Dr. Julie Alexander, Senior Research Associate

Website:  https://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/julie-alexander
Phone:    541-737-1849; Nash Room 522
Education:  Ph.D. Biology, Montana State University

 My research interests lie in the field of disease ecology.  I am fascinated by parasites that exploit multiple hosts (myxozoans in particular) during their life cycles as a means of ensuring their reproductive success.  I am interested in factors that drive and determine the outcomes of host-parasite interactions, how interactions may change under different environmental contexts, and how ecological and life history variables influence host-parasite dynamics and evolution.


Colleen Al-Samarrie, Faculty Research Assistant

Phone:  541-737-1858
Email: colleen.alsamarrie@oregonstate.edu
M.S. in Microbiology from Oregon State University and a Certificate focused in Aquarium Science from Oregon Coast Community College.

I maintain and manage the Kent Lab zebrafish facilities.  This includes coordinating daily animal care, maintaining life support/water systems, and managing lab safety and animal husbandry compliance.  I also assist with research related to fish disease, which currently includes several disease transmission studies in zebrafish.


Dr. Stephen Atkinson, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, Senior Research

Phone:  541-737-1856
Education: Ph.D. Parasitology, University of Queensland, Australia

I research myxozoans - a widespread group of parasitic Cnidaria.  Though they are related to corals and jellyfish, myxozoans are obligate parasites of fish and invertebrates.  My work includes describing new species, exploring the evolutionary relationships between hosts and parasites, and developing methods for detecting myxozoans in environmental samples.



Dr. Lydia Baker, Postdoctoral Scholar

Website:  http://vegathurberlab.oregonstate.edu/
Phone:  541-737-8819
Email:  lydia.baker@oregonstate.edu
Education: Ph.D. U. of Hawaii, Manoa; Biological Oceanography

My research uses a combination of molecular and bioinformatic methods to explore intractable host-microbe interactions that are invaluable to our understanding of microbial ecology, symbiont evolution, and the impact microbes have on their host and the world.  At OSU, my research focuses on genomic variation in the population of bacterial symbionts that have been found associated with multiple cnidarian hosts.  Using phylogenomic and co-divergence analysis, we will be able to learn more about the evolution and transmission of these symbionts.


Dr. Kalia Bistolas, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow

Website:  https://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/dr-rebecca-vega-thurber
Phone: 541-737-8819
Email:  bistolak@oregonstate.edu
:  Ph.D. Microbiology, Cornell University

My research focuses on the interface between viruses, their microbial hosts, and human-driven changes in marine nutrient regimes.  I am particularly interested in the ways that viruses modify the metabolic activities of the microbes that they infect through the use of auxiliary metabolic genes, or "AMGs".  These genes engineer microbial metabolism to better suit viral replication and can alter the way that microbes utilize key macronutrients, including nitrogen.  The goal of this research is to understand how specific genetic aspects of viruses contribute to cellular metabolism to better predict how microbial communities respond to transient and sustained eutrophication.


Dr. Luis Bolanos, Postdoctoral Scholar NOW UNIVERSITY OF EXETER,  UNITED KINGDOM

Website:  http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/dr-stephen-giovannoni
Phone:  541-737-3502; Nash Room 254
Education:  Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico

My research interests lie in the understanding of the factors that shape the dynamics and interactions of microbial ecosystems.  I am currently investigating the diversity of marine plankton in the North Atlantic bloom and how it changes at different depths and cycle time points.



 Dr. Leigh Combrink, Research Associate/Postdoc

Website: https://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/content/thomas-sharpton
Phone:  541-740-7831
Email:  combrink.leigh@gmail.com
Education:  PhD Ecology, UKZN, South Africa

My current research interests lie in disease ecology and the associations of infections with microbiome dysbiosis. The role of microbiomes in the development, health and survival of wildlife is largely unknown. In ungulates, and bovids in particular, juvenile survival is critical to population performance. My research will determine the patterns of gut and nasal microbiome development in African buffalo calves and how these relate to their growth, development, survival, and disease susceptibility. The results from this study will improve our understanding of the links between microbiome variation and wildlife population health.


Ryan Craig, Faculty Research Assistant

Website: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/aahl
Phone:  541-737-0743
Email:  ryan.craig@oregonstate.edu

Education:  B.S. Environmental Science, Oregon State U.

