafrost thaw are all potential factors in shaping these communities. This is part of a larger, Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) study aimed at understanding how these changing factors affect the estuarine food webs.

Dr. Crump:  Ph.D. candidate; Weniger 537, 541-737-2359; bakerkri@oregonstate.edu

 

DAMIEN BARRETT

I am interested in studying the genetic architecture of disease resistance in Salmonids. My research is focused on identifying resistance genes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to the myxozoan parasite Ceratonova shasta.  

Dr. Bartholomew: Ph.D. candidate; Nash 514; 541-737-9664; barredam@oregonstate.edu

LINDSAY COLLART

My project will be centered on volatile organic compounds in cyanobacterial blooms, specifically for freshwater lakes in the Northwest.

Dr. Halsey:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 352; 541-737-1806; collartl@oregonstate.edu

 

JESSE COUTU

I am interested in studying viral latency and the development of novel antiviral therapies that combat this viral strategy of immune evasion. My current research focuses on studying the molecular virology of a recently discovered latency associated factor (ORF6) found in Koi Herpesvirus. I will study ORF6’s function during viral latency with a particular focus on the role of ORF6 in apoptosis.

Dr. Jin: Ph.D. candidate; Dryden Hall 105B; 541-737-6540; coutuj@oregonstate.edu

GARRETT HOLZWARTH

I am interested in industrial and biotechnological uses of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  Our lab has engineered a strain that produces the UV-absorbent compound gadusol.  Gadusol is found in many marine organisms and has potential to serve as a sunscreen which could reduce the risk for skin cancer.  While gadusol is not a normal yeast metabolite, it is made from a central yeast metabolic intermediate.  My research focuses on altering yeast's metabolic pathways to increase production of gadusol, and possibly valuable gadusol dervatives as well. 

Dr. Bakalinsky:  M.S. candidate; Wiegand 214; 541-737-6512; garrett.holzwarth@oregonstate.edu

 

CLAIRE HOWELL

I am working on developing a monitoring protocol for the freshwater fish parasite Ichthoyophthirius multifiliis (Ich). I will be examining the relationship between parasite density, water temperature and salmonid disease rates in the Klamath River system. This project is in collaboration with the Yurok tribe and CA/NV Fish Health Center.

Dr. Bartholomew:  M.S. candidate; Nash 528; 541-737-2977; howellcl@onid.orst.edu

 

KALYN HUBBARD

In collaboration with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs of Oregon Reservation, USFWS, and ODFW, our goal is to discover the role of pathogens (such as the parasitic myxozoan, Ceratonova shasta) in juvenile and pre-spawn mortalities of adult Spring Chinook salmon.   We will use qPCR analyses of both bi-weekly and longitudinal water samples, conduct sentinel fish exposures, and perform necropsies. 

Dr. Bartholomew:  M.S. candidate; Nash 528; 541-737-2977; hubbakal@oregonstate.edu

 

JAYANTHI JOSEPH

I am investigating the pathogenesis of Mycobacterium avium and related species. I am interested in intracellular survival mechanisms and host response.

Dr. Bermudez:  Ph.D candidate; Dryden106; 541-737-6532; josephja@oregonstate.edu

 

BAILEY KEEFE

My research interests include learning more about how pathogens cause disease in both humans and animals. The project I will be working on is looking at the host-microbe interaction between Mycobacterium avium and human respiratory epithelial cells. Specifically, I am looking at their ability to form microaggregates and identifying the proteins and their function used in this process.

Dr. Bermudez:  M.S. candidate; Dryden 106; 541-737-6532; keefeb@oregonstate.edu

HANNA KEHLET-DELGADO

I am interested in the ecology and evolution of Vibrio bacteria, particularly those associated with shellfish, as Vibrio species can cause disease in shellfish. In one project, I am investigating the dynamics of Vibrio populations and the overall microbial communities within shellfish hatcheries in relation to disease events and changes in abiotic factors. In another project, I am sequencing draft genomes of Vibrio isolates and conducting comparative genomic analysis to understand gene differences between isolates.

