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Principal investigator
Stilianos Louca, PhD
Assistant Professor, University of Oregon, Department of Biology
Stilianos studied physics and mathematics at the Friedrich-Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, in Germany. He obtained his Ph.D. in mathematical biology at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Stilianos joined the University of Oregon as an Assistant Professor of Biology in 2019. 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.
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.
Graduate rotations
Jordan Rodriguez
Jordan graduated from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi with a B.Sc. in Environmental Science & a minor in Biology in 2021. As an undergrad researcher, Jordan used computational methods to disentangle & describe global sampling biases across various taxa, and during her post-bacc in 2022, she sequenced the genomes of century old fish specimens and used bioinformatics to explore historical changes in genetic diversity. Jordan is now moving forward with developing methods & tools for analyzing massive data, with a focus on characterizing global prokaryotic diversity.
Undergraduate researchers
Katherine Qi
Kate is an undergraduate student in Marine Biology, and currently pursuing Computer Science as 2nd major. Her interests include developing a global network of sustainable offshore marine farms, to support both ecology and human food industry. Considering the microbial ecology would be a important part of marine farm in the future due to climate change, her next target destinations are Denmark colleges for studying aquaculture microbiology.
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.
Loie Bonnet
Loie is a 3rd-year marine biology major interested in pursuing a career in researching marine microorganisms and the impacts of climate change on marine environments. She is getting a certificate in outdoor education from UO and enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, surfing, and skiing. She is currently working on data collection for the FAPROTAX project.
Oliver Loreto
Oliver is a second-year biology and data science major in the Clark Honors College, minoring in bioengineering. He is interested in the computational side of biology in the context of synthetic biology and hopes to apply methods from data science and machine learning to biological datasets. 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.
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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