As a research assistant at the JL Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Lab, I am responsible for the daily animal husbandry, maintenance of the facility, and assisting researchers with experimental design. In addition, I am involved in the field work for projects monitoring the prevalence of Ceratonova shasta, its invertebrate host, and the effect of the parasite on salmonids in the Klamath River.

Publications:  Bruce A. Menge, Sally D. Hacker, Tess Freidenburg, Jane Lubchenco, Ryan Craig, Gil Rilov, Mae Noble, Erin Richmond (2011). Potential impact of climate-related changes is buffered by differential responses to recruitment and interactions. Ecological Society of America 81(3) 493-509.


Hannah Epstein, Postdoctoral Scholar


Dr. James Fox, Postdoctoral Scholar

Website:  http://kim.halsey.co/
Phone:  541-737-8819
Education:  PhD Marine Biology, University of Essex

My research investigates how the physiology and composition of marine plankton communities are linked to variability in carbon export efficiencies.  Through ship-based observations and experimental approaches my work will (i) shed light on how bulk photic layer plankton properties can be linked to optical properties retrievable from remote sensing and (ii) explore the potential of active sensor-based technologies.


 Dr. Christopher Gaulke, Research Associate/Postdoc NOW ASSISTANT PROFESSOR UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

Website:  http://sharptonlab.cgrb.oregonstate.edu/?=gaulkec
Phone:  541-737-8630; Nash Room 546
Email:  gaulkec@oregonstate.edu
Education:  Postdoc, Department of Microbiology, Oregon State U.; Ph.D. University of California, Davis

 A growing body of evidence has identified the gut microbiome as an important factor involved in the maintenance of gastrointestinal homeostasis.  However, relatively little is known about how routine environmental exposures might influence the structure and function of these microbial communities and how these shifts might alter host physiology.  My research employs high-throughput molecular and computational techniques to evaluate the impact of environmental exposures on microbial abundance, function, and host physiology.  These investigations aim to (1) identify potential microbial biomarkers of environmental exposure, (2) Define microbial functions that are associated with host health, and (3) Generate testable hypotheses about how microbial communities interact with their hosts.



Dr. Sascha Hallett, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, Senior Research

Phone:  541-737-4721
Education: Ph.D. The University of Queensland, Australia

I find parasites fascinating organisms and have always been drawn to the aquatic environment. Thus, I am interested in parasites of marine and freshwater fish. Most of my research has focused on one phylum - the Myxozoa and I've never dissected a fish without encountering at least one of these microscopic, spore-forming, endoparasitic metazoans. Over 2000 are found in fish world-wide and most do not harm their host, but there are several that cause serious diseases (Ceratomyxa shasta, Parvicapsula minibicornis, Myxobolus cerebralis) in the Pacific Northwest of North America. My current research focuses on answering questions about these parasites so that we can make informed management decisions and reduce their impact on native fishes.

Dr. Richard Holt, Senior Research Associate

Phone:  541-737-0743
Education:  Ph.D. Microbiology, Oregon State U.

Forty-two years of experience in the study of fish disease as Senior Fish Pathologist at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Retired).  Previous activities include conducting research in the diagnosis and treatment of fish parasites, pathogens in hatchery fish, detection of pathogens in wild stocks of fish and determining causes of fish losses in Oregon.  Principal area of research and publications has been in studies of the yellow pigmented bacterial fish pathogens such as Flavobacterium psychrophilum agent of cold-water disease and F. columnare, agent of columnaris disease.  Currently participating on a project to study the occurrence of the myxosporean parasite, Ceratomyxa shasta, and its impact on wild salmonid stocks in the Klamath River watershed.


Dr. Kristin Kasschau, Research Associate

Phone:  541-737-8630
Education: Ph.D. Biology, Texas A&M University

I am interested in the interactions between symbiotic or pathogenic microbes and their hosts.  I currently have a joint appointment in the Sharpton and Bartholomew Labs.  I am leading the development of a gut microbiome core facility in the Sharpton Lab.  This facility serves research programs across the nation by applying cutting-edge DNA sequencing and data analytic approaches to discern the biodiversity and composition of gut microbe samples produced as part of an experiment.  In the Bartholomew Lab, I utilize molecular biology techniques to study the myxozoan parasites that affect the health of salmonid populations.


