Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Molecular Microbial Ecology
People - Worden Lab

Alexandra
Worden, Ph.D.
Sebastian
Sudek, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
curriculum vitae

Senior Research Technician





Part-Time Associates
Charles
Bachy, Ph.D.
Jian
Guo, Ph.D.
Valeria
Jimenez
Alexander "AJ" Limardo
Camille
Poirier
Melinda
Simmons
Jeltje
van Baren, Ph.D.
Susanne
Wilken, Ph.D.
Nilo
Alvarado
Lisa
Sudek
Postdoctoral
Fellow
Postdoctoral
Fellow
Graduate Student
Fulbright Scholar
Graduate
Student
Research
Technician
Graduate
Student
Bioinformaticist
Postdoctoral
Fellow
Research
Technician

Research
Technician

Former Lab Members

Darcy McRoseDarcy McRose – Summer Intern 2008, MS Student Stanford University 2009 - 2011, Research Assistant until Aug 2012
Darcy spent the summer after her senior year at Stanford University working on growth and photosynthetic activity of axenic strains from the different Micromonas clades as well as Ostreococcus. This beautiful piece of research involved a huge amount of work – for which she spent just about every day of the summer in the lab. Darcy then returned to the lab for her Master's research and worked as a Research Assistant after the completion of her MS. Darcy's research focus was on comparative genomics of vitamin genes in marine phytoplankton and vitamin physiology in prasinophytes. Darcy joined the lab of Prof. Bess Ward at Princeton University as a Ph.D. Candidate in fall 2012.
Emily Reistetter – Research Technician II, Jul 2010 - Aug 2012
Emily joined the lab after completing her MS at University of Washington in the lab of Prof. Gabrielle Rocap. Emily performed a series of important chemostat experiments with talent and persistence in a technically challenging system. The experiments address the interaction between CO2 concentration and nutrient limitation on phytoplankton growth. The experiments/samples include complete transcriptome and proteome analyses. Emily is now working in the real estate business in the San Francisco Bay area.
Tracy Campbell – Research Technician I, Jun 2010 - Jul 2012
Tracy joined the lab after completing her MS at the University of Hawaii in the lab of Mike Rappe with an interest of gaining some additional research experience before finding and starting a Ph.D. Program. Tracy contributed data support to Lin et al. 2012, a publication addressing the distribution of Marine Stramenopiles (MAST) in marine systems and enhanced our 16S rRNA alignment database. Tracy started research on invertebrates in fall 2012 at MLML.
Shuang Chun "Jeremy" Yan – Post-doctoral Researcher, Jan 2011 - Feb 2012
Jeremy earned his PhD in plant pathology and physiology from Virginia Tech where he studied interactions between plants and bacteria, virulence mechanisms and host range evolution of the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. At MBARI Jeremy worked on algal physiology in response to changing light fields and temperature as well as host defense systems. Jeremy moved to Boston in order to research novel therapeutics as alternatives to antibiotics in the wake of increasing challenges from multi-drug resistant organisms.
Adam Monier – Post-doctoral Researcher, Feb 2009 - 2012
Dr. Adam Monier joined the lab after his Ph.D. on HGT and marine eukaryotic viruses. Adam's research in the lab focused on analysis of eukaryotic metagenomes, targeted metagenomes from flow sorted populations, HGT and on eukaryotic viral genomes. Adam is the lead author on the first genome sequence of the marine prasinophyte Bathycoccus, in this case sequenced directly from nature using targeted metagenomics. Adam moved to perform a second post-doc at the University of Laval in theTakuvik international lab in Canada where he is using omic approaches to identify metabolic responses of marine microbial communities to the changing Arctic.
Hang Yu – Summer Intern and Research Assistant, June - Dec 2010
Hank came to the lab after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of British Columbia. Hank worked on characterizing new phytoplankton isolates and performed a series of experiments for complete transcriptome analysis through RNAseq on a range of prasinophyte species. Hank will be starting his Ph.D. at Caltech in the lab of Victoria Orphan in autumn 2011.