Dr. Mueller:  Ph.D. candidate;  Nash 446; 541-737-8605; kehleth@onid.oregonstate.edu

BRANDON KIEFT

I am interested in how matter and energy flow through large biological systems, namely the microbial systems that connect the continents to the seas.  I am using -omics to study the turnover of terrestrially-derived organic matter by bacterial communities in estuaries and coastal oceans.  Findings from this research should provide a better understanding of the composition and function of heterotrophic bacterial communities that "eat" and respire all the carbon that is produced on land but washes to the sea.

Dr. Mueller:  Ph.D. candidate;  Nash 446; 541-737-8605; kieft1bp@gmail.com

NICOLE KIRCHOFF

Microorganisms that occupy the vertebrate gastrointestinal tract play an important role in determining their vertebrate host's health.  However, it is unclear how the influence of microbes on host health is related to the ecological success of vertebrates.  I use a salmonid model (i.e., rainbow trout) to quantify the contribution of gut bacteria to the ecological fitness of fishes and how climate change perturbs these contributions.  Ultimately, my work will improve the management and conservation practices of fisheries.

Dr. Sharpton:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 514; 541-737-9664; kirchofn@onid.oregonstate.edu

SCOTT KLASEK

Marine sediments are one of the earth’s largest sources of methane, a greenhouse gas.  Consortia of methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria in marine sediments consume up to 90% of this methane, so comparatively little reaches the overlying ocean.  The microbial community response to methane flux from the subsurface is largely uncharacterized.  I am using high-pressure enrichments and analyzing microbial communities in Arctic sediment samples to investigate how and where these microbes consume methane and how their communities change over time.

Dr. Colwell:  Ph.D. candidate; Weniger 537; 608-609-2474; klaseks@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

GRACE KLINGES

Coral reefs occur in a wide array of hydrologic settings throughout the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans and are exposed to many different environmental stressors, so it is crucial that we understand how biogeography and hydrology affect coral symbiont diversity and community structure. My research will use innovative data visualization methods to evaluate variation in the coral holobiont at local and regional scales throughout the South Pacific.

Dr. Vega-Thurber: Ph.D. candidate; Nash 446; 541-737-8605; klingesj@oregonstate.edu

MATTHEW LEWIS

My research focuses on intracellular pathogenic bacteria.  The mechanisms allowing Mycobacterium to persist within macrophage and amoeba are of particular interest.  I will employ microscopy, and molecular and immunological techniques to elucidate the host-microbe interactions in hopes of reducing disease.

Dr. Bermudez:  M.S. candidate;  Dryden 208; 541-737-8015; lewism2@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

ELIZANETTE LOPEZ

Toxoplasma gondii is currently the second most common foodborne illness in the United States. Utilizing zebrafish as a high-throughput, biomedical model allows for future discovery of drugs to combat the chronic stage of toxoplasmosis. My research aims at improving the current zebrafish model by understanding immunological mechanisms within the organism. 

Dr. Kent:  M.S. candidate; Nash Hall 514; 541-737-9664; lopeeliz@oregonstate.edu

 

REBECCA MAHER

I study how environmental stressors alter the coral host and its associated microbes.  I will be conducting field and tank experiments at the Gump Research Station on Moorea, French Polynesia to investigate how parrotfish predation and nutrient enrichment combine to cause coral mortality.

Dr. Vega-Thurber:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash Hall 446; 541-737-8605; maherr@oregonstate.edu

KATIE MCCONNELL

I am interested in the roles microbial communities play in ecosystems.  My work will focus on links between biogeochemical cycling, viral infection, and endosymbiotic dinoflagellates in overall coral physiology and reef health.

Dr. Andrew Thurber:  M.S. candidate; Nash 446; 541-737-8605; mcconnka@oregonstate.edu

RYAN MCMINDS

I am interested in the evolution of symbiosis and inter-individual cooperation.  More specifically, I study the interactions between corals and their microbial associates, an important and understudied facet of a globally endangered ecosystem, the coral reef.

Dr. Vega Thurber:  Ph.D. candidate;  Nash 446; 541-737-8605; ryan.mcminds@oregonstate.edu

 

ERIC MOORE

Diatoms are among the most important phytoplankton. My research is focused on the behavior of diatoms. Using a wide variety of techniques, I am working to understand the ecology of the diatom life cycle and how diatoms interact with other microbes in the ocean. 

