Lab Alumni

Karen Adair

Karen has taken up a research associate position at the University of Oregon in January 2019, working with Dr Brendan Bohannan on the ecology of microbiomes in the zebrafish model. Karen conducted research with us over three years on the ecological processes driving the ecological and functional diversity of the microbiome in natural populations of Drosophila. She focused particularly on the role of neutral and host factors in shaping intraspecific and interspecific variation in the composition of the microbial communities in Drosophila guts. Her research was funded by a NSF Dimensions of Diversity grant.

Bindiya Sachdev

Bindiya has worked with us for a year on a Gates-funded project to identify molecular targets for the control of whitefly pests. In February 2019, Bindiya transferred from our lab to Pennsylvania State University, to continue research on the control of whitefly pests.

Bram van den Bergh

Bram conducted a year of postdoctoral research (2017-2009-2024) with us to develop Drosophila as a model for adaptation of bacteria to frequent application of antibiotics in the gut environment. Bram was funded by BAEF, EMBO and FWO, and has now returned to University of Leuven (Belgium), to continue his research on the bacterial persister phenotype.

Seung Ho Chung

Seung Ho has taken up a research associate position with Dr Georg Jander from October 2009-2024. Seung Ho conducted postdoctoral research with us for four years on the aphid-bacterial symbiosis. He played a key role in optimizing RNAi in the pea aphid and using RNAi against aphid genes that support the bacterial symbiosis. This work provides the first demonstration of targeting the symbiosis as a novel aphid pest control strategy


Dantong Zhu

Dantong transferred from our laboratory to a postdoctoral position with Dr David Hughes at Penn State University in July 2009-2024. While with us, Dantong has investigated vitamin nutrition of hemipteran insects, including the role of microbial symbionts in vitamin provisioning


junbo (002)Junbo Luan

Junbo took up a faculty position in China from 1st December 2017. He conducted postdoctoral research with us for four years on the whitefly symbiosis, including the analysis of shared metabolic pathways and mechanisms of symbiont transmission.


tian-honggangHonggang Tian

Honggang spent a year with us (2016-2017)as Visiting Scholar from NorthWest A&F University in China, returning to his faculty position in October 2017. Honggang worked on strategies to improve the efficacy of RNAi in phloem-feeding insects, especially aphids, building on his expertise in this area.


luo-yuan-webYuan Luo

On 1st December 206, Yuan took up the position as a senior research associate in the Department of Medicine, University of Michigan, working in Professor Scott Pletcher’s laboratory on the nature of aging-related disease. Yuan was a postdoctoral associate in our lab for just over three years from October 2013. She worked on two projects: the relationship of Drosophila host and its gut microbiota, with funding from NSF, and the RNAi in the phloem-feeding insects with funding from The Atkinson Center for Sustainable Future. Yuan conducted her PhD in the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science on RNAi in locusts, supervised by Professor Le Kang.

bessemBessem Chouaia

In November 2016, Bessem took up the position of Research Associate in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Milan, Italy, working on insect-plant interactions with Professor Franco Faoro. Bessem worked with us as a postdoctoral researcher for two years, October 2014-September 2016, on the microbial symbiosis in hemipteran insects. Before coming to Cornell in 2014, Bessem conducted his PhD and four years of postdoctoral research - also at the University of Milan.


Huang_JiaHsinJia Hsin Huang

In October 2015, Jia Hsin has taken up the position as a senior research associate in the Institute of Information Science at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan, working on the regulatory modules controlling wing development of metamorphosing insects.Jia Hsin was a postdoctoral associate in the lab for two years from October 2013. His research was funded by NIH and Jia Hsin investigated the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota protect Drosophila against hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia.

