J. Cameron Thrash, Assistant Professor
I was born and raised in Orange County, Southern California. I managed to complete undergraduate studies at UC San Diego in spite of being constantly tempted with beautiful weather, epic surf, and easy ocean access. Afterwards, I worked as a Research Assistant for Monica J. Carson at The Scripps Research Institute on microglial gene expression in central nervous system disease. Switching gears after deciding to work on microbes, I attended UC Berkeley for graduate school in the lab of John D. Coates. Grad work included bioelectrochemical reduction of perchlorate, a major contaminant of groundwater in the United States, isolation of novel perchlorate reducing microorganisms, and side projects involving anaerobic oxidation of Fe(II) and U(IV). I then postdoc’d with Stephen J. Giovannoni at Oregon State University, focusing on a variety of topics on the evolution and genomics of SAR11, the most abundant marine bacteria. I’m an enthusiastic surfer, diver, and crossfitter. I blogged at One World One Ocean in The Water Column, and I also co-host a free online microbiology seminar series with Jen Biddle and David Baltrus over at MicroSeminar.
Born and raised in the Midwest, I came to LSU and the Thrash lab from Dr. Deric Learman’s lab at Central Michigan University where I completed my MS thesis investigating genomic, physiological, and chromate reduction variation among four isolates. While at the Learman lab, I was able to take part in projects at Poyang Lake (Nanchang, China), the Antarctic shelf, and in Great Lake coastal wetlands. My past research experience includes a year as a Student Contract at the US EPA working with Dr. Jorge Santo Domingo. Together my research experiences have pulled me in many directions, but ultimately led me to develop a great passion for research in environmental microbiology, specifically investigating how environmental disturbances, geochemistry, biogeography, and the microbial community intertwine to tell a more complete functional community story. Outside of the lab, I enjoy the outdoors, being on the water, and am working to get my certification to become a scientific diver.
I grew up in Opelousas, LA and never left much until I came to LSU in 2012. Since starting college, I developed a love for travel and experiencing new things. I am working on traveling to all of the National Parks in the US, and I ultimately want to visit Peru and hike to Machu Picchu. I majored in Independent Studies with concentrations in Biology, Chemistry, and Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and graduated in 2016. I’m continuing in the Thrash Lab for a Masters Degree and my research will focus on comparative genomics and physiology of important coastal bacterioplankton.
I grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I am majoring in Biology here at LSU, with a minor in Ecology. I began my college career at BRCC, and during this time I worked at the LSU Reproductive Biology Center, but I am now a Junior here at LSU and am an undergrad in Dr. Thrash’s lab. It is my hope that by working in this lab I can learn more about the impact the microbial composition of an area has on the environment, hopefully learning more about the beautiful gulf I grew up near in the process. I also hope to learn more about genetics and microbiology in general here. On the side I enjoy the nerdier pursuits such as Magic: TheGathering, DnD, and Roller Derby.
I was born in Toledo, Ohio. I have lived in several different states throughout my life including, West Chester, Pennsylvania, Borger, Texas, New Orleans, and now currently Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My major is Natural Resource Ecology and Management with the concentration of Conservation Biology, LSU Class of 2019. Since a young age I’ve always had a passion for the ocean, an obsession with cephalopods, and a love for scuba diving.
I was born in Pensacola, Florida, but moved to Opelousas, Louisiana when I was still young. I am majoring in Biological Sciences with a marine concentration. I enjoy reading, video games, anime, soccer, music, and animals. I am also an Honors Student and plan to graduate in 2018.
I’m a native Louisianan from Luling, a few miles down the Mississippi River from New Orleans. The Mississippi, as well as Louisiana’s coastal health, quickly excavated a home in my heart. I’m passionate about analyzing the ways biological factors impact the well-being of coastal communities. Sandwiched in between my love for bayous and the wonderful people of Louisiana, I really enjoy baking, playing with any-and-all dogs, being a total geek about anything remotely related to science, and getting lost on really long walks.
Mikaela Walters (bio soon…)
Hello, its Britney, but you can call me Brit. I was born and raised in small town Louisiana. I love to sing and dance, but since joining the Thrash lab I have found my new calling: lab safety. Have you ever seen those crazy videos and stories about labs blowing up? Well its my job to make sure that the Thrash lab members stay safe and continue to brush up on their dance moves (Hot damn!). Ever wondered what the proper lab PPE looks like, look no further than my photo. Cheers to a successful start in the lab and I can’t wait to keep learning new lab skills though my hands don’t move too well 😦 .
Brette Campbell – B.S. Microbiology, 2014.
Rene Girard – B.S. Biology, 2015. After: graduate school at University of Texas Northeast
David Pitre – B.S. Biology, Amborski Award winner, 2015. After: medical school at LSU New Orleans
Nicolas Spatafora – transferred to Oregon State University
Austen Webber – brewer at Mantra Artisan Ales
Jessica Weckhorst – B.S. Microbiology, Socolofski Award winner, 2015. After: graduate school at Baylor University