People in the Lipson Lab


David Lipson

Current Personnel



Technician: Risha Al Sawad

Risha, pronounced Ra-Sha, is an international student from Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. She received her B.S. in Microbiology from San Diego State University in December of 2015. She joined the Lipson lab during her undergraduate studies because of her interest in microbes. She is currently working in the lab as a research assistant.




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Graduate Student: Sherlynette Castro (JDPE)

Originally from Puerto Rico, Sherlynette Pérez Castro earned her B.S. degree in Environmental Science from University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras in 2006. She completed an M.S. degree in Soil Science at University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez in 2010, after which she worked as a Soil Scientist at USDA NRCS, Florida. Currently, as a PhD Candidate in the JDPE, Sherly is interested in the role of soil microorganisms in nutrient cycling under pressure from global changes. Her current research focuses on the effects of altered rainfall and exotic plants on soil microbial community structure and ecosystem functioning in coastal sage scrub. Email:

Graduate Student: Erin Oliver (JDPE)IMG_6768 (1)

Erin grew up near Mobile, Alabama and got her B.S. in Microbiology at Louisiana State University in 2015. Her interest in microbial ecology developed during her undergraduate work in a research lab that studied microbes in extremely cold environments, such as within glaciers and under ice sheets in Antarctica. She joined the Lipson lab because of her interest in the role microbes play in biogeochemical processes including greenhouse gas emissions. She is currently working on a project investigating how microbial composition in soil affects carbon dioxide emissions. Erin is a student in the Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology with UC-Davis.

Lisa Ordoñez (Ecology MS)

DSC01167 (1)Graduate Student: Archana Srinivas (JDPE)

Archana Srinivas earned her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology at SRM University in 2009 in Southern India, and decided that the field of ecology was her calling. Her participation in a study abroad program, which resulted in her traveling to UC Davis for a quarter in 2008 where she took coursework in ecology, evolution and environmental toxicology, was key in her decision to pursue soil microbial ecology. She traveled across the globe to San Diego to learn to become a soil microbial ecologist under the guidance of Prof. David Lipson and Prof. Elizabeth Dinsdale. Her research interests are biogeochemistry, microbiology, soil science and soil ecology. Currently a Ph.D. candidate in the JDPE program in collaboration with UC Davis, her dissertation research investigates the role played by siderophores (microbially synthesized iron chelating molecules) in dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR), which is a microbial anaerobic respiratory pathway, in Arctic tundra soils.

Robert Wagner (JDPE)


Graduate Student: Jaime Zlamal (JDCMB)

Equally at home in a microbiology laboratory or the Arctic tundra, Jaime is interested in how the littlest, strangest, and most diverse life forms make a living. In 2009, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Central Michigan University. There, she worked for three years in a research laboratory studying the effect of invasive shrubs and their Nitrogen-fixing symbionts on soil microbial communities. Jaime is currently completing her PhD in Molecular Biology researching poorly-understood metabolic pathways of anaerobic microbial communities in Arctic tundra soils near Barrow, Alaska.

Lab Alumni


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