Members

 

Photo by Cydney Scott for Boston University Photography

DR. SARAH W. DAVIES

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

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Sarah hails from Canada and her path to Boston University took her through University of Victoria, University of Calgary, UT Austin and, UNC Chapel Hill. She is largely interested in understanding why some organisms are winners and others are losers, and what this means in the context of rapidly changing environments. Sarah lives for travel, nerding out, Halloween, brewery tastings, and now she enjoys experiencing all of these things (minus the beer) with her daughters Kingsley and Kennedy.

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DR. HANNY E. RIVERA

POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE LECTURER

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Hanny Rivera is a Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer at BU. She uses genomics and transcriptomics to investigate the responses of reef building corals to environmental stressors and to identify the cellular and molecular processes underpinning coral-algal symbioses and coral immunity. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography in 2018 from the MIT/WHOI Joint Program MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Biology.

 

DR. COLLEEN BOVE

POSTDOCTORAL ASSOCIATE LECTURER

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Colleen received her PhD in Ecology from UNC Chapel Hill after completing her B.S. in Marine Biology at UNC Wilmington. She is joining the Davies Lab as a Postdoctoral Associate Lecturer in the Biology Department. Her research is focussed on assessing the physiological responses of organisms, predominantly corals, under global change. Outside of science and teaching, Colleen enjoys a good board game, hiking with her dog, and making tasty food and beer.

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NICOLA KRIEFALL

PhD STUDENT

While earning her B.A. in Biological Sciences at Hunter College in New York, Nicola joined many different molecular biology and marine ecology labs, which included work with fish, crabs, snails, and squid. Now she’s excited to combine molecular and ecological research as the first graduate student in the Davies Lab, using genomic analyses to ask: how do divergent local environments influence the population structures of corals and their symbionts? Outside of the lab, Nicola spends her time scuba diving, learning new languages, and sometimes doing absolutely nothing.

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HANNAH AICHELMAN

PhD STUDENT

Hannah comes to the Davies Lab after completing a B.S. in Environmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill and a M.S. in Biology at Old Dominion University in the Barshis Lab. Her M.S. thesis focused on understanding adaptation of the temperate coral Astrangia poculata to distinct temperatures across the species’ range. She looks forward to continuing to explore coral resilience and responses to rapid climate change using both physiological and molecular tools at BU. When she’s not nerding out about science, Hannah enjoys backpacking, sailing, and traveling to find delicious food and new breweries.
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DANIEL WUITCHIK

PhD STUDENT

Daniel received a B.Sc. in Psychology from the University of Victoria, during which he got his first aquarium and realized he really likes coral. This interest led him to work in larger public aquaria across Canada as an aquarium biologist. He then completed a M.Sc. in Ecology at the University of Calgary under the tutelage of Dr. Peter Vize. Daniel’s M.Sc. research focused on the genetic responses of coral to a variety of environmental cues. Outside of research, Dan enjoys fly fishing and adventuring with his dog.

JAMES FIFER

PhD STUDENT

James obtained his B.S. in Psychology at Trinity College and a M.S. in Biology at the University of Guam in the Raymundo Lab. His interest in coral started from a restoration perspective, working for several coral restoration programs in the Florida Keys, Dominican Republic and Guam. He has since shifted towards a molecular ecology focus, examining the molecular processes that underlie adaptation and stress responses in coral. James also enjoys listening to philosophy podcasts, arguing about movies, reading sci fi, and supporting Boston sports- he loves Tom Brady and doesn’t care who knows it.
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MARIA VALADEZ INGERSOLL

PhD STUDENT

Maria earned a B.A in both Biology and Spanish at Swarthmore College – where she worked with Liz Vallen to express anemone proteins in yeast cells – before attending BU to pursue her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Bio with Sarah Davies and Tom Gilmore. Her research focuses on the molecular stress responses of coral and anemones with particular interest in the regulation of immunity and metabolism. When she’s not obsessing over the health of her lab animals, Maria enjoys biking, snowboarding (west coast best coast), and a good glass of cheap wine.

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LAUREN KNASIN

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Lauren is a rising sophomore majoring in Marine Science and is from Cranston, Rhode Island. Coming from the Ocean State, it is fitting that her passion is the ocean and marine life. In her free time, Lauren enjoys doing community service, eating, spending time with her dog, as well as traveling, preferably somewhere tropical.

