Lab personnel

Current lab members

Maria Garcia
Lab supervisor

Maria O. GarciaContact info
Lab phone: 617-353-2346

Maria first began working with mycorrhizal fungi as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Kathleen Treseder’s lab at the University of California, Irvine.  In the past, Maria has examined the ectomycorrhizae of Loblolly Pine from the Duke Forest of North Carolina and Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pine from the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon. Her research has taken her on mushroom hunts in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Guatemala, and Spain. Her main interests are Mycology, Forests, Biogeochemistry, and Climate Change. She has a MS in Forest Science from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University and a BS in Earth and Environmental Science from UCI.  She loves visiting the forest and coming across interesting sporocarps— especially the edible kind. Her favorite mushrooms are chanterelles, earthstars, and elfin saddles. Visit her personal website here.

Colin Averill
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.

Carolyn Zeiner
Postdoctoral Research Associate

Contact info
Office location: BRB 223

Carolyn is a environmental microbiologist focusing on fungal biogeochemistry.  After earning her BS and MS in environmental engineering, she worked for six years as a consultant on Superfund sites in New York Harbor conducting geochemical site characterization and sediment remediation design.  She then completed her Ph.D. with Dr. Colleen Hansel at Harvard University, where her research utilized quantitative, comparative proteomics to investigate the mechanisms of manganese and carbon oxidation by filamentous Ascomycete fungi.  In the Talbot lab, she works on identifying the proteomic and metabolomic signals that drive succession patterns among fungal communities in plant litter decomposition.

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.

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.

Shannon Rainsford
M.A. student, Biotechnology Program

shannon_picContact info
Office location: BRB 211

Shannon is a senior in the BA/MA Biochemistry and Molecular Biology/Biotechnology program and a minor in Computer Science. She is currently researching the relationships between fungal decomposer genomes, growth, and enzyme activity, in order to better understand their roles as competitors. Her favorite mushroom is Lactarius fragilis, commonly known as candy cap.

Shayan Avanessian
M.A. student, Biotechnology Program

Cheta Siletti
Independent researcher

Cheta Siletti, undergraduate research assistant

Cheta graduated with a B.A. in Cell & Molecular Biology & Genetics at Boston University.  She has been interested in biology for as long as she can remember, specifically marine biology and the study of microbes. She hopes to pursue research on the many roles microorganisms play in different ecosystems. Cheta’s favorite mushroom is the veiled stinkhorn.

Aine Russell
Undergraduate researcher (UROP/Directed Study)

Former lab members

LeAnna Cates; NSF-BRITE Fellow (Summer 2016)
Currently: Undergraduate student, Washington University in St. Louis

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: STEM Instructor, Atlanta, CA

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




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