RESEARCH ASSOCIATES, RESEARCH ASSISTANTS AND POSTDOCS

Dr. Julie Alexander, Research Associate

Web Sitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/julie-alexander
Phone:  541-737-1849
Emailalexanju@onid.orst.edu
Education:  Ph.D. Biology Montana State

Generally my research interests lie within the field of disease ecology.  I am fascinated by parasites that exploit multiple hosts during their life cycles as a means of ensuring their reproductive success.  I am interested in factors that drive and determine the outcomes of host-parasite interactions, how interactions may change under different environmental contexts, and how ecological and life history variables influence the evolution of host-parasite dynamics.

 

Dr. Stephen Atkinson, Research Associate

Websitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/dr-stephen-atkinson
Phone:  541-737-1849
Emailatkinsos@oregonstate.edu
Education: Ph.D. Parasitology, University of Queensland, Australia

I research myxozoans - a widespread group of parasitic Cnidaria.  Though they are related to corals and jellyfish, myxozoans are obligate parasites of fish and invertebrates.  My work includes describing new species, exploring the evolutionary relationships between hosts and parasites, and developing methods for detecting myxozoans in environmental samples.

Publications

 

Dr. Karen Dierksen, Research Associate

Websitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/dr-janine-trempy
Emailkaren.dierksen@oregonstate.edu
Education:  Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Ph.D., Microbiology, Oregon State University

My research in the Trempy Lab is focused on developing new strains of lactic acid bacteria of potential interest to the food, dairy and/or pharmaceutical industries.  Our original patent strain, Lactococcus lactis Ropy 352, which produces a unique exopolysaccharide, has been licensed commercially.

 

Dr. Sascha Hallett, Senior Research Associate

Websitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/dr-jerri-bartholomew
Emailsascha.hallett@oregonstate.edu
Phone:  541-737-4721
Education:Ph.D.  The University of Queensland, Australia

I find parasites fascinating organisms and have always been drawn to the aquatic environment. Thus, I am interested in parasites of marine and freshwater fish. Most of my research has focused on one phylum - the Myxozoa and I've never dissected a fish without encountering at least one of these microscopic, spore-forming, endoparasitic metazoans. Over 2000 are found in fish world-wide and most do not harm their host, but there are several that cause serious diseases (Ceratomyxa shasta, Parvicapsula minibicornis, Myxobolus cerebralis) in the Pacific Northwest of North America. My current research focuses on answering questions about these parasites so that we can make informed management decisions and reduce their impact on native fishes.

 
Dr. Richard Holt, Senior Research Associate

Websitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/aahl
Phone:  541-737-0743
Emailholtr@onid.orst.edu
Education:  Ph.D. Microbiology, Oregon State U.

Forty-two years of experience in the study of fish disease as Senior Fish Pathologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Retired).  Previous activities include conducting research in the diagnosis and treatment of fish parasites, pathogens in hatchery fish, detection of pathogens in wild stocks of fish and determining causes of fish losses in Oregon.  Principal area of research and publications has been in studies of the yellow pigmented bacterial fish pathogens such as Flavobacterium psychrophilum agent of cold-water disease and F. columnare, agent of columnaris disease.  Currently participating on a project to study the occurrence of the myxosporean parasite, Ceratomyxa shasta, and its impact on wild salmonid stocks in the Klamath River watershed.

 

Dr. Anne Taylor, Research Associate

Websitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/dr-peter-bottomley
Phone:  541-737-4136
Emailanne.taylor@oregonstate.edu
Education: M.S. BioResource Research, Soil Science, Oregon State; Ph.D. Environ. Engr., Oregon State

Our lab studies the nitrogen cycle in soil, and specifically the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite. This process is known as nitrification and is carried out by ammonia oxidizing archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB). Over the past few years my work has focused primarily on developing tools to distinguish the contributions to nitrification by AOA and AOB. Using these tools I am now investigating how different environmental conditions, such as temperature and soil water content, influence the ecology, physiology, and function of the two groups of nitrifiers in soil. This work has particular significance as global climate change becomes more pronounced. Changes in soil temperature and rainfall patterns will affect the contributions of the AOA and AOB to nitrification, and may have profound effects on nitrogen balance in agricultural and forest soils and the production of greenhouse gasses. 

 

POSTDOCS

 

Dr. Luis Bolanos, Postdoc

Website:  http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/dr-stephen-giovannoni
Phone:  541-737-3502
Emailbolanosl@oregonstate.edu
Education:  Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico
My research interests lie in the understanding of the factors that shape the dynamics and interactions of microbial ecosystems.  I am currently investigating the diversity of marine plankton in the North Atlantic bloom and how it changes at different depths and cycle time points.