Marie Cuvelier Marie L. Cuvelier – Ph.D. Student, RSMAS University of Miami / MBARI, Fall 2004 - 2010
Marie completed her dissertation entitled "New insights into the diversity, distribution and ecophysiology of marine picoeukaryotes" in 2010. In addition to co-authoring several papers in the lab Marie is first author on a publication on a novel protistan group in Environmental Microbiology as well as one on the importance of picoplanktonic prymnesiophytes to oceanic systems in PNAS. Marie also performed a series of photophysiology experiments on prasinophytes. During her Ph.D. Marie participated in many cruises and was a wonderful team player. Marie went on for a post-doc in the lab of Rebecca Vega Thurber, Florida International University.
Elif Demir Elif Demir – Post-doctoral Researcher, Fall 2007 - Summer 2010
Elif performed her Ph.D. at the University of Delaware in the laboratory of David Hutchins where she worked on harmful algal species. Elif joined the lab here in autumn 2007 and worked on qPCR primer-probe development for enumerating different pico-prasinophytes from which she is first author on publication in the ISME Journal. Elif participated in several North Pacific cruises as well as one in the Florida Straits and played an active role in mentoring undergraduates who came to the lab. At the end of her 3 year post-doc here, Elif moved to work on the Environmental Sample Processor in the Scholin lab group at MBARI.
Heather Wilcox Alyssa Gehman – Research Technician, Oct 2008 - Summer 2010
Alyssa performed a master's at Western Washington University on the rocky intertidal. She joined the lab as a research technician hoping to gain a couple more years research experience before pursuing a Ph.D. in parasitology. Here she ran and analyzed flow cytometry data, performed sorting experiments, participated in cruises and managed the lab! Alyssa has had a long standing interest in parasitology and started a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia in Fall 2010 on that topic.
Heather Wilcox Heather M. Wilcox – Senior Research Technician, Dec 2007 - Dec 2009
Heather moved from the field of immunology to join the lab in 2007. She has been responsible for developing our metagenomic extraction procedures and managing the ever growing axenic culture collection in addition to many other activities in the lab, including master troubleshooter for RNA work. Prior to joining the lab Heather also played a major role for brief episodes setting up the lab at Miami, and helping with the move/set up at MBARI. Heather is now moving back to the 'human' world and will have direct involvement with patient care.
Harriet AlexanderHarriet Alexander - Undergraduate Summer Intern 2008, Honors Thesis Student 2009 - 2010
Harriet quickly mastered the high speed flow sorter and explored the cell cycles of Micromonas and Ostreococcus, as well as helping all sorts of folks out by running their samples. She then developed her own project. After completing her Biology and Math double major at Wellesley College and honors thesis in the Worden Lab, Harriet went on for a Ph.D. in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.
Julie VassarJulie Vassar - Undergraduate Summer Intern 2009
Julie came to the lab for the MBARI summer internship after her sophomore summer at Smith College. Julie learned to love PCR - always upbeat and cheery, not to mention ready to run another PCR and Gel ASAP!
Rory Welsh Rory M. Welsh – Research Technician, RSMAS Univerisity of Miami / MBARI, Fall 2005 - Fall 2008
Rory joined the lab in fall of 2005 and quickly became the fall back guy – maintaining the axenic cultures, mastering the high speed flow sorter and participating in a large number of research expeditions – taking him to the tropical Atlantic, South Pacific and the North Pacific. He is well known for his ‘heart of gold’ and for being a patient teacher. He moved with the lab from UM to MBARI in 2007 and stayed on for a year to get the lab up and running in its new home. Rory went on for a Ph.D. in the lab of Rebecca Vega Thurber, Florida International University.
Sarah McDonald Sarah McDonald, Ph.D. - Post-Doctoral Associate, RSMAS University of Miami / MBARI, Winter 2007 - Summer 2008
