Lab personnel

Current lab members

Elizabeth MacDonald
Laboratory technician

37824388_10156631799646974_6258065360872800256_nContact info
Office location: BRB 222

Liz is a technician in the Bhatnagar lab working on examining the physiological characteristics of fungi relating to their succession patterns during plant litter decomposition. She has a BS in Microbiology from the University of Minnesota, where she became interested in fungi while doing an undergraduate research project on Selenium-tolerant microbes with Dr. Cara Santelli. When not in the lab, she enjoys drinking too much iced coffee, hanging out with her cat, and making music. Her favorite mushroom is Lion’s Mane.

Colin Averill
Postdoctoral Research Associate
NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow

Contact info
Office location: BRB 223

Colin is a microbial ecologist working at the ecosystem scale. He is currently focused on how ectomycorrhizal fungi compete with other soil microbes to alter ecosystem carbon storage. He loves pizza. Visit his personal website here.

Sasha Vivelo
Ph.D. student, EBE program

Contact info
Office location: BRB 223

Sasha is a PhD student studying molecular evolution and ecology. She previously researched the evolution of the Denisovan genome in the lab of Dr. Chris Baysdorfer at California State University, East Bay. She has an MS in cell and molecular biology and an MA in biological anthropology, both from Cal State East Bay, and a BA from Columbia College in Missouri. A desire to study the molecular genetics of biodiversity and environmental preservation led her to the Talbot lab, where her current research focuses on the phylogenetic pattern of fungal succession in leaf litter. Sasha’s personal website is where she blogs about science, the outdoors, and balancing grad school and family life. Her favorite mushroom is chicken of the woods. Visit her personal website here.

Reagan Bandy
Ph.D. student, MCBB program

Contact info
Office location: BRB 111

Reagan first became interested in fungi through an undergraduate research program at the University of Texas at Austin where she studied secondary metabolites produced by endophytic fungi. In the Talbot lab, she works on identifying bacterial and fungal metabolites produced during plant litter decomposition and investigating what role these metabolites might play in species interactions. Reagan has a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from UT Austin and enjoys eating breakfast tacos.

Zoey Werbin
Ph.D. student, EBE program

brazil_beetlesContact info
Office location: BRB 111

Zoey is a PhD student working on forecasting changes in soil microbial communities in space and time, using data from NEON sites. This project is part of the Near-Term Ecological Forecasting Initiative (NEFI), in collaboration with the Dietze lab and the Cary Institute.
She has a BA in Biology from Swarthmore College, where she worked with paleobiologists to explore how the current mass extinction compares to previous mass extinctions in the fossil record. She recently interned at a NASA-funded biogeochemical data center at Oak Ridge National Lab. Her favorite mushroom is the crown-tipped coral.

Demetrius Dimucci
Ph.D. student (Segre lab), Bioinformatics Program

Contact info
Office location: BRB 223

Demetrius studied molecular biology with a primary focus on cancer at UCSD. Now he is a student in the Bioinformatics PhD program. Currently, he uses machine learning methods to predict the outcomes of fungal interactions in the lab.

Former lab members

Carolyn A. Zeiner; Postdoctoral Researcher (2015-2018)
Currently: Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, St. Thomas University

Maria O. Garcia; Lab manager (2014-2017)
Currently: Ecovative, NY

Aine Russell; UROP student (2015-2017)
Currently: Master’s student, School of Public Health, Boston University

Shayan Avanessian; UROP, BA/MA in Biotechnology student (2015-2017)
Currently: Research assistant, Proteomics Platform, Broad Institute

Shannon Rainsford; UROP, BA/MA in Biotechnology student (2016-2017)
Currently: Research assistant, Ohana Biosciences

Cheta Siletti; UROP student (2015-2016)
Currently: Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, Dana Farber Institute

Elizabeth Diaz; NSF-REU in Chemistry Fellow (Summer 2017)
Currently: Undergraduate student, UC Davis

Stacey Cruz-Ramirez; NSF-SURF Fellow (Summer 2017)
Currently: Undergraduate student, University of Puerto Rico

LeAnna Cates; NSF-BRITE Fellow (Summer 2016)
Currently: Master’s student, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Jonathan Lopez-Duran; NSF-SURF Fellow (Summer 2016)
Currently: Undergraduate student, University of Puerto Rico

Jose Diaz; NSF-REU in Chemistry Fellow (Summer 2016)
Currently: Undergraduate student, UC Santa Barbara

Esther Plotnick; RISE intern (Summer 2016)
Currently: Undergraduate student, Harvard University (starting Fall 2017)

Ameerah Giadat; GROW intern (Summer 2016)
Currently: High school student, Billerica High School

Caylon Yates; Senior Lab Technician (2015-2016)
Currently: Ph.D. student, Penn State University

Jennifer Haskell; Volunteer Undergraduate Researcher (2015-2016)
Currently: Ph.D. student, UC Davis, Soils and Biogeochemistry

Lidimarie Trujillo; NSF-SURF Fellow (Summer 2015)
Currently: Ph.D. student, University of Florida, Microbiology and Cell Sciences

Christopher Thomas; NSF-SURF Fellow (Summer 2015)
Currently: Ph.D. student, Boston University, Cell and Molecular Biology

Vanessa Ford; NSF-REU in Chemistry Fellow (Summer 2015)
Currently: Undergraduate student, UMass Amherst

Anna Yang; RISE intern (Summer 2015)
Currently: B.S. student, Stanford University




Recent Posts

  1. Colin’s paper on ectomycorrhizal and soil C responses to N deposition is published! Leave a reply
  2. Sasha wins Biogeoscience Travel Award Leave a reply
  3. Sasha wins MSA Graduate Fellowship! Leave a reply