Postdocs & Students

Lily Khadempour : Post-doctoral Researcher

Lily Khadempour

Post-doctoral Researcher

Lily's dissertation focused on how bacteria and fungi respond to switches in leaf-cutter ant diets. She is now examining 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.

Chelsea Brisson : Master's Student

Chelsea Brisson

Master's Student

Chelsea graduated from Eastern Connecticut University, where she worked with CSUN alumnus, Josh Idjadi. She is currently examining 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.

Jennica Moffat : Master's Student

Jennica Moffat

Master's Student

Jennica joined the lab in Fall 2018. Previously, she was at UC Davis, where she did her Bachelor's degree and worked as a technician. Now she is looking at how different genotypes of Symbiodinium affect the fitness and performance of a host cnidarian, Cassiopea.

Leslie Rivas-Quijano : Undergraduate Researcher

Leslie Rivas-Quijano

Undergraduate Researcher

Contact Info:


Leslie is a senior at CSUN and started working in the lab in 2017. Though she started out helping out with other people's experiments, she has transitioned into working on her own independent experiments. She is currently measuring how different bacterial morphotypes affect protozoa growth in the pitcher plant system.

Lissandra Gonzalez : Undergraduate Researcher

Lissandra Gonzalez

Undergraduate Researcher

Contact Info:


Lissandra began work in the lab in 2019 and has been working primarily with the Symbiodinium project.

Roksana Zare : Undergraduate Researcher

Roksana Zare

Undergraduate Researcher

Contact Info:


Roksana started in the lab in the summer of 2019 and will be working mostly with the pitcher plant project.