Norma Morella: Norma is a 5th year graduate student in the lab, affiliated with the Plant and Microbial Biology department, who is examining the impact of microbial transmission (e.g. via seeds) under agricultural conditions. She is also developing a novel method to measure bacteria-phage dynamics and assess the risk of bacteriophage infection in microbial populations/communities.
Alina Lee: Alina joined the lab in 2018 and is helping on numerous projects, including leading the way in hunting for phages to complement our growing synthetic microbiome of tomato plants.
Aditi Maheshwari: Aditi joined the lab in 2018 to work on the Pear project – helping us track the dynamics of bacteria and phages within the phyllosphere of diseased pear trees infected with Erwinina amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight disease.
Rachel Rovinsky: Rachel joined the lab in 2017 and is working with Elijah on the role of bacterial and plant signaling molecules in inducing plant immunity.
Shirley Zhang: Shirley joined the lab in 2017 and is working with Norma on a project to determine the protective effects of bacterial communities against the pathogen P. syringae.
Past lab members
Graduate students and research technicians:
Sean Meaden (Phd student, University of Exeter, 2012-2015): Sean finished his PhD focusing on understanding how coevolution with phages affects the fitness of a bacterial pathogen on its plant host. He went on to work as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof Mike Boots at UC Berkeley, and now a postdoctoral researcher with Edze Westra.
Nicole Parr (2013-2015, Full-time research technician, University of Exeter; now a PhD student at the University of Exeter, working with Lucy Hawkes on bird migration)
Alexander Rose (2015, Masters student at Exeter; now a Graduate Teaching Associate at Bangor University)
Will Crowther (2014, Research assistant based at Oxford University; now a research technician at Warwick University)
Reinier van Velzen (2014, Visiting masters student at Exeter)
Amy McLeman (2013, Masters student at Exeter; now pursuing a PhD at the University of Exeter with Profs Richard Ffrench-Constant and Chris Bass to design bee-safe pesticides)
Jennifer Bates (2009, Masters student at Oxford)
Shangyang Christopher Yang: Chris joined the lab in 2016 and worked with Norma on designing phage specific probes to measure phage-phage competition in vitro.
Callie Cuff: Callie joined the lab in 2017 and worked with Britt on a project exploring natural bacteria-phage dynamics during fire blight infection of pear trees.
Nishani Abeydeera: (2015-2017, Volunteer, Berkeley) Nishani joined the lab within my first few months at UC Berkeley and worked here for nearly two years on projects ranging from phage genome sequencing to identifying new phage receptors on bacterial cells; now working as a medical scribe at the Northridge Hospital emergency room
Izaak Coleman: (2013, 2015, Volunteer, University of Exeter) now pursuing a masters in Computer Sciences at Imperial College London)
Jennifer Weller: (2014, Undergraduate, University of Exeter) now doing a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast on aggression in domestic animals)
Benjamin Keningale: (2013, Undergraduate, University of Exeter) won Darwin award for top honor’s project in University of Exeter’s BioSciences department; just finished his MSc at the Royal Veterinary College and now deciding among PhD programs.
Olivia Lee: (2013, Undergraduate, University of Exeter) Recently graduatd with an MSc from University of Liverpool and currently volunteering with Edze Westra, looking into the whens and whys of the evolution of CRISPR immune system in bacteria)
Derek Lin: (2010, Honor’s project student at UC Santa Cruz) where I was a postdoctoral fellow; now a research technician at the Biomedical Research Institute of New Mexico)
Angela Pogson: (2015-2017, Volunteer, Berkeley) Angie joined us in her 1st year at Berkeley to work, in collaboration with Britt and Steve Lindow, on bacterial ice nucleation in the tomato leaf.
Priyanka Ranade: (2016-2018) Priyanka joined the lab in 2016 and was working with Cathy on bacteria-phage interactions within the leaves of tomato plants.
Grant Wang: (2016-2017, Volunteer, Berkeley) Grant spent over a year in the lab working closely with Norma to study the impact of phages within the tomato microbiome; now beginning a 1-year’s masters program at Tufts University.
William Feeney (2016): Will visited the lab for a summer as a Fulbright Fellow based between the University of Queensland (AUS) and the University of Delaware studying numerous coevolutionary interactions, including brood parasites. More here: http://www.williamefeeney.com
Annika Gomez (2016): Annika is an undergraduate at Cornell University who spent a summer in the lab as part of the prestigious Amgen Scholars program.
Stefanie Barbosa Potful Soares (2016): Stefanie is an undergraduate at the Federal University of Espirito Santo (UFES) in Brazil who worked in the lab over the summer as part of Brazil’s Scientific Mobility program.
Lab group May 2018: Top row, from left: Tristan Caro, Shangyang Christopher Yang, Rachel Rovinsky, Norma Morella, Elijah Mehlferber, Shirley Zhang, Britt Koskella; Bottom row, from left: Callie Cuff, Priyanka Ranade, Catherine Hernandez, Michelle Leung, and Alina Lee; Not pictured: Kore Lum.