Jordan Coelho, Ph.D. Student


Native to Southern California, I attended Oregon State University where I received a B.S. in Microbiology with a focus in Aquatic Microbiology, and a minor in Chemistry. My introduction to science was non-traditional. I began by studying restaurant management and culinary arts but after taking a microbiology class, I realized that was my calling. I left my career as a Chef and restaurant manager and went back to school to pursue that calling. As an undergrad in the microbiology program I studied marine algal physiology with Dr. Kimberly Halsey, and molecular pathogen-host interactions with Dr. Brett Tyler. In my graduate studies I will be shifting gears from the eukaryotic world into the prokaryotic world. I have a specific passion for biogeochemistry, relating bacterial genomics and physiology to the ecology of marine systems, and exploring microbial interactions in order to paint a comprehensive picture of the microbial community within a system; I will be able to nurture this passion as a graduate student in the Thrash lab. When I am not in the lab I am often out running, climbing, hiking, losing my mind about dogs, enjoying a body of water in some manner, and cooking for friends and family.

Michael W. Henson, Postdoctoral Researcher


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. Google Scholar citations   Henson_CV

Alex Hyer, Ph.D. Student


I completed my H.B.S in Biology at the University of Utah with a focus on Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. During my studies, I had the opportunity to work in the Brazelton Lab for several years. While there, I learned bioinformatics, built and maintained a small High-Throughput Cluster, and co-authored several papers. My research focused on metagenomic binning and annotation of low biomass samples from serpentinization springs in Coastal Range Ophiolite Microbial Observatory (CROMO), which ultimately became my undergraduate thesis. In addition to CROMO, I worked on datasets collected from serpentinization springs worlwide as well as the Lost City Hydrothermal Field on the Atlantis Massif. My research afforded me the opportunity to present at AbSciCon 2017 where I met Dr. David Smith. With his help, I spent a summer in the Space Life Sciences Training Program at the NASA Ames Research Center. During that program, I analyzed publicly available data comparing the gene expression of organisms on Earth vs. those sent to the International Space Station. My research experiences have driven my passion for systems biology, metabolic networks, and microbial ecology. I’m excited to be studying under Dr. Cameron Thrash for graduate school and performing research with the entire Thrash Lab. The breadth and depth of data here will provide exciting research opportunities.

V. Celeste Lanclos, Ph.D. Student


I am a Louisiana native who attended Louisiana State University for college. I completed the Interdisciplinary Studies program with minors in Biology, Chemistry, and Oceanography & Coastal Sciences while working in the Thrash Lab. My undergraduate research was heavily focused on assisting with culturing efforts along coastal Louisiana and characterizing a few of our key isolates. This combination of interdisciplinary studies and aquatic microbiology research was eye opening and played a paramount role in my decision to pursue a graduate education. Since graduating in 2017, I have decided to stay on as a Ph.D. student in the Thrash lab. My graduate work is currently focused on comparative genomics of the SAR11 subgroup III. I also have been able to spend some time working on course development for CURE labs that allow first-semester freshmen to gain valuable research experience. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my pup, camping, hiking, reading, and discovering the best brunch spots in town.

J. Cameron Thrash, Principle Investigator


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. My current interests are reflected in our research program which investigates the function and ecology of microorganisms from a variety of aquatic environments, including coastal and open ocean systems. See our Research page for more. I’m an enthusiastic surfer and diver, and I also co-host a free online microbiology seminar series with Lizzy Wilbanks and David Baltrus over at MicroSeminar.  Cameron’s interview with People Behind the Science    Google Scholar


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  😦 .

Lab Alums

  • Brette Campbell – LSU Undergraduate Researcher; B.S. Microbiology, 2014
  • Mary Carnes – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2018
  • Chase Doiron – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2015-2016
  • Bailey Dixon – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2015-2017
  • Joshua Edwards – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2015
  • Logan Forest – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2018
  • Rene Girard – LSU Undergraduate Researcher; B.S. Biology, 2015. After: graduate school at University of Texas Northeast
  • Megan Guidry – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2018
  • Anna Lucchesi – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2016-2018
  • Thomas Martin – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2015
  • Emily Nall – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2014-2018; B.S. Biology, B.S. Microbiology, Amborski Award winner, 2018. After: lab tech with Dr. Jennifer Brum
  • David Pitre – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2014-2015; B.S. Biology, Amborski Award winner, 2015. After: medical school at LSU New Orleans
  • Nicolas Spatafora – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2014-2015; transferred to Oregon State University
  • Mikaela Walters – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2017-2018
  • Austen Webber – LSU Ph.D. student 2015-2016; now a brewer at Mantra Artisan Ales
  • Jessica Weckhorst – LSU Undergraduate Researcher 2013-2015; B.S. Microbiology, Socolofski Award winner, 2015. After: graduate school at Baylor University

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