Mark Sistrom (Principal Investigator)

543080_10150829551416581_1876783277_n (2)


Google Scholar

I completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science at Macquarie University (Australia) in 2003, followed my a Master of Conservation Biology in 2004 at Victoria University (New Zealand) before a short stint in industry. I then completed a Master of Philosophy degree in 2007 working Prof. Luciano Beheregaray at Macquarie University (Australia) on the phylogeography of the one lined Amazonian pencilfish. I then did PhD a at the University of Adelaide (2008-2012) with Prof. Steve Donnellan and Dr Mark Hutchinson on the patterns and processes of speciation and species diversity in Gehyra geckos. I did a postdoc with Dr Gisella Caccone at Yale University (2012- 2013) working on comparative genomics in Trypanosoma brucei followed by a postdoc with Prof. Paul Turner (2013 – 2015) on genomics and metagenomics in a number of viral and bacterial systems.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Dr. Lauren Brooks

lbrooks3 [at]ucmerced[dot]edu

Google Scholar

For nearly a decade, I’ve used molecular methods to identify non
-point sources of microbial pollution. While my past work has centered on source tracking and improving surface water quality, I have developed an interest in how human actions i
mpact microbial communities from an evolutionary perspective.
As a postdoctoral researcher in the Sistrom Lab, I’m building upon my background in environmental science and microbiology to explore new research areas including microbiome response to environmental stressors and landscape genetics of antibiotic resistance.

Graduate Students

Sabah Ul-Hasan 


Website and Curriculum Vitae

My research interests center on species-species interactions, namely under the context of macro-micro interactions and infectious disease. Within this frame, I’m interested in knowing (1) how variance in microbial communities affects the metabolism of their macro hosts, (2) the correlation between infection-induced host metabolism and host survival and (3) what transmission-associated factors determine how long a fatal infection keeps its host alive. Additionally, I have a strong interest in STEM education and community outreach. The beginnings of said involvement can be found here:



Imelda Forteza 



My years of training and education are geared toward the fascinating and evolving field of environmental microbiology from investigating symbiosis of bdellovibrios and its phages isolated from sewage waters to the marine ecosystem for drug discovery from endosymbionts associated with cone snails and shipworms. And now, the wetland ecosystem with the focus on the microbial communities involved in biogeochemical cycling and sequestration of carbon.  In particular, investigating the role of greenhouse gas cycling microbial communities along a salinity gradient in San Francisco South Bay industrial salt ponds which up for restoration.


Benjamin Juarez

Brenda Yu

Michael Malloy

Jeremy Mak

Austin Perry