Dr. Halsey:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 352; 541-737-1806; mooreeri@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

LAUREN NORRIS

More and more Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are being used as models in biomedical research. My research focuses on molecular diagnostic testing for Zebrafish pathogens, particularly the sensitivity and specificity of these tests.

Dr. Kent:  M.S. candidate; Nash 526; 541-737-1858; norrisla@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

JULIETTE OHAN

Microbial induced calcite precipitation (MICP) is a technique that induces (introduced or native) microbes to secrete CaCO3 in soils, thereby reducing soil porosity, stiffening and strengthening the soil mass, altering the response of the internal fabric to stress changes, and increasing the dilative tendency upon shear. I am investigating microbial enrichment strategies in model soil columns and later moving to larger field scale experimentation to induce precipitation and characterize the soil’s microbial diversity, distribution, and production capacity for long-term soil stabilization.

Dr. Colwell:  M.S. candidate; Weniger 537; 541-737-2359; ohanj@oregonstate.edu

 

BRYCE PENTA

I am interested in the role of phytoplankton physiology on marine biogeochemical cycles. Currently I am studying phytoplankton physiological responses during acclimation to deep mixing events in the ocean. I plan to extend my research to investigate the contributions of various phytoplankton groups, such as mixotrophs (phytoplankton that can both photosynthesize and consume organic carbon), on ecosystem production. 

Dr. Halsey: Ph.D. candidate; Nash 352; 541-737-1806; pentaw@oregonstate.edu

 

MICHELLE POMBROL

I am interested in the connections between phytoplankton physiology and gene expression and ocean biogeochemical cycles. My research will focus on the role of microbial communities in carbon sequestration to the deep ocean.

Dr. Halsey: M.S. candidate; Nash 352; 541-737-1806; pombrolm@oregonstate.edu

 

TANNER ROBINSON

I am working on learning the ways in which Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 populations adapt to increased cheater loads in quorum sensing dependent growth conditions.  I am doing this through whole genome sequencing of isolates obtained from in vitro evolution experiments, creating mutant strains, and testing them under varying culture conditions.

Dr. Schuster:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 446; 541-737-8605;  robinst2@oregonstate.edu

 

RYAN SIMMONS

My research focuses on the MHC class I antigen presentation pathway. I am interested in the efficiency with which foreign proteins are degraded into peptides, bound to MHC molecules, and presented to the adaptive immune system.

Dr. Dolan:  Ph.D. candidate;  Dryden 106A, 541-737-6532; simmonry@onid.orst.edu

 

PARKER SMITH

I am interested in studying quorum sensing, iron acquisition, and social cheating in Pseudomonas.

Dr. Schuster:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 446; 541-737-8605

 

LAURA TAGGART-MURPHY

I am investigating mucosal immunity and resistance mechanisms to the myxozoan parasite, Ceratonova shasta, in rainbow trout.  My focus is on the role of immunoglobin T (a mucosal immunoglobulin isotype unique to fish) during infection with C. shasta.  I am also interested in characterizing the early and ongoing inflammatory response to different C. shasta genotypes, ad determining if an adaptive immune response provides protection against reinfection.

Dr. Bartholomew:  M.S. candidate; Nash 528; 541-737-2977; taggartl@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

WINNI (LU) WANG

Seagrasses are critical coastal ecosystems that provide goods and services including stabilizing sediments, serving as a habitat for coastal organisms and nursery fishes, and partaking in nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration. Seagrass-associated microbes play a direct role in regulating nutrient cycling and seagrass health. My research aims to elucidate changes in carbon cycling and shifts in the microbial communities of seagrasses in light of eutrophication and ocean acidification. 

Dr. Mueller:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 446; 541-737-8605; wangl5@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

QUINN WASHBURN

The goal of my research is to develop the next generation of high throughput cultivation methods for understanding microbial communities.  I am focusing on methods for quantifying enrichment culture composition in a high throughput format that can be automated and applied to very low cell density cultures.  I am hoping to study dark ocean bacterioplankton with this technology.