 

Dr. Cleo Davie-Martin, Postdoc     

Websitehttp://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/michael-kent
Phone:  541-737-1839
Email:cleo.davie-martin@oregonstate.edu      
Education: Postdoc Department of Microbiology, Oregon State U.
Ph.D. Environmental and Analytical Chemistry
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

My research investigates the microbial cycling of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the oceans under both controlled laboratory and field conditions using proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry (PTR-TOF/MS).  PTR-TOF/MS allows for real time detection of VOCs at trace levels, through which we can determine the production and consumption rates pf VOCs by marine plankton and explore how these change under various conditions and at different stages of the bloom cycle.

Dr. Tyrell DeWeber, Postdoc         

Website:https://sites.google.com/site/tyrelldeweber/
Phone:  541-737-1859
Emailjtdeweber@gmail.com         
Education: Postdoc Department of Microbiology, Oregon State U.
Ph.D. Wildlife and Fisheries Service, Penn State U.
M.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service, Virginia Tech
B.S. Biology, Liberty U. 

I am interested in understanding the effects of human activities on river systems and fish populations to help guide management and conservation.  River system alteration and pollution can result in stressful conditions and increased disease, eventually leading to widespread mortality of wild adult and juvenile fish.  I am working with Dr. Michael Kent in the Microbiology Program at Oregon State University investigating causes of prespawn mortality in Spring Run Chinook salmon in the Willamette River Basin.                      

 

Dr. Christopher Gaulke, Postdoc 

Website:  http://sharptonlab.cgrb.oregonstate.edu/?=gaulkec
Phone:  541-737-8630
Email:  gaullkec@onid.oregonstate.edu
Education:  Postdoc, Department of Microbiology, Oregon State U.; Ph.D. University of California, Davis

A growing body of evidence has identified the gut microbiome as an important factor involved in the maintenance of gastrointestinal homeostasis.  However, relatively little is known about how routine environmental exposures might influence the structure and function of these microbial communities and how these shifts might alter host physiology.  My research employs high-throughput molecular and computational techniques to evaluate the impact of environmental exposures on microbial abundance, function, and host physiology.  These investigations aim to (1) identify potential microbial biomarkers of environmental exposure, (2) Define microbial functions that are associated with host health, and (3) Generate testable hypotheses about how microbial communities interact with their hosts.

 

Dr. Armanda Roco, Postdoc

Website
Phone:  541-737-8568
Emailarmanda.roco@oregonstate.edu
Education: Ph.D. Cornell, Microbiology; Postdoc Dept. of Microbiology, Oregon State U.

I am working on a collaborative project with Dr. Mueller (Microbiology) and Dr. Mryold and Dr. Kleber (Crop and Soil Science).  My Ph.D. research involved the characterization of microbial communities undertaking denitrification in soils under varying environmental conditions.  I employed the use of genome sequencing, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and gas analyses to complete the research.  At present, I am working on a mass spectrometry-based proteomic project with the ultimate goal of understanding the relative contributions, both physical and biological, of protein turnover in soils of varying nitrogen availability. 

 

Dr. Justin Sanders, Postdoc

Websitehttp://www.justinlsanders.com; https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Justin_Sanders
Phone:  541-737-1859
Emailjustin.sanders@oregonstate.edu   
Education: Postdoc Dept. of Microbiology, Oregon State U.
Ph.D. Microbiology, Oregon State University

As a public health microbiologist I learned firsthand the impacts of infectious diseases.  I came to OSU to study parasitology with Dr. Michael Kent.  I discovered the value of the zebrafish as an in vivo model to study numerous characteristics of pathogens, primarily the Microsporidia.  I am currently working with Dr. Brian Dolan to study the immunological effects of chronic infectious disease and further develop the tools available for immunological studies using zebrafish.  I am also working with several collaborators at OSU as well as nationally to develop a new in vivo model for Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that infects an estimated one-third of the human population, with the goal of developing drugs to treat the chronic stage of the infection.

 

 

 

Dr. Jimmy Saw, Postdoc
Website: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/dr-stephen-giovannoni
Phone: 541-737-3189
Email: sawj@oregonstate.edu
Education: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Microbiology, University of Hawaii at Manoa,
Marie-Curie Incoming International Postdoctoral Fellow (Uppsala University, Sweden)

My research project focuses on understanding the interaction of SAR11 bacterial clade with dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean. I am particularly interested in analyzing the evolutionary ‘hotspots’ within the genomes of divergent SAR11 strains in the ocean to understand how these genomic regions may play a role in shaping their metabolic capabilities and ultimately on how they break down DOM. I am also interested in evolutionary forces shaping these regions. We plan to carry out deep sequencing of single-cell genomic and metagenomic libraries that will be generated from an upcoming cruise to Bermuda as part of the BIOS-SCOPE research collaboration.

 

 

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

 

Ryan Craig, Faculty Research Assistant

Website: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/aahlEmail:
Phone:  541-737-0743
Email:  ryan.craig@oregonstate.edu

Education:  B.S. Environmental Science, Oreogn State U.

