Lab Alumni

Lily Khadempour : Post-doctoral Researcher

Lily Khadempour

Post-doctoral Researcher

Lily was a post-doc in the lab from 2018-2020. She examined how genetic variation and dispersal affect the evolution of protozoa in pitcher plants and how such evolution cascades down to affect the ecology of the bacterial community. She started a job as Assistant Professor at Rutgers in January 2021!

Chelsea Brisson : Master's Student

Chelsea Brisson

Master's Student

Chelsea was a graduate student in the lab from 2018-2021. She graduated from Eastern Connecticut University, where she worked with CSUN alum, Josh Idjadi. She examined how bacteria affect the performance of different genotypes of Symbiodinium, an important algal symbiont on coral reefs. She is also interested in how bacteria affect the interactions between algal symbionts and their coral hosts. In her spare time, Chelsea is an avid hiker and fan of anything outdoors, having spent time before grad school hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. She is currently working as a teacher and outdoor educator in Colorado.

Jennica Moffat : Master's Student

Jennica Moffat

Master's Student

Jennica joined the lab in Fall 2018 and graduated in 2021. Her thesis looked at how different genotypes of symbionts affect the fitness and performance of a host cnidarian, Cassiopea. Previously, she was at UC Davis, where she did her Bachelor's degree and worked as a technician. After graduation, she spent a year as a California SeaGrant Fellow with the Adaptive Management unit of the Delta Stewardship Council.

Carmen Hoffbeck : Master's Student

Carmen Hoffbeck

Master's Student

Cam started in the lab in Fall 2019 and graduated in 2022. She took off to do a Fulbright in New Zealand in 2020, which was sadly cut short by the pandemic. Her thesis focused on how plant-soil feedbacks affect invasive plant success, exploring this with both models and experiments. She is now in a PhD program at University of Aukland!

Leslie Rivas-Quijano : Undergraduate Researcher

Leslie Rivas-Quijano

Undergraduate Researcher

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Leslie graduated from CSUN after working in the lab from 2017 to 2021. Though she started out helping out with other people's experiments, she transitioned into working on her own independent experiments. She ultimately published her work on how different bacterial morphotypes affect protozoa growth in the pitcher plant system.

Lissandra Gonzalez : Undergraduate Researcher

Lissandra Gonzalez

Undergraduate Researcher

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Lissandra worked in the lab in 2019, primarily on the Symbiodinium project.

Roksana Zare : Undergraduate Researcher

Roksana Zare

Undergraduate Researcher

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Roksana worked in the lab from 2019-2021 and will be soon be finishing up her degree at CSUN!

Catalina Cuellar-Gempeler : Post-doctoral Researcher

Catalina Cuellar-Gempeler

Post-doctoral Researcher

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Catalina joined the lab in summer 2016, having graduated from Mathew Leibold's lab at Univ. Texas, Austin. She was a shared post-doc with Tom Miller, but is primarily based at Florida State University. She is studying the community ecology of the microbial inquiline communities of pitcher plants. Catalina began her position as Assistant Professor at Humboldt State starting in Fall 2018!

Angela Vela : Undergraduate Researcher

Angela Vela

Undergraduate Researcher

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After working in the lab for two years, Angela started graduate school in Yoshie Hanzawa's lab in Fall 2018!

Emily Chea : Undergraduate Researcher

Emily Chea

Undergraduate Researcher

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Emily started working in the lab in Summer 2018 and examined trait variation in Symbiodinium.

Jamie Canepa : Master's Student

Jamie Canepa

Master's Student

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Jamie graduated from Pomona College and joined the lab in 2015. He studied phenotypic differences in claw color among populations of shore crabs (Pachycrapsus crassipes) along both the western and eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean. He graduated with his M.S. in 2017 and moved on to pursue his MFA in Creative Writing at University of British Columbia.

