Graduate Students


Ph.D Candidate, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program (2017-present)

B.S., Biology, Central Michigan University (2017)

Research Interests – Bacteriophages are often overlooked as contributing members of an ecosystem. I am interested in using sequencing data to explore ecological and biogeochemical services of phages in nature and the human gut. I am also interested in the development of bioinformatic methods to expand the set of tools available for investigating phages.

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Patricia Tran

Ph.D Candidate, Freshwater and Marine Sciences Program (2018-present)

B.S., Environmental Sciences, McGill University, 2016

M.S., Biology, Concordia University, 2018

Graduate certificate in Bioinformatics, McGill University, 2016

Research Interests – My research explores the metabolism and ecology of microbes in anoxic zones of freshwater lakes, such as seasonally oxygen-depleted bottom waters (hypolimnions) of Lake Mendota (Madison, WI), and the permanently anoxic deep waters of Lake Tanganyika (Tanzania). Additionally, my work aims to bridge the gap between the data-rich research fields of genomics and aquatic modeling, by leveraging genomic information from -omics datasets (metagenomics, metatranscriptomics) to inform lake quality water models.

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Elise Cowley

MD/PhD Candidate, Microbiology Doctoral Training Program (2020-present), Entering Class of 2017

NIH-CIBM Predoctoral Fellow

B.S., Chemistry and Bioresource Research, Oregon State University

Research Interests – I am interested in how microbial ecology can impact human health and the flipside – how human health can impact microbial ecology. I am currently working on projects related to the bacterial sulfur cycle in the human gut, specifically as it relates to colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

ORCID        Google Scholar

Jacob Hotvedt

M.S. Microbiology Program (2020-present)

B.S., Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison