Steven K. Schmidt
Steve is a microbial ecologist with a passion for soil, microbes, and mountains. He also imagines himself to be an explorer of remote and extreme places and is never happier than when he is far from the maddening crowd (or working in the garden).
Pacifica's research interests are how predation, competition, and other species interactions determine biodiversity under different environmental conditions. Learn more about her work at Biodiversity: The Blog.
Lara has a strong interest in astrobiology and her current research focus is on microbial diversity and adaptation to extreme environments considered to be potential analogs for habitable zones on extraterrestrial bodies, in particular high altitude and low latitude. She received both her Bachelor's and Master's degree in Biology at the University of Milano, Italy. Her research experience includes time spent at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute and NASA Ames Research Center where she focused on radiation and desiccation resistant microorganisms. She has conducted fieldwork in a variety of different extreme environments, including the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Andes, Death Valley, and Antarctica.
Kim’s interest in the ecology of high-elevation aquatic organisms dates back to a career as a wildlife biologist with a variety of Federal agencies, specializing in research of special status, high-elevation toad species (e.g. the Yosemite toad, Wyoming toad, and boreal toad). She conducted her Master’s research at San Francisco State University demonstrating the substantial increase in toxicity of glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) to western toad tadpoles when “inert ingredients” are added to the herbicide formulation, but curiosity remained on how the herbicides were affecting other non-target organisms. Returning to CU Boulder for her doctoral research, Kim is currently researching how run-off from the terrestrial environment affects aquatic microbial communities, including herbicides and plant based organic matter. Are you curious who thrives and who is pushed out by the increased hydrocarbons to the system? Stay tuned to find out.
Adam J. Solon
Adam investigates microbial community assembly and succession across a spectrum of environments, including some of Earth’s coldest and driest extremes. Currently, he is exploring the impact of herbicides on the composition and structure of soil microbial communities, as well as the effects of water and nutrient availability on extremophile communities of glacial valleys and arid volcanoes. His studies utilize observational and experimental work with soils from grasslands of the United States, glacial watersheds of the Peruvian Andes, mountains in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and volcanoes along the Atacama Andes.
Ruth E. Quispe Pilco
Ruth completed her M.S. work in the lab of Dr. Haydeé Montoya Terreros at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Peru. Her focus is on the study of cyanobacteria, particularly Nostoc sp., in High Andean ecosystems. She is investigating the strategies Nostoc may use to persist through global warming and climate change. Her research includes metagenomic analyses, experiments with UV radiation, and analyses of survival and pigment expression in Nostoc colonies.
Emily Vander Pol
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Emily is an undergraduate student studying ecology and evolutionary biology. In addition to pursuing her passion of following a marine biology path, she is exploring the importance of planet Earth’s tiniest life forms for the bigger, more visible life they support in the Schmidt lab. In her free time not in the lab you can find her cooking, painting and reading all while she has her bearded dragon, Sir August, on her shoulder where he likes to hang out.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Anna is a student studying ecology and evolutionary biology and is interested in the little things. She finds the mysteries of the microbial world fascinating and is particularly interested in pathogens. Anna finds herself most at home when she is nowhere near her address and loves to move for miles on foot, bike, and skis.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Emma is an undergraduate student studying ecology & evolutionary biology and computer science. She is interested in pursuing a career in microbial ecology, conservation biology, and bioinformatics.
Joseph is an undergraduate student studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He's also minoring in Space, Geology, and Sociology. He hopes to use all of these fields of study in pursuit of a career in the interdisciplinary field of Astrobiology. He is most curious about the potential for life adapting to various environments and the implications for life elsewhere in our universe.
Alison Orthel (research technician 2021-22)
Alison is an undergraduate student studying ecology and evolutionary biology and music performance in trombone. She is interested in pursuing a career related to bioinformatics and genetics, and enjoys learning about evolution, microbes, and how ecological systems fit together.
Amy Barfield (M.A. 2021)
Amy's master's thesis examined the effects of glyphosate-based herbicides on soil microbial communities of grassland and alpine environments. Broadly, she is interested in soil biogeochemistry and environmental responses to disturbances, and joined the Schmidt lab because she thought microbes seemed pretty cool and wanted to learn more about them. She currently works in science communication for UCAR.
Abby Tubman (undergraduate research assistant 2019-2020)
Abby is an undergraduate studying integrative physiology and public health. In addition to learning about the human body, she wants to learn more about microbes. She is interested in applying to medical school where she can apply her knowledge about microbes from the Schmidt lab.
Claire Mastrangelo (research technician 2018-2020)
Claire is a PhD student in the program of Infectious Diseases and Immunity (IDI) at the University of California-Berkeley.
Cliff Bueno de Mesquita (post doc 2019-2020)
Cliff is a post doc at the Joint Genome Institute / Berkeley National Lab investigating the microbial ecology/metagenomics of wetlands/salt ponds. He conducted his doctoral research on plant-microbe interactions in alpine environments where he studied how microbes may facilitate plant colonization of unvegetated soils as climate warms. He worked in the Suding and Schmidt labs on the Moving Uphill project. His post doc work focused on how glyphosate affects mycorrizhal associations of native and invasive plants on the Herbicides and Microbes project.
Eli Gendron (PhD 2019)
Eli is a post doc investigating nematode microbiomes in the Porazinska Lab at the University of Florida.
Eli's dissertation focused on gaining a broader understanding of high elevation aquatic microbial communities in the Colorado Rockies, and how they are structured by both abiotic and biotic interactions.
Dorota Porazinska (research associate 2015-2018)
Dorota is an Assistant Professor of Nematode Ecology and and Soil Microbiomes at the University of Florida. She is a soil microbial ecologist interested in patterns of biodiversity, plant-soil biotic interactions, and linkages between biodiversity and ecosystem function. By training, nematodes are her first love, but microbes and fungi keep catching up. In other words, she loves to play with dirt, wherever her research takes her.
Porazinska Lab. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Hollenkamp (undergraduate research assistant 2018)
Michelle is studying for her Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (D.M.D.) at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
John L. Darcy (PhD 2017) Post Doc, University of Colorado- Anschutz Medical Campus
Zack Schubert (honors 2014) Working in private industry
Nuttapon Pombubpa (honors 2014) Grad Student, fungal genomics, UC Riverside
Bryan Todd (honors 2013) Working in private industry
Ken Wilson (M.S. 2013) Fellow, Western Resources Advocates
Margaret Mitter (MS 2012) PhD student, University of Colorado
Robert L. Wagner (honors 2012) PhD student, UC Davis
Michael S. Robeson (PhD 2011) Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Moshe Rhodes (postdoc 2011) UCHSC, Denver
Andrew Wuu (honors 2011) MD, University of New England
Andrew J. King (PhD 2010) Oak Ridge National Lab
Sarah R. Frankel (honors 2010) Registered Nurse, Seattle
Elizabeth K. Costello (PhD 2009) Stanford University
Barbara-Lynn Concienne (MS 2009) Denali National Park
Kristen R. Freeman (PhD 2009) US Forest Service, Hawaii
Sasha C. Reed (PhD 2008) Director, USGS Lab Moab, Utah
Marcus Carr (Honors 2009) MD (address unknown)
Katherine F. McCormick (Honors 2008) (address unknown)
Meghan M. Gebauer (Honors 2007) (address unknown)
Michael N. Weintraub (postdoc 2004-2006) Professor, University of Toledo
Cheyenne L. Wiseman (honors 2005) MD, Columbia St. Mary's
Monte Pescador (M.A. 2005), High School teacher, Denver Colorado)
Diana R. Nemergut (PhD 2004) Professor, Duke University
Allen F. Meyer (PhD 2004) Retired MD
Chris W. Schadt (PhD 2002) Senior Scientist, Oak Ridge National Lab
Ruth E. Ley (PhD 2002) Director, Max Planck Institute, Tübingen, Germany
David A. Lipson (postdoc 2000-2001) Professor, San Diego State University
David K. Oline (postdoc 2001) Professor, Southern Oregon University
Ann E. West (PhD 1999) Missouri University of Science and Technology
Greg M. Colores (PhD 1998) Professor, Central Michigan University
Kimberly Wickland (M.S. 1998) (Lead Scientist, USGS, Colorado)
Melanie C. Fisk (PhD 1997) Professor, Miami University (Ohio)
Reneé B. Mullen (PhD 1997) Professor, Eureka College
Paul D. Brooks (PhD 1996) Professor, University of Utah
Petra Radehaus (Ph.D. 1995) Professor, Mittweida University, Germany