Peter Zee : Post-doctoral Researcher

Peter Zee

Post-doctoral Researcher

Contact Info:

peter.zee@csun.edu

Peter's webpage

As a post-doc, Peter worked to understand the consequences of trait evolution in ecological communities, collaboratively with the terHorst lab and Sebastian Schreiber (UC Davis). He has broad interests across community ecology and evolutionary biology, with a particular interest in interactions at community, social, and genetic levels. Before arriving at CSUN, Peter was a postdoc with Tad Fukami at Stanford and a PhD student at Indiana University with Jim Bever and Greg Velicer. Peter is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi.

Melissa Kurman : Master's Student

Melissa Kurman

Master's Student

Melissa joined the lab in 2015, having graduated from Temple University, where she worked on genetic variation in deep sea corals in Erik Cordes' lab. She focused on genetic variation in the response of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) to temperature. She graduate with her M.S. in 2017. For more information, visit her website: http://melissakurman.weebly.com/

Zoë Scott : Masters Student

Zoë Scott

Masters Student

Zoë graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a B.S. in Aquatic Biology. Her childhood love for the ocean grew into a desire to study how local adaptation in invasive species affects the ecology of the community, completing the feedback loop between the ecological and evolutionary forces acting on community structure. She completed her M.S. in 2017 and now works as a marine biologist for the City of San Diego.

Nickie Cammisa : Masters Student

Nickie Cammisa

Masters Student

Nickie graduated from Muhlenberg College, where she worked for three years in the environmental toxicology lab of Dr. Jason Kelsey. For her Masters project, Nickie examinined the role of phenotypic plasticity in shaping ecological and evolutionary processes at the community level. Nickie graduated with her M.S. in 2017 and is now pursuing her D.Env. in Environmental Science and Engineering at UCLA.

 

Shannon Bayliss : Masters Student

Shannon Bayliss

Masters Student

Shannon's Webpage

Shannon graduated from CSUN in 2016. Her thesis focused on the interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes. She examined how nutrient availability modifies the effects of species and genetic diversity on community performance in the symbiotic dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium. Shannon is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and in the future hopes to extend the broader impacts of her research to a larger audience through photography and other creative mediums. She is now a graduate student in Joe Bailey's lab at University of Tennessee. As she graduated CSUN, Shannon received the Bianchi Award for Outstanding Graduate Student from the Biology Department.

Erica Holdridge : Former M.S. student

Erica Holdridge

Former M.S. student

For her master’s thesis, Erica utilized pitcher plant inquiline communities to understand how factors related to global change (nutrient input and temperature) affect both ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Moreover, she examined how evolution of protozoan traits affected the bacterial communities they consume. She is now a PhD student in David Vasseur's lab at Yale. As she graduated CSUN, Erica received the Bianchi Award for Outstanding Graduate Student from the Biology Department and the Mack Johnson Award for Outstanding Graduate Student from the College of Science and Math.

Alejandro Flores : Undergraduate Student

Alejandro Flores

Undergraduate Student

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Emma Collosi : Research Technician

Emma Collosi

Research Technician

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Emma graduated from the Biology Department at CSUN in 2016 and is now a graduate student in Jeanne Robertson's lab.

Cameron Winbush : Undergraduate Student

Cameron Winbush

Undergraduate Student

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Cameron worked as an undergraduate in the lab in 2014-2015.

Katie Wong : Undergraduate Student

Katie Wong

Undergraduate Student

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Katie was a Kinesiology major at CSUN and worked in the lab in 2015-2016. She graduated from CSUN in 2017.

Sam Fleischer : Undergraduate Student

Sam Fleischer

Undergraduate Student

Contact Info:


Sam was a math major at CSUN and graduated in 2015.  In collaboration with Dr. Jing Li (CSUN Math Dept.), Sam worked on a quantitative genetics model to examine ecological and evolutionary dynamics among competitors. He used this model to examine whether evolution stabilizes ecological dynamics in this system. Sam is currently a PhD student with Sebastian Schrieber at UC Davis.