Lab photo, Summer 2016
Rachel Vannette, PI Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2011 Bachelor’s degree, Calvin College, 2006
Robert Schaeffer, USDA ELI Postdoctoral Fellow
co-advised by R. Vannette, D. Crowder, N. Williams and T. Fukami
Ph.D. Dartmouth College 2014; B.S. University of Pittsburgh 2007
Robert is a community and evolutionary ecologist interested in cross-kingdom interactions involving plants, insects and microbes. As a member of the Vannette lab, Robert is studying floral microbiome assembly and function in tree fruit and nut systems. His Google Scholar
Caitlin Rering, Research Chemist at USDA
*Coadvised with John Beck, UDSA-ARS Gainesville, FL
Alexandria Igwe, PhD Student in the Microbiology Graduate group
Email: aigwe at ucdavis dot edu
Allie is interested in understanding how microbial community composition and functions contribute to plant phenotypes. She finished her undergraduate degree in Biology at Howard University where her honor’s research focused on the role of nickel as a defense against herbivory. While studying at Texas A&M, Allie focused on microbial community dynamics in hydrocarbon-contaminated soil as a function of plant root exudation and earned a MS in Soil Science. Her current PhD work focuses on understanding how plant growth promoting bacteria contribute to the survival of California wildflowers on serpentine and non-serpentine soil.
I study ecology to better understand the interconnectivity of life, especially with plants. I graduated from UC Davis in 2015 with a BS in Biological Sciences, and am grateful to now work in the fascinating area of plant-microbe-insect interactions. With this experience, I hope to narrow down my study focus for when I pursue an advanced degree. Aside from ecology, I also deeply enjoy backpacking, surfing, traveling, art, and speaking Spanish.
Undergraduates in the lab
Tim is a second year biological sciences major. He joined the Vannette Lab through the Research Scholars Program in Insect Biology (RSPIB). His research interests include insect-microbe interactions and biomimicry. He likes Cicadas very much and enjoys catching them.
My name is Wendy Melendez and I am a fourth year Animal Biology major at the University of California, Davis. I am currently working on my senior practicum at the Vannette Lab and am beyond lucky to be able to study the world of microbiology with such a great mentor. As I graduate I hope to take my experience here and apply it to my future endeavors as a graduate student and eventually as a Veterinarian. I also love all things Disney, nature, and concerts!
Cody Kiniry is an undergraduate Animal Biology student with a strong interest in entomology. Her favorite insects tend to be pollinators, such as Apis mellifera, or as they are commonly called, honey bees! She hopes to pursue a higher education to study colony collapse disorder as well as work with outreach groups to educate the public about the importance of pollinator species. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, photography, and gaming.
Previous students and collaborators
Megan Morris, visiting graduate student from Liz Dinsdale’s lab at San Diego State University
I am a joint doctoral student of San Diego State University and University of C
alifornia Davis with the Graduate Group in Ecology. I am a microbial ecologist, interested in studying the interactions between microbial communities and their hosts. During my year at UCD in the Vannette lab, I will research the temporal variation in nectar-associated microbes, and will integrate microbes into plant-pollinator dynamics
Ariana Nagainis (Spring 2016-Fall 2016)
Chela Owens (Spring 2016)