Dr. Giovannoni and Dr. Sharpton: Ph.D. candidate; Nash 254; 541-737-3189; washburq@oregonstate.edu

 

WEI WEI

Our lab researches the molecular interactions between the bacterial pathogen Agrobacterium and plants. Agrobacterium causes the disease crown gall on many economically important crops, while simultaneously being the most common tool for making genetically modified crops. Agrobacterium does this by transferring single-stranded DNA and virulence proteins from the bacterium to the plant. My thesis research focuses on plant responses to a novel A. rhizogenes virulence protein, GALLS-CT, that is required for gene transfer to many host plants.

Dr. Ream:  Ph.D. candidate; ALS 1081; Nash 541-737-1792; Nash 446; 541-737-8605; weiw@onid.orst.edu

 

 

MICROBIOLOGY FACULTY

GRAD STUDENTS IN OTHER MAJORS

 

COURTNEY ARMOUR

Dr. Sharpton:  Ph.D. Candidate  Molecular and Cellular Biology; Nash 554; 541-737-8630; armourc@oregonstate.edu

 

 

ANDREW JANIK

My research is investigating the impacts that parasites have on the poor survival of two endangered fishes that are endemic to Upper Klamath Lake, the Shortnosed Sucker (Chasmistes brevirostris) and Lost River Sucker (Deltistes lexatus).  Specifically, heart infections by the nematode Contracaecum multipapillatum, as well as various trematodes.

Dr. Kent:   M.S. candidate; Comparative Health Sciences, Nash 418;  541-737-4305; janika@science.oregonstate.edu

 

ADRIANA MESSYASZ

I am interested in the role of viruses in coral reef health and disease.  More specifically, I want to conduct a time series analysis of viral production, prevalence, and severity in coral reefs and track viral expression levels to find any potential patterns that may aid in understanding corval disease.

Dr. Vega-Thurber:  Ph.D. candidate; Environmental Sciences; Nash; 541-737-7793; messyasa@oregonstate.edu

STEPHEN NOELL

I work with SAR11 bacteria, an ubiquitous group of marine bacteria.  Because of their large global population and the impact this has on the global carbon cycle, the ecology of SAR11 is of interest to me.  I am exploring what kinds of compounds they metabolize using a technique called metabolic footprinting, which employs mass spectrometry to analyze post-growth culture extracts.  I am also interseted in exploring the physiology of SAR11 to better understand how they are able to oxidize such a wide range of compounds, given that they have such microscopic genomes.

Dr. Giovannoni:   Ph.D. candidate; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Nash 250;  405-385-3750, noells@oregonstate.edu

 

TRANG NGUYEN

My research is to evaluate the microbial and matrix regulators of protein degradation in soils as a controller of nitrogen turnover.  I am interested in learning how soil proteins break down under different environmental conditions.  Protein depolymerization was recently recognized as a critical rate-limiting step in the nitrogen cycle before any further mineralization or immobilizatin occurs.  Extracellular protease activity and mineral surface structures are predicted to play an imiportnat role in this process.  I hope to discover how foersted soil environments with wide ranges of mineralogy and microbial composioint, might contribute and characterize this bottle-neck in the nitrogen cycle.

Dr. David Myrold:  Ph.D. Candidate.  Soil Science, ALS 3110A.  trang.nguyen@oregonstate.edu

 

MICHAEL GRAW

Methane in the seafloor is constantly advecting upward from deep reservoirs towards the ocean floor, but very little of it ever reaches the ocean.  Instead, it is oxidized anaerobically in the sediment column by consortia of methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria.  My research combines community ecology approaches with modeling of microbial metabolism to understand how this consortia survives on the low energy yield provided by this reaction and how anaerobic methane oxidation may be affected by climate change, which threatens to destabilize methane reservoirs in shallow sediments.