Sarah came to the lab in January of 2007 from the Stazione Zoologica in Napoli, Italy after finishing her Ph.D. in which she explored natural eukaryotic phytoplankton populations using genetic markers. In Miami she entered into the field of genomics and designed experiments to explore Micromonas nitrogen and carbon utilization via genome-informed gene expression. She continued with this project after the move to MBARI - resulting in a publication in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Sarah went on for a position at SRI International
Alejandra OrtizAlejandra Ortiz – Undergraduate Summer Intern, 2008 (2007 & 2006!)
Aleja first joined the lab (while still at University of Miami) the summer after her senior year in high school and then left for Wellesley College. She took on an 18S rRNA gene sequence analysis using consed in her first summer. Aleja returned to the lab for two more summers (one more at UM and one at MBARI) - and orchestrated intense culture based studies on algal response to high light and UV exposure. After completing her degree at Wellesley College Aleja went on for a Ph.D. in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program.
Gus EngmanAugustin Engman – Undergraduate Researcher, University of Miami / MBARI, Fall 2006 - Fall 2007
Gus joined the lab and went to sea in his first week! He worked on bacterial-algal interactions and participated in Micromonas growth experiments. His research expeditions include the Florida Straits, Florida to Cape Verde and back, and orchestrating our efforts in the North Pacific transects. Gus finished his B.S. in June of 2007 and stayed on for another half year to help the lab transition to MBARI, and perform the North Pacific research. Gus has gone on to study stream ecology at the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico.
Sharria ScavellaSharria Scavella – High School Student Researcher, University of Miami, Summer 2007
Sharria’s is interested in the medical field – but joined our lab to learn basic science. She worked on nitrogen growth physiology of Micromonas. At the end of the summer she placed 3rd for her talk on this research at a in a national competition held in Bethesda Maryland.
Heike MoehligHeike Moehlig, Ph.D. - Post-Doctoral Associate, RSMAS University of Miami, Spring 2006 – Spring 2007
Heike completed her Ph.D. in Germany in the field of immunology and came to the lab to work on phagocytosis in marine nanoflagellate predators. She also contributed to our work on the distribution of a newly identified algal group (putatively photosynthetic), the Biliphytes. While in Miami Heike also became a sailing aficionado.
Gus EngmanJoshua Lake – Undergraduate Extern, MIT Independent Activities Period 2006
Joshua came to the lab while working on his degree in Materials Science at MIT. He worked to set up a system in the lab for incubating phytoplankton in an isothermal environment where they could be exposed to both high light and UV radiation. He also worked on cell cycle analysis of prasinophytes using flow cytometry and the nucleic acid stain Sybr green.
Jason HiltonJason A. Hilton - Undergraduate Honors Thesis Student, University of Miami, Spring 2005 - Summer 2006
Jason undertook the Florida Straits work, specifically the Fluorescence in situ Hybridizations (under th guidance of Dr. F. Not) on different eukaryotic algae. He organized and performed a large number of the Florida Straits expeditions. Jason has gone on to a Ph.D. program at the Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz in the lab of Jon Zehr.
Vladimer CessantVladimer Cessant - Undergraduate Researcher Summer 2005
Vladimer joined the lab during his junior summer at University of Miami.
Fabrice NotFabrice Not, Ph.D. - Post-Doctoral Associate, RSMAS University of Miami, Fall 2004 – Dec 2005
Fabrice is now a faculty member at the Station Biologique de Roscoff (not@sb-roscoff.fr). We had a lucky coincidence of an unexpected award coming in (The Moore Young Investigator Award to AZW) and Fabrice finishing his Ph.D. and still waiting on proposals he had written to stay in Europe. Fabrice initiated the Florida Straits time series and worked on the diversity of picoeukaryotes in the Sargasso Sea.
Last updated: Oct. 10, 2013