Staff

Lab Technician: Erik Bengston (2015-2017)

Erik worked on our Euhaplorchis-Killifish parasitology project, and was in charge of fish rearing and infecting. He started off with us working on our bird parasitology project. He has a BS in Physiology from University of California, Santa Barbara. He is known by some as the “Big Beng”. Email Erik.

Post-Doctoral Researchers

Dr. Kate Sheehan (2014-2017)

Kate focused on bird parasites. Her major effort in the lab involved running a project quantifying the diversity and abundance of estuarine bird parasites. She also spearheaded our project examining the relationships between parasites, plastics, and poisons in Alaskan seabirds. Email Kate. Go to her website.

Dr. Benjamin Van Allen (2016-2018)

Ben had a nifty SIO fellowship where he is free to wrap up previous work and develop new interests. Some of his research has examined how landscape variability and dispersal affect community structure, and how cannibalism influences infectious disease dynamics. He was developing ideas concerning the factors that lead to variation in the diversity and abundance of estuarine parasite species at different sites and times. Email Ben. Go to Ben’s website.

Dr. Lauren Nadler (2016-2018)

Lauren worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish-Bird project. She quantified how any pathological effects of infection on birds are countered by the parasite making the birds’ prey easier to catch. She has a BA in Marine Science from Boston University, an MRes in Marine & Freshwater Ecology and Environmental Management from the University of Glasgow, and a PhD in Marine Biology from James Cook University. Email Lauren. Go to her website.

Graduate Students

Caitlin Fong, PhD (2013-2017)

Cat worked on an isopod parasite that blocks female reproductive function of barnacles. She has a parallel life doing community ecology of algae. Cat was one of Ryan’s students who stayed at UCSB. She will be starting a NSF post doctoral fellowship that she’ll run out of CSUN with Bob Carpenter. Cat got her BS in Biology from University of California, Santa Barbara. Email Cat.

Ana Garcia-Vedrenne, PhD (2011-2018)

Ana worked on trematode sociality. She was one of Ryan’s students who stayed at UC Santa Barbara. While working on her PhD, she picked up a masters in Statistics. Ana got her BS in Chemical Pharmaceutical-Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, in Mexico City, and did her undergraduate thesis with Ryan and Armand Kuris at UCSB. Email Ana.

Rebecca Hernandez, M.S. (2017-2019)
Becky was a Masters student in the Hechinger Lab. She first became involved with the Hechinger lab as a volunteer on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She obtained her BS in Biology from the University of Texas-Pan American. Email Becky.

Lab Interns / Assistants / Undergraduates

Joy Kumagai (2016-2017)

Joy worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the distribution, abundance, and diversity of parasites that live in the digestive tract. She graduated from UCSD with a Marine Biology degree.

Paige Albers (2016-2017)

Paige worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of feather lice and mites. She graduated from UCSD, majoring in General Biology.

Rachel Sielski (2015-2017)

Rachel worked on our bird parasitology project, doing whole bird processing and focusing on the distribution, abundance, diversity, and impacts of parasites that live in the body organs other than a bird’s digestive tract (e.g., lungs and kidneys). She graduated from UCSD, majoring in Molecular Biology.

Alexander Dai (2016-2017)

Alexander worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of feather lice and mites. He is currently an undergraduate at UCSD, doing a double major in Marine biology and Physiology & Neuroscience.

Akiko Garcia (2016)

Akiko worked on the Euhaplorchis-Fundulus parasitology project, analyzing avoidance behavior of killifish. She was a summer UC CAMP intern, and has now graduated UCSD with a degree in Biology: Ecology, Behavior & Evolution.

Sam Jug (2016)

Sam worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the abundance, diversity, and impacts of blood parasites. He graduated from UCSD, majoring in Biology.

Meghan Holt (2016)

Meghan worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the distribution, abundance, and diversity of parasites that live in the digestive tract. She graduated from UCSD, majoring in Physiology and Neuroscience. She likes to be called “Sasswagon”.

Shengnan Sun (2016)

Shengnan worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the abundance, diversity, and impacts of blood parasites. She is an undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Physiology and Neuroscience, with a minor in Psychology.

Cody Webb (2016)

Cody worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the distribution, abundance, and diversity of parasites that live in the digestive tract. He is an undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Human Biology.

Nathan Yawata (2015-2016)

Nathan worked on our bird parasitology project and focused on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of parasites living in the digestive tract. He graduated from UCSD with a major in General Biology.