Dr. Colwell:  Ph.D. candidate; Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry; Weniger 537; 732-977-3488; mgraw@coas.oregonstate.edu

SARAH NALVEN

My research is focused in the Arctic, where I have spent the summers of 2014 and 2015 doing fieldwork.  I am involved in long-term ecological research in the lakes and streams near Toolik Field Station, AK, but my thesis focuses on understanding the mechanisms of soil carbon degradation in the Arctic, which has important implications for carbon cycling and climate change.  Using metatranscriptomic techniques, I am investigating how soil carbon, once leached from soil and dissolved into surface water, is broken down by both microbes and sunlight.

Dr. Crump:  M.S. candidate; Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry; Weniger 529; 541-737-4369; sarahnalven@gmail.com; navlens@oregonstate.edu

 

KARI CAROLA

My current research is on determination of the bioactivity of the ergot alkaloids ergotamine and ergovaline using the zebrafish and bovine embryo models.  These two mycotoxins are the most prevalent alkaloids found in endophyte infected tall fescue grass and cause a myraid of adverse effects in livestock, all of which lead to decreased reproduction efficiency.  The goal of this cross species morphological comparison is to determine whether zebrafish are a good predictive model for bovine developmental toxicity in future studies.

Dr. Craig:   M.S. candidate; Veterinary Medicine; Oak Creek Lab; 541-737-4305; maplek@oregonstate.edu

 

NORAH ABUKHALID 

Dengue virus is the most rapidly spreading arbovirus worldwide with over one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for contracting the virus. Early and rapid detection of dengue is crucial to lessening the burden of this significant pathogen. Early diagnosis allows for patients to receive appropriate care reducing the drain to health systems and the danger of progression to more severe disease. Previously, our lab has developed a rapid assay to detect dengue virus serotype 2. My project is to use reverse transcription recombinase polymerase amplification (RT-RPA) to detect other dengue virus types such as 1, 3, and 4. The RT-RPA assay is a sensitive and specific isothermal reaction capable of differential detection of dengue serotypes in less than 20 minutes with a sensitivity as low as 50 copies. We will use two detection formats to view RT-RPA products and highlight the dynamic nature of the RT-RPA assay. Later, we will use the RPA technology to detect influenza and respiratory syncytial virus in nasal samples.

Dr. Pastey:   M.S. candidate; Comparative Health Sciences, Dryden 106A, 541-777-0941; abukhain@oregonstate.edu

 

MANOJ GURUNG

The human gut contains trillions of microbiota and they contribute to many physiological processes.  Our lab studies the interaction between the immune system, host and gut microbiota.  Currently I am working on the mouse model of norovirus-microbiota interaction using B-cell knock out mice.  In my future project, I will be studying the role of microbiota in different therapeutic agents of type 23 diabetes using "Western diet" induced obese/insulin resistant mice.

Dr. Shulzhenko:   Ph.D. candidate;  Comparative Health Sciences; 541-737-6946; gurungma@oregonstate.edu

 

RECENTLY GRADUATED

 

 Kyle Asfahl

KYLE ASFAHL

My current research focuses on the structure and evolution of bacterial regulatory networks using the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa as a model organism.  I am particularly interested in the mechanisms underlying the evolution of cooperative and competitive traits governed by cell-to-cell communication in bacteria, a process generally referred to as “quorum sensing”.  The goal of my research is not only to obtain critical understanding of bacterial pathogenesis strategies important in clinical settings, but also to gain fundamental insight into the forces driving evolution at the molecular level.

Dr. Schuster:   Ph.D. candidate -- Nash 418;  541-737-4305; asfahlk@science.oregonstate.edu

Lmar Brabak

LMAR BABRAK:  Lmar is a postdoctoral fellow working on the identification, diagnostic testing and function of antigens, at the USDA Lab in Berkeley, California.

I enjoy examining the molecular and cellular basis of microbial pathogenesis. Here is a quote from Dr. Seuss that exemplifies my thoughts on the future: "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.  You know what you know, you are the person who will decide where you go."

Dr. Bermudez:  Ph.D. candidate; Dryden 106A;  541-737-8015; babrakl@onid.orst.edu

 Saaed Banawas

 SAEED BANAWAS

Our research focus is on understanding the molecular mechanism of C. perfringens sporulation, spore germination, and spores resistance. My specific aim in my PhD research is to determine the machinery system of spore germination of spores of C. perfringens food poisoning and non-food-borne gastrointestinal (GI) diseases strains.

 

 

LAUREN BROOKS

An alarming number of people in the U.S. become sick each year from exposure to contaminants resulting from under- or untreated sewage. Current monitoring protocols enumerate indicator bacteria without providing any source information, leaving those interested in remediation without a starting point. For the past three years, I have worked in Long Island Sound to identify sources of indicator bacteria using molecular methods for species identification as a starting point.  This experience has provided me with many insights into the field of source tracking as well as shown me the need for these tools to be developed to the point of standardized implementation.  I am investigating the properties of these markers and their potential for use in future studies as well as try to improve on weaknesses in the current tools for source identification. I hope to continue improving source tracking techniques throughout my dissertation as well as afterward by continuing research in this field by applying these methods to impacted sites.

 

Dr. NATHAN BROWN

Bacteriophages on Earth outnumber the stars in the universe and encode the largest amount of genetic diversity on Earth, which are only two of many reasons that I think they are intrinsically interesting to study.  Beyond their intrinsic value, bacteriophages contribute many practical tools and techniques to molecular biology.  I am interested in building next-generation molecular biology tools by exploiting some of the countless novel enzymes encoded in bacteriophage genomes.

 Sam Bryson

SAMUEL BRYSON

My research focuses on understanding marine microbial systems at scales from individual populations to whole communities. I have been developing proteomic stable isotope probing (proteomic SIP) as a tool to quantify dissolved organic carbon assimilation by specific microbial populations. By using this data in combination with whole community genomics and proteomics, I am connecting the substrate preferences and physiological factors that define the ecological roles of individual populations to whole community population dynamics. 

Dr. Mueller:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 446;  541-737-8605; brysons@onid.orst.edu

 Jessica Chinison

JESSICA CHINISON

I am from Tahiti, French Polynesia.  I am working on understanding Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissius protein secretion, determining their functions and involvement in human pathogenicity.

Dr. Bermudez:  M.S. candidate; Dryden 106A; 541-737-8015; chinisoj@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

MICHAEL DOBIE

My area of research is focused on nitrification, a vital part of the greater nitrogen cycle.  I work with the nitrite oxidizing bacterium Nitrobacter hamburgensis and am interested in how altering components of its growth media effect gene expression.  Transcriptomics and other aspects of molecular biology are central to my research.

Dr. Sayavedra-Soto:  M.S. candidate -- College of Science, Microbiology; Cordley 4097; 541-760-6920; dobiemi@onid.oregonstate.edu

 

CONNOR DRISCOLL

My research focuses on the role of viruses in in cynobacterial blooms.  Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are potential threats to freshwater drinking soureces that often consist of the toxic cyanobacteria Microcystis or Anabaena.  My interest is in discovering new viruses for these hosts as well as understanding host-virus evolutionary dynamics.

Dr. Dreher:  Ph.D. candidate --  ALS 1065;  541-737-1796; driscolc@onid.orst.edu

Jamie Everman  Jamie is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Jewish Hospital in Denver, doing asthma research.

JAMIE EVERMAN

Infectious bacterial pathogens and zoonotic diseases are where my research interests lie. I am fascinated by the mechanisms that pathogens have evolved to manipulate our immune system, and my goal is to be able to work with and conduct research on both the bacterial and the human factors that are utilized during the progression of infectious diseases.

Dr. Bermudez:  Ph.D. candidate; Dryden 106A;  541-737-8015; Jeverman18@gmail.com

Nerissa Fisher

NERISSA FISHER

Phytoplankton physiology is a subject I find most intriguing and the focus of my research.  These photosynthetic unicellular organisms are crucial for supporting marine and terrestrial life by producing approximately 50% of the oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere making them the most important global primary producers. In addition to being the base of all aquatic food webs, phytoplankton are also key players in the microbial loop, biogeochemical cycling, and climatic controls. The components that limit phytoplankton growth are light and nutrients both of which are affected by global climate change.  Studying phytoplankton is important to understand how they will respond to climatic changes because global oxygen levels are dependent on phytoplankton biomass.  My current research focuses on a marine diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, and its response to light limitation more specifically looking at how the allocation of energy to converted into cell biomass.  My main goal is to gain further insight into the physiology behind this diatom species' response to different light levels and continue working in this field to better understand phytoplankton dynamics. 