As a research assistant at the JL Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Lab, I am responsible for the daily animal husbandry, maintenance of the facility, and assisting researchers with experimental design. In addition, I am involved in the field work for projects monitoring the prevalence of Ceratonova shasta, its invertebrate host, and the effect of the parasite on salmonids in the Klamath River.

Publications:

Bruce A. Menge, Sally D. Hacker, Tess Freidenburg, Jane Lubchenco, Ryan Craig, Gil Rilov, Mae Noble, Erin Richmond (2011). Potential impact of climate-related changes is buffered by differential responses to recruitment and interactions. Ecological Society of America 81(3) 493-509.

 

Fabian Martinez, Faculty Research Assistant

Website:  http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/bruce-geller
Phone:  541-737-1846
Email: martinfa@oregonstate.edu
Education:  B.S. Cell and Molecular Biology, U. of Northridge

The work I am doing in the Geller lab involves testing PPMOs (peptide-conjugated phophorodiamidate morpholino oligomer) against multi-drug resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria. Molecular and biotechnology techniques coupled with in-vitro/ in-vivo is being utilized to test these PPMOs. Using antisense tech as a means to neutralize essential genes to kill the bacteria. 

MARC Scholar; Dexamethazone protects neonatal hypoxic eschemic brain injury via L-PGDS-dependent PGD2-DP1-PERK signaling pathway. PLOS One. Loma Linda.

 

 

Dr. Lixin Li, Faculty Research Assistant   

Website: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/bruce-geller
Phone:  541-737-1846

Emaillili@oregonstate.edu 
Education: M.S. University of Southern China, School of Medicine
M.D. University of Southern China, School of Medicine

I am working on antisense effects on multi-drug resistance bacteria.  Basically, synthetic nucleotide analogs are utilized to target specific antibiotic resistant genes, and the effects are tested, using molecular and cellular biotechnology and rodent models.

 

Ruth Milston-Clements, Faculty Research Assistant   

Web Site: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/aahl
http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/ruth-milston-clements-0
Phone: 541-737-8630
Emailaahl.manager@oregonstate.edu      
Education: B.S. Environmental Science, Lancaster University
M.S. Fisheries Science, Oregon State University Department of Fish and Wildlife

Worked for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the OSU Department of Integrative Biology and the Crop and Food Research Institute in Nelson, New Zealand; before starting my current position in the J.L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at OSU.  As Lab Manager, I am responsible for maintaing the research facility and physical plant; coordinating resarchers, and ensuring proper care and health of the aquatic animals.  My research interests are focused on the effect of environmental stressors such as temperature or pollutants on the immune systems of aquatic animals.

 

Emily Schmeltzer, Faculty Research Assistant

Websitehttp://oregonstate.edu/microbiology/vegathurberlab/
Phone:  541-737-7793
Emailschmelte@oregonstate.edu
Education:  B.S. Biology and B.A. Spanish, Univ. of New Mexico; M.S. Marine Science, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (CSUMB)

My research interests lie in marine disease vector ecology on tropical coral reefs.  In Dr. Vega-Thurber's lab I assist on multiple projects focusing on coral-associated microbes and how these microbial communities respond to nutrient exposure, coral bleaching events, and varying predation pressures.

 

 Virginia Watral, Faculty Research Assistant

Website: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/michael-kent
Phone: 541-737-1858
Emailwatralv@oregonstate.edu
Education:

I have been involved with the study of the diseases of salmonids and zebrafish for the past 30 years.

Currently the focus of my research has been on the impacts of the diseases of zebrafish on experimental outcomes due to non-protocol induced variation and the development of specific pathogen free fish lines to aide in alleviating this problem.  I am also investigating various drug treatments and disinfectants for their potential to control zebrafish diseases. Most recently I have been working on transmitting and identifying the etiological agent causing intestinal tumors in zebrafish. In the past I have also conducted numerous field studies including studying the lifecycles and possible effects of parasites on endangered Klamath Lake suckers and determining a parasitic causation of skeletal deformities in Willamette River fishes. Most of these studies necessitate the need for a zebrafish disease facility which I maintain and manage.

 

Dr. Xie Zhangxian, Research Assistant-RETURNED TO CHINA TO COMPLETE STUDIES

Website:  http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/dr-stephen-giovannoni
Phone:  541 737 3502
Emailxiezh@oregonstate.edu
Education:  B.S. Marine Science, Xiamen University, China; Ph.D. Environmental Science, Xiamen University, China

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean contains as much carbon as CO2 in the atmosphere (700 vs 750 billion tons).  Marine microbes are greatly involved in the carbon cycling of marine DOM.  My research in the Giovannoni Lab is on the metabolism of DOM by marine microbes, particularly the most abundant SAR11 bacteria.  Applying mass spectrometry, we can determine DOM produced and/or consumed by marine bacteria which will improve our understanding of the roles of marine microbes in the carbon cycle.