Dr. Veronika Kivenson, Postdoctoral Fellow

Phone:  541-737-1793; Nash Room 258
Email: kivensov@oregonstate.edu       
Education: Ph.D. Marine Science, UC Santa Barbara

My research is focused on how genetic code expansion enables augmented metabolism and gene evolution in marine microbial ecosystems.  Currently, I am examining the taxonomic range and niche preference of marine microbes capable of genetic code expansion, as well as under-explored pathways for carbon and nitrogen metabolism affected by this mechanism.


Dr. Chih-Ping Lee, Postdoctoral Scholar

Phone:  541-737-3189; Nash Room 254
Email: leechih@oregonstate.edu       
Education: Ph.D., National Taiwan University, Institute of Oceanography

My research is sponsored by Simons Foundation International and is part of the BIOS-SCOPE initiative to understand carbon cycling in the Western Sargasso Sea near Bermuda. My work focuses on the oxidation of dissolved organic matter (DOM) by major groups of planktonic bacteria, including streamlined cells such as SAR11. I employ a combination of approaches, including genomics, experiments with cultured cells, chemical and biochemical measurements, and field studies to identify carbon oxidation pathways. One of the key problems I am trying to understand is the relationship between the reactivity of organic carbon compounds, which determines their half-life in the oceans, and specialized metabolic pathways that have evolved in bacteria for DOM oxidation. My research includes work with co-cultures of phytoplankton and bacteria to understand this early and fundamental step in the global ocean carbon cycle.


Ruth Milston-Clements, Senior Faculty Research Assistant   

Web Site: http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/aahl
Phone: 541-737-0743
Education: B.S. Environmental Science, Lancaster University
M.S. Fisheries Science, Oregon State University Department of Fish and Wildlife

Worked for the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at the OSU Department of Integrative Biology and the Crop and Food Research Institute in Nelson, New Zealand; before starting my current position in the J.L. Fryer Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at OSU.  As Lab Manager, I am responsible for maintaing the research facility and physical plant; coordinating resarchers, and ensuring proper care and health of the aquatic animals.  My research interests are focused on the effect of environmental stressors such as temperature or pollutants on the immune systems of aquatic animals.


Dr. Keaton Stagaman, Research Associate/Postdoc

Phone: 541-737-9664; Nash Room 514
Email: stagamak@oregonstate.edu
Education: Ph.D. University of Oregon, Ecology and Evolution

The gut microbiome is a complex and dynamic community with an incredible metabolic potential. The makeup of the microbiome (i.e., its constituent species and their genes) is influenced by multiple processes including selection by the host, interactions between the microbes, and (my focus) exposure to environmental compounds such as toxins and drugs. The metabolic capabilities of the microbiome influence how such environmental compounds are processed within the host: potentially mitigating or exacerbating toxic effects. My goal, using observational studies in humans and experiments in model organisms, is to ascertain how the environment influences the metabolic potential of the microbiome, and in turn, how the microbiome alters the effects of environmental compounds on the development and health of the host.


 Dr. Chris Suffridge, Research Associate/Postdoc

Website:  http://microbiology.science.oregonstate.edu/dr-stephen-giovannoni
Phone: 541-737-3502; Nash 250
Email: suffridc@oregonstate.edu
Education: Ph.D. Biology, University of Southern California

My research is focused on understanding how trace organic cofactors, such as B-vitamins, influence the structure and function of marine microbial communities.  Currently, I am exploring the connections between the cellular biochemistry and environmental availability of vitamin B1 and its biochemical congeners, and the ways that this coenzyme is able to control planktonic community dynamics. 


 Dr. Anne Taylor, Assistant Professor, Senior Research

Phone:  541-737-4136
Education: M.S. BioResource Research, Soil Science, Oregon State; Ph.D. Environ. Engr., Oregon State

Our lab studies the nitrogen cycle in soil, and specifically the oxidation of ammonia to nitrite. This process is known as nitrification and is carried out by ammonia oxidizing archaea and bacteria (AOA and AOB). Over the past few years my work has focused primarily on developing tools to distinguish the contributions to nitrification by AOA and AOB. Using these tools I am now investigating how different environmental conditions, such as temperature and soil water content, influence the ecology, physiology, and function of the two groups of nitrifiers in soil. This work has particular significance as global climate change becomes more pronounced. Changes in soil temperature and rainfall patterns will affect the contributions of the AOA and AOB to nitrification, and may have profound effects on nitrogen balance in agricultural and forest soils and the production of greenhouse gasses.