Michelle Jakaitis Michelle completed her M.S. and is traveling in South America.

MICHELLE JAKAITIS

My research interest is in fish pathology, and I am focusing on the microbial aspects of disease, as well as disease prevention, management, and risk assessments in hatcheries and wild environments. My goals are to continue pursuing these interests either through a research lens or of that of a fish pathologist. I came from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. At the same time, my long-standing fascination with fish drove me to supplement my academic career with marine biology internships. My current project, investigating disease dynamics between hatchery fish and wild fish, aligns these interests and allows me to combine the elegance and versatility of molecular biology with time in the field; specifically exploring the Willamette River Basin.

jakaitim@onid.orst.edu

 

 ZACH LANDRY

 My current thesis project revolves around the use of combined single-cell genomics and culturing techniques as a means of acquiring data for metabolic reconstruction of numerically prevalent, but uncultured organisms from varying environments, including the upper mesopelagic zone of the open ocean.  I am heavily interested in the applications of new technologies to environmental and applied microbiology, and in the future I would be interested in the design and development of technologies specifically intended for these fields.

Dr. Giovannoni:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 254;  541-737-3189; landryz@oregonstate.edu

 

KELSEY MCBEAIN--GRADUATED DECEMBER 2016; WILL BE A JUNIOR SPECIALIST IN ALYSON SANTORO'S LAB AT THE UC, SANTA BARBARA

 

My research focuses on how prey nutrient levels affect predator fitness.  By manipulating the lipid content of Dunaliella teriolecta, I can create energy- rich and energy-poor stock cultures.  By feeding these prey separately to the predator (Oxyrrhis marina) in a two-step continuous culture, I will measure different aspects of predator fitness, such as ingestion and excretion rates as well as lipid concentrations of these predators.  This work will help to understand how food web dynamics will transform in the face of ongoing climate change.

 

OMRAN MUSLIN

I study marine microbial communities, specifically SAR11, the most abundant marine bacteria known.  I investigate their contribution to oceanic carbon cycling and focus on their interactions with the dissolved organic carbon pool.  I use mass spectrometry to detect and quantify osmolytes that are produced in large amounts by most plankton cells making them an important component of the dissolved organic carbon pool.  The streamlined metabolism of SAR11 cells includes specialized pathways for osmolyte oxidation.  I have also developed methods for accurately measuring the natural concentrations of osmolyte compounds in the ocean surface near Bermuda.

Dr. Giovannoni:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 254; 541-737-3189; muslimo@onid.oregonstate.ed

LAUREN NORRIS

More and more Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are being used as models in biomedical research. My research focuses on molecular diagnostic testing for Zebrafish pathogens, particularly the sensitivity and specificity of these tests.

Dr. Kent:  M.S. candidate; Nash 526; 541-737-1858; norrisla@onid.oregonstate.edu

 Megan Prescott

MEGAN PRESCOTT

I currently study virus-host interactions for both human influenza virus and the respiratory syntactical virus (RSV). For the future I would like to continue working in an area involving infectious viral disease.

Aimee Reed Postdoctoral with Dr. Claudia Hase for College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU investigating disease susceptibility of Pacific oysters in light of climate change events that affect the ocean.  

AIMEE REED

My research in Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences focuses on viral diseases, their pathogenesis, and genetic characteristics.  One project focuses on the investigations of Koi Herpes virus latency and reactivation of disease; a second project is investigating a novel viral disease of goldfish that may be associated with tumor development on the skin.  My studies are providing interactions with both the Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Department of Pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and my intent is to continue incorporating these facilities into my future research of viral diseases of fishes.

Dr. Jin:  Ph.D. candidate; Dryden 106A;  541-737-6916; reeda@onid.orst.edu

Sean Roon

Research Assistant in Dr. Jerri Bartholomew's Lab.

