Current Members

Gemma Reguera

Principal Investigator
Professor | Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

(517) 884 5401

I have a broad background in applied and environmental microbiology, with research interests spanning human, terrestrial, and anthropogenic environments. Since joining MSU in 2006, I have led seminal studies to describe the electric nature of some microbes and harness these activities in bioremediation, nanotechnology and bioenergy. In recognition of these applied efforts, I was named MSU’s Innovator of the Year in 2016. The College of Natural Science recognized my contributions to research, teaching and service with a Meritorious Faculty award in 2020. I was elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology in 2019 and appointed in 2021 as Editor in Chief of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, one of the oldest and most recognizable scientific journals of the American Society for