Lab Alumni                                           

Eric Becker

Position: 

Laboratory Technician, September 2019-September 2020

Education:

University of Missouri, Columbia, BS in Biological Engineering, 2019

About: Eric is from the greater St. Louis area and received his bachelor's degree in biological engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia in 2019. During his time there, Eric was a research assistant in a soybean genomics lab focused on the molecular genetics of plant stress tolerance and the application of genomic technologies for crop improvement. He was also a member of a biomedical research team contributing in the R&D for new and innovative medical devices. In his free time, Eric enjoys spending time in the outdoors, working out, reading, and exploring new places. 

Jooyeon Jeong

Position in Zhang Lab: 

Postdoctoral Associate, Nov 2018-Nov 2019

Current Position:

Postdoc at UIUC

Education:

Hanyang University, Korea, PhD, 2018

About: Jooyeon received her PhD in Life science in August of 2018 from Hanyang University, South Korea. During her PhD, she studied on chloroplast signal recognition particle pathway proteins that involved in transport and assembly of light harvesting protein by using CRISPR-Cas9 in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In Zhang Lab, she is now working on psychrophilic Chlamydomonas showing sustained cyclic electron flow (CEF) to understand the role and regulation of CEF. She'll also focus on the function of heat shock transcription factors in model Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by generating mutants and analyzing their phenotype. She likes to listen podcasts and sing. And she enjoys to visit Saint Louis Zoo!    

Rachel Jouni

Position: 

Rotation Graduate Student, since March 2019

Education:

University of Florida, BS Biology

Washington University in St. Louis, PMB grad student

About: Rachel is from Florida and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Florida. During her time there she studied evolutionary genetics in Drosophila with a focus on host-virus interactions. In between undergrad and grad school she worked in a tomato breeding lab with a focus on how volatile compounds affect flavor in tomato. She is currently in the PMB PhD. program at Washington University in St. Louis, and her rotation in the Zhang lab focuses on studying the heat response in algae. In her free time she enjoys eating and exploring St. Louis.  

Emily Davenport

Position in Zhang Lab: 

Rotation Graduate Student (July 2018 - September 2018)

Current Position:

WUSTL Graduate Student

Education:

Bowling Green State University, BS, MS

About: Emily is from NW Ohio on the Lake Erie shores. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with her BS and MS. Her Master's project was a diel study of gene regulation of an in-situ cyanobacterial harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie. After her Master's, she took a job with UM in Ann Arbor at the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab where she helped introduce the first freshwater Environmental Sample Processor (ESP) into western Lake Erie in an effort to monitor microcystins in Lake Erie. She is now a first year at WashU rotating through the Zhang Lab, with an interest in using bioinformatics to study cell responses and gene regulations. In her spare time I enjoy any outdoor activity, cooking, camping, painting, and karaoke. 

Sarah Stainbrook

Position: 

Research Associate, October 2018 to May 2019

Education:

Ph.D. Biological Engineering, Northwestern University
BS Cell and Molecular Biology, Ohio University in Athens

About: Her graduate work focuses on engineering the properties of the prototypical MAP Kinase pathway in yeast for use in biosensor diagnostics. In the Zhang lab, Sarah will use the grass Setaria viridis as a model organism for photosynthesis in C4 plants such as maize and sorghum. She will combine traditional genetic approaches with engineering techniques to improve the thermostability of C4 photosynthesis, making C4 plants more tolerant of high temperature stresses. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cooking, running, opera and knitting.

Sarah Pardi

Position: 

Rotation Graduate Student, since January 2019

Education:

Loyola Marymount University, BS in Biology, 2018

Washington University in St. Louis, PMB grad student

About: Sarah is from the Bay Area in California. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (Cum Laude) from Loyola Marymount University in May 2018. There, her research focused on the synergistic affects of mixed populations of rhizobacteria on white sweet clover. In the summer of 2017, she was an REU intern at Harvard Forest where she studied the role of manganese in leaf litter decomposition along oxic-anoxic interfaces. She is now a first year graduate student in the Plant and Microbial Biosciences program at Washington University rotating in the Zhang lab, with an interest in gene regulation of algal heat response. Sarah is an Initiative to Maximize Student Development (IMSD) Scholar. In her free time, Sarah enjoys exploring new places, going on outdoor adventures, and playing tennis.  

James Eckhardt

Position in Zhang Lab: 

Laboratory Technician (January 2018 - July 2018)

Current Position:

Graduate Student at UC-Riverside

Education:

Gustavus Adolphus College, BA, 2017

About: James received his bachelor’s degree in Biology (emphasizing in plant biology) from Gustavus Adolphus College in December 2017. While at Gustavus, James conducted research on plant ecology emphasizing statistical modeling and will continue using mass spectrometry to study plant proteomics. During the summer of 2017, he worked in the Zhang lab to optimize the use of environmental photobioreactors to better understand the effects of heat stress on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. James sails, mountain bikes, camps and climbs mountains in his free time. He is hoping to summit his 30th mountain by summer’s end.

Andrew Paton

Position in Zhang Lab: 

REU Student (May 2018 - August 2018)

Current Position:

Undergraduate student at University of Arizona

Education:

University of Arizona, undergraduate student

About: Andrew is working on his bachelor's degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular/Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. There he works on tomato developmental genes and patterns in the Frans Tax lab. Afterwards, he plans to pursue graduate school to study algal biofuels. He is excited to be the summer 2018 REU intern for the Zhang lab and to learn about heat stress responses in Chlamydomonas. In his free time Andrew likes to bike, write, act, and scuba dive.

Varun Devraj

Position in Zhang Lab: 

STARS Intern, June 2018 - July 2018

Current Position:

Attending Princeton University 

Education:

Princeton University in Fall 2019, undergraduate student

About: Varun is a rising senior at Marquette High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. He was selected to participate in the STARS (Students and Teachers As Research Scientists) program, a six week program that pairs a student with a research mentor in the St. Louis area. In the Zhang lab, Varun is working on using the IDEA Spectrophotometer and environmental Photobioreactors to probe various photosynthetic parameters, found from chlorophyll fluorescence and electrochromic shift, in wild type Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In his free time, Varun likes to read, travel, play tennis, and cook.

Zachary Weber

Position: 

Laboratory Assistant, February 2019 to December 2019

Education:

University of Missouri-St. Louis, BS in Biology, 2018

About: Zachary is from Southern Illinois. He graduated from the University of Missouri - St. Louis in December of 2018 with his BS in Biology. At his time there he also was a member of the Pierre Laclede Honors College. During his time there he helped gather information for a guide to spotting Lepidoptera in Missouri that feed on oak trees. Additionally, he also studied the variations between wild type and different mutant c. elegans. In his free time, Zachary writes movie reviews for the Brain Stew, a student/alumni publication of Pierre Laclede Honors College. He also likes to watch movies, be outdoors, travel, and find new restaurants. 

Grace Conway

Position in Zhang Lab: 

High School Student (April 2018 - May 2018)

Current Position:

Undergraduate at University of Mississippi

Education:

University of Mississippi, undergraduate student