SEAN ROON

I have always been interested in epidemiology of disease, and more specifically, the survey and prevention of diseases. Furthermore, I am interested in discovering the behaviors of fish and wildlife leading to the spread of disease along with ecological factors aiding transmission.

 

STEPHANIE ROSALES--GRADUATED, WILL BE WORKING IN DR. REBECCA VEGA-THURBER'S LAB

My research focuses on the viral consortia and microbial communities associated with a marine mammals stranding event. I have identified known viral pathogens in harbor seal brains and two significant bacteria pathogens that have previously not been detected in marine mammal brains, using high throughput sequencing and bioinformatics.  My data shows that bacteria Burkholderia and Coxiella burnetii were significant players in this harbor seal stranding event.  I would like to determine the prevalence and disease progression of these bacteria in marine mammal populations.

Dr. Vega-Thurber:  Ph.D. candidate; Nash 446;  541-737-8605; rosaless@onid.orst.edu

 Sasha Rose

SASHA ROSE

My research interest is focused around the host microbe interaction of Mycobacterium avium and the host macrophage, which is the preferred cell type in the body that this pathogen resides in.   Some of my current projects include understanding biofilm interactions with macrophages (which is drastically different than the free cell interaction), and looking into the mechanisms of resistance that M. avium has to host produced nitric oxide.  I plan on staying in academia with my graduate degree and running a laboratory at a major research university.

Dr. Bermudez:  Ph.D. candidate; College of Science, Microbiology; Dryden 106A;  541-737-8015; roses@onid.orst.edu

 Joe Sexton

JOE SEXTON

I study the evolution of bacterial social behaviors using the production of iron scavenging siderophores in Pseudomonas sp. as a model system. It is theorized that social conflict threatens any given cooperative behavior. Social cheaters, who can defect investment but still reap the benefits provided by the group lead to a burden on the population. This work will provide strong empirical data which can address the role of social conflict of such defectors in nature as well as human infections and contribute to our understanding of the evolution of social behaviors in general.

Dr. Schuster:  Ph.D. candidate;  Nash 418;  541-737-4305; david.sexton@oregonstate.edu

 

DR. PRABHAT TALUKDAR

Dr. Talukdar is now a postdoc in Dr. Michael Konkel's lab at the School of Molecular Biosciences under the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, Pullman.  He will be working with the molecular characterization of Campylobacter jejuni effector proteins and cellular response of host cells.

ptalukdar@vetmed.wsu.edu; prabhat.mbdu@gmail.com

509-335-3522

Dan Tanaree

DAN TANAREE

The Craig lab focuses on (1) grass endophyte toxicity – the Neotyphodium coenophialum is a mutualistic symbiotic fungus living within tall fescue grass, granting the grass unusual resistance to drought, insects, and overgrazing.  This, however, comes at a cost of potentially causing endophyte toxicosis in ruminants, a disease characterized by intolerance of heat and cold and spontaneous abortion of calves and foals.  My research is an expression microarray based study of physiological and toxicological responses to endophyte toxicosis in cattle.  (2) The second area is bioremediation of explosive compounds, which are frequently toxic and accumulate in soil.  Previous research has indicated that the bacterium Sporanaerobacter acetigenes can tolerate extremely high concentrations of the explosive compound RDX and may be capable of breaking it down.  I am  assembling a draft genome of this bacterium utilizing high throughput sequencing.  My goal after graduation is either continued research with a bioinformatics and genetics focus or something related to human health, possibly in medicine.

KEVIN VERGIN

I have worked in Steve Giovannoni’s laboratory for over twenty years studying marine microbiology.  I am now in a Master’s program to learn statistical methods and am applying those methods to develop a bacterioplankton correlation network from nine years of samples from our study site near Bermuda.  My main interest is in microbial ecology as applied to community formation and function in the marine environment. 

 

RORY WELSH

My research focuses on an unusual group of predatory bacteria, Halobacteriovorax.  Halobacteriovorax prey exclusively on a wide range of gram-negative bacteria including many known pathogens.  My research aims to determine the ecological role of these highly motile bacterial predators in the microbiome of their host.  I employ a wide range of methods and technologies utilizing culture dependent and independent techniques to study how cell-cell interactions impact microbial community structure and function.