Jia Hsin conducted his PhD in the Department of Entomology at National Taiwan University. His research, supervised by How-Jing Lee, investigated the role of hypertrehalosemic hormone on the blood sugar, reproduction, and anti-oxidative stress in the German cockroach Blattella germanica. Jia Hsin also spent one year work in Barcelona, supervised by Xavier Belles, investigating the role of the broad-complex genes on the wing development during the metamorphosis of B. germanica.


Jing_XiangfengXiangfeng Jing

Xiangfeng has taken up a tenure-track position at Northwest A & F University in China from September 2015.

Xiangfeng was a postdoctoral associate in the lab from January 2012. His research funded by USDA investigated the molecular and physiological basis of osmoregulation in aphids and other phloem-feeding insects. Xiangfeng conducted his PhD studies on sterol nutrition of insects under the supervision of Spencer Behmer at Texas A&M.


johnJohn Chaston

John has taken up a position as Assistant Professor in Genetics and Biotechnology at Brigham Young University, Utah,from August 2014.

John joined our lab in September 2011, and conducted postdoctoral research on the gut microbiota with funding from NIH. He received his PhD (Microbiology, 2011) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for work performed in Dr. Heidi Goodrich-Blair’s lab, where he characterized host-association events and factors in nematode intestinal symbionts; and B.S (Microbiology, 2005) from Brigham Young University

Peter Newell_Sept 11Peter Newell

Peter took up the position as Assistant Professor at SUNY Oswego in August 2014, following a three-year Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship (NIH) with us. Peter’s fellowship enabled him to investigate how bacteria and animals initiate and maintain symbiotic interactions, using Drosophila melanogaster and its gut microbiota as his model system.
Peter completed his B.A. at Middlebury College, and he conducted his doctoral research with George O’Toole at Dartmouth Medical School on bacterial biofilms.

Dobson_Adam_0412 Adam Dobson

Adam has taken up a position as research fellow in the laboratory of Dr Matt Piper, University College London, starting 1st April 2014. Adam joined our lab in April 2012 as a postdoc researcher to study the gut microbiota of Drosophila. He did his BSc, and then PhD supervised by Jens Rolff, at the University of Sheffield, UK.

picture_AdamAdam Wong

Adam completed his graduate studentship in summer 2013 and has taken up a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Steve Simpson, University of Sydney, Australia. Adam joined the lab in January 2009, after completing his MSc at the University of Hong Kong and a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of York, UK.

calum Calum Russell

Calum graduated with a PhD in June 2013, and has proceeded to a postdoc position in the laboratory of Dr Kirsten Pelz-Stelinski at the University of Florida, where Calum is working on the Asian Citrus Psyllid.


sophie_pictureSophie Bouvaine

Sophie took up a job in May 2013 as a Plant Molecular Biologist/Virologist at the Natural Resources Institute, UK, as a team leader on insect-vectored viruses of tropical root crops, especially cassava. Sophie was with us for more than 6 years. She conducted a three-year postdoc on the sterol nutrition of aphids, with funding from USDA, and a graduate studentship on luteoviruses in aphids, in collaboration with the Central Science Laboratory, York, UK. Sophie received her B. A and Master on plant science at the University of Rennes, France.

jean Jeanne Kagle

Jeanne joined the laboratory for a sabbatical for the Fall 2012 semester, from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania where she is an Associate Professor of Biology. Jeanne worked with us using genomic analysis to generate hypotheses concerning how gut microbiota impact the biology of Drosophila. Jeanne’s background is primarily in bacterial biodegradation of aromatic compounds, with a focus on pharmaceuticals and personal care products. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2004 from Cornell University.

brendaBrenda Gustin

Brenda had a semester-long sabbatical leave from Corning Community College (CCC) in Corning, NY between January and early May 2012, as a Visiting Fellow of Cornell University. Brenda used fruit flies as a model through which to study variations in phenotypes between animals with and without their normal resident microorganisms. This work provided Brenda with the opportunity to work in a research environment and provides material that Brenda can use to help develop classroom activities.

Brenda has a MS in Microbiology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Florida.