Peirun “Barbara” Chen (2016)

Barbara helped out with a wide range of laboratory duties and data entry. She is currently an undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Biology.

Sriya Panchagnula (2016-2017)

Sriya worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of feather lice and mites. She is an undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Human Biology.

Victoria Leung (2016-2017)

Victoria worked on our bird parasitology project, focusing on the diversity, distribution, and abundance of feather lice and mice. She is currently an undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Human Biology.

Gagandeep Gill (2016-2017)

Gagan worked on our bird parasitology project. He is an undergraduate student at UCSD, majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Business.

Kevin Wen (2016-2017)

Kevin worked on the Bird Parasitology Project. He is an undergraduate at UCSD majoring in Molecular Biology.

Kaia Quigg (2017)

Kaia worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish parasitology project, analyzing behavior of infected fish. She is an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.

Raymond Lee (2017)

Raymond worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project, spending the whole summer with us. He is an undergraduate student at the University of Oregon, majoring in Marine Biology.

DeAundre Puritty (2017)

DeAundre Puritty worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project, spending the whole summer with us. He is an undergraduate student at Pittsburg State University majoring in biology.

Karina Cobian (2016-2018)

Karina worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project, focusing on analyzing behavioral changes in infected killifish. She was an undergraduate at UCSD, working on a BS in Marine Biology.

Rebeca Ellis (2017-2018)

Rebeca worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She was an undergrad at UCSD majoring in Ecology.

Raihana Yusufi (2017-2018)

Raihana worksed on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She was an Environmental Chemistry major at UCSD.

Sean Lo (2017-2018)

Sean worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. He was a UCSD student majoring in Human Biology.

Abhinav Birda (2017-2019)

Abhinav worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish, analyzing behavior changes in infected fish. He was an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring Economics and minoring in General Biology.

Jasmine Terhall (2017-2019)

Jasmine worked on the Euhaplorchis-Fundulus parasite project, analyzing footage of the California Killifish with a brain-encysting trematode. Her major was Marine Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies.

Anna Chen (2018)

Anna worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish field project, analyzing behavior changes in infected fish. She was a UCSD student double majoring in Biochemistry and Cognitive Psychology.

Daniella Fairbank (2018)

Daniella did video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project, focusing on Parasite-Increased Trophic TransmissionShe was a transfer student at UCSD majoring in Biology with a minor in global health.

James Riddell (2018-2019)

James worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish and Donax project. He was an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Marine Biology and minoring in Data Science.

Jessica Cameron (2018-2019)

Jessica worked on video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She was an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in General Biology.

Khang Tong (2018-2019)

Khang worked on the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. He was an undergraduate student at UCSD majoring in Environmental Systems: Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution.

Linh Ho (2018)

Linh worked on the video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She was a pre-med student at UCSD majoring in Psychology.

Matthew Campos (2018-2019)

Matthew worked on the video analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. He was a student at UCSD majoring in Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution.

Reyna M. Carrillo (2018-2019)

Reyna worked on the Video Analysis for the Euhaplorchis-Killifish project. She was a student at UCSD majoring in Marine Biology.

Visitors

Siri Helene Riise

Siri visited us, here and there, from Norway. She worked on the Euhaplorchis–Fundulus parasite project, focusing on how parasitism alters host physiology, and the anatomy and chemistry of the brain. She has a BS in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, and a M.Sc in Physiology, both from the University of Oslo.

Dr. Ida Beitnes Johansen

Ida was a visiting Postdoc from The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Oslo, Norway. She was working on the Euhaplorchis–Fundulus parasite project, which was a collaborative project between NMBU and the Hechinger lab. She has a BS in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a M.Sc in Physiology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway and a Ph.D. from NMBU.

Dr. Emlyn Resetarits

Emlyn is interested in species interactions and how these interactions can have large and unexpected effects on communities and ecosystems.  Her current work focuses on the role parasites play in aquatic food webs and ecosystems, and how parasites respond across different scales of organization.

Dr. Manuel Roberto Garcia-Huidobro Moreno

Roberto is interested in understanding the effect of environmental variability on the host-parasite relationship. His project studies the influence of the temperature and ocean acidification on two parasitised molluscs by digeneans along the coast of Chile. His work involves field collection and experiments that evaluate the performance of hosts against these environmental stressors. Currently, he is a research associate at the Centro de Investigación e Innovación para el Cambio Climático, and coordinator of the PhD program in Conservación y Gestión de la Biodiversidad at the Santo Tomas University, Chile. Email Roberto. Website.

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