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Principal investigator
Stilianos Louca, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Oregon, Department of Biology
Stilianos studied physics and mathematics in Germany. He obtained his Ph.D. in mathematical biology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His research focuses on the ecology and evolution of microorganisms. He is the recipient of the 2017 Science & SciLifeLab worldwide Grand Prize for Young Scientists in the life sciences, the 2019 ASN Young Investigator Award, the 2019 CSEE Early Career Award, and a 2021 Sloan Research Fellowship.
Personal website.
Postdoctoral researchers
Haitao Shang
Haitao is a postdoctoral researcher in the Louca Lab. He obtained a Ph.D. in Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2021. Haitao is broadly interested in the co-evolution of life and the environment with particular emphasis on answering how the evolution of microorganisms has contributed to shaping the surface environments of Earth and exoplanets. In the Louca Lab, he is working on the evolution of microbial metabolic pathways and modeling Earth's biogeochemistry over macroevolutionary timescales.
Sophia Lambert
Sophia obtained a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Sciences at the Institute of Biology of École Normale Supérieure and the National Museum of Natural History (Paris) in 2022. Her past work focused on developing diversification models adapted to microbial datasets, fast inference techniques using deep learning and applying them to large reconstructed microbial phylogenies. She is broadly interested in the ecological and metabolic strategies of prokaryotes and micro-eukaryotes and how these have shaped their evolution. In the Louca lab, her project aims at understanding ocean prokaryotes evolution with a special interest on their mode of speciation using genomic data.
Personal website.
Graduate students
Hengameh Habibi Soufi
Hengameh graduated with a B.Sc. in Cellular and Mollecular Biology in 2017, where she worked on culturing and isolation of Thaumarchaeota samples from deep strata of Caspian Sea. Hengameh is now on a track to combine her wetlab knowledge with bioinformatic tools to understand microbial life.
Maria (Masha) Korchagina
Masha graduated with a B.A. in Physical Anthropology and a minor in Molecular Biology from New York University in 2013. As an undergrad researcher, she used molecular techniques to study primate phylogenetics as well as microbial community ecology in urban environments. For her PhD, Masha is using bioinformatics to investigate the coevolution and diversification of prokaryotic genes and genomes.
Robert Porch
Rob graduated from Rutgers University in 2020 with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolution and a minor in Statistics. During his 2019 summer REU, Rob worked in Britt Koskella's lab at UC Berkeley, where he discovered his interest in microbial ecology. For his PhD, Rob is using bioinformatics and phylogenetics to develop software to infer metabolic functional traits from prokaryotic taxa. Outside of academics, Rob enjoys making music, running, and video games.
Undergraduate researchers
Elizabeth Simpson
Elizabeth is a freshman marine biology major in the CHC. Their academic interests include marine bird and mammal conservation, field ecology, intertidal zones, reef, kelp, and fish ecology and conservation, and working as an aquarist. In their free time they enjoy scuba diving in Hoodsport Washington, baking, doing art, and hanging out with friends.
Jade Peairson
Jade is a first year Marine Biology major in the Clark Honors College. Her academic interests are mainly in biology, specifically reefs, sharks, and ocean conservation, and she hopes to one day become a professor of Marine Biology. Her favorite activities outside of academics include professional mermaiding, SCUBA diving, backpacking, and competitive open water swimming.
Jared Schnider
Jared is a third-year biology major, with minors in chemistry and global service. He is mainly interested in cellular mechanisms and genetics, as well as learning more about how he can use knowledge gained from these areas to better understand their interface with other areas of biology. Outside of academics he enjoys working out, being outdoors, and reading.
Joey Abrams
Joey Abrams (He/Him) is a third-year Biology major and Chemistry, Food Studies, and Religious Studies minor at the University of Oregon. He is devoted to nurturing his understanding of plants and animals as well as their interactions with one another. Through his studies, he hopes to find and explore the relationships between evidence-based sciences with traditional beliefs and practices. Outside of academics, he enjoys gardening, art, biking, and hanging out with friends.
Lauren Grover
Lauren is a third-year human physiology student in the Clark Honors College with minors in biology and chemistry. Their scientific interests include microbial evolution and its impacts on human health as well as immunology from a biochemical standpoint. Outside of academics, Lauren enjoys dancing, playing video games, and hanging out with their cat.
Liam Versteeg
Liam is a 3rd-year biology major with an anthropology minor in the Clark Honors College. He is especially interested in primate ecology, evolutionary mechanisms, and animal behavior, and hopes to one day have a career in either wildlife management or conservation research. In the Louca Lab, he is currently working on data collection for the FAPROTAX project.
Tommy Taylor
Tommy is a third-year biology major in the Clark Honors College with a Spanish minor. Tommy's academic interests include immunology and gut microbial ecology. After graduating, he plans to attend medical school and become a physician. Tommy is currently working on improving the FAPROTAX bioinformatics tool for microbiome surveys.
Oliver Loreto (undergraduate researcher, 2022-2023)
Katherine Qi (undergraduate researcher, 2022-2023)
Jake Hoskins (undergraduate researcher, 2022-2023)
Loie Bonnet (undergraduate researcher, 2022)
Jordan Rodriguez (PhD rotation, 2022)
Vicente Ibarra (undergraduate researcher, 2022)
Daniel Tran (undergraduate researcher, 2022)
Narda Jimena Trivino (PhD rotation, 2021)
Leila Jones (undergraduate researcher, 2021)
Nathan Malamud (undergraduate researcher, 2021)
Callum Kuo (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Jacob Ryan (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Alexandria Montgomery (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Sage Albright (undergraduate researcher, honors thesis in Louca lab, 2020)
Thorin Haussecker (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Gabriel Pedersen (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Allen Williamson (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Claire Lewis (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Caitlin Smith (PhD rotation, 2020)
Rachel Lisle (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
David Hugel (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
Daniel Sullivan (undergraduate researcher, 2020)
James Carr (undergraduate researcher, 2019)
Crysta Winter (undergraduate researcher, 2019)
Marissa Gutierrez (undergraduate researcher, 2019)
Lab photos

Louca lab. Department of Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
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