 

 

LAURA TSANG

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Laura is majoring in Marine Science and minoring in Biology. Growing up along the beaches of New Jersey, she has always had an interest in collecting seashells and studying marine life. She is currently learning how to extract DNA from corals and analyzing their relationships with symbiotic algae. Outside of the lab, she plays for the BU women’s waterpolo team and enjoys swimming, exploring and reading.

 

ALEXA HUZAR

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Alexa is a current junior majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is from Pennsylvania but even though she grew up in a landlocked state, she has always loved to be by the ocean. Her focus in the lab is studying how symbiotic algae is affected by changing ocean temperatures. Outside of school, she is a member of Beta Psi Omega and enjoys volunteering with them or relaxing with a good book.

 

 

KATIE GREENE

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Katie is a current sophomore majoring in Ecology and Conservation Biology. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, but spent much of her childhood along the Georgia coast. In the lab, she studies the impact of S. marcescens on coral populations. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hammocking on the Esplanade and hiking with the BU Outing Club.

HAYDEN DICKERSON

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Hayden is a rising junior from Akron, OH studying Marine Science. He developed his passion for marine life through his grandfather’s love of scuba diving and spent his younger years lifting up rocks and logs in the forest creeks of Northeast Ohio. In 2019, he traveled to Indonesia to research tunicates, and also to Belize for behavioral research on Queen conch predation by Spiny lobsters. He loves playing hockey and is on the club team here at BU. In the lab, he’s helping to determine how the coral Oculina arbuscula modulates its bleaching response based on the presence of native symbionts and feeding habits.
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CARLOS TRAMONTE

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER AND MCNAIRS SCHOLAR

Carlos is a rising senior studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Environmental Science at Boston College. He lives in sunny South Florida and was born in Venezuela before moving to the states. From a very young age, he has loved to be next to the water, whether that be by diving in the Florida Keys, playing water polo, or lifeguarding! He recently joined our lab as part of the McNair Scholars Program and is currently working on Aposymbiotic/Symbiotic pigment coloration and gene expression. Outside of school, Carlos enjoys going on hikes and camping in the Northeast, SCUBA diving, and eating burritos!
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OLIVIA NIEVES

BA/MA STUDENT

Olivia is currently earning her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and M.A. in Biotechnology. In lab she has studied physiological changes in Caribbean corals in response to the interactive effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperatures. Outside of lab, Olivia is on the BU Women’s Rugby team and enjoys hiking and going for bike rides.

 

JACK WELDON

VISITING UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Jack Weldon is an undergraduate student at Harvard University who originally started as a high school intern through the Advanced Science Research Program. Pursuing his interests in marine biology, he now work remotely analyzing a dataset investigating the influence of thermal extremes on facultatively symbiotic coral microbiomes.

 

 

JOURDAN HAROLD

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Jourdan is from New York City, more specifically The Bronx. He loves all parts of the ocean – biotic and abiotic. He likes to go snorkeling and SCUBA diving when the weather allows it and also loves spending time with his family and pet tortoise!

 

 

 

KIMBERLY CANDELARIO

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Kimberly is a current junior majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is from Southern California and loves all things related to animals. She has volunteered at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach California as a part of the education department. She is excited to have the opportunity to expand upon her knowledge of marine life at the Davies Lab. Outside the lab, Kimberly is a proud cat lady who enjoys traveling, going to the beach, cooking new foods, and of course, spoiling her cats!

 

YAOYUAN (BRUCE) GAN

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Yaoyuan is a junior majoring in Biology. He is from China and hoping to learn more about marine biology.He is also interested in computer science and wants to study more about the combination of biology and computer science. One application of that is biostatistics that is used in research of marine biology. In his free time, Yaoyuan enjoys playing soccer and video games.

 

KIAN THOMPSON

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCHER

Kian is a sophomore studying marine science with a minor in Japanese. He has always loved marine animals and visiting aquariums from a very young age, especially in Japan, and he had marine aquariums at home for a few years. He enjoys cooking, snorkeling in warm places, and he is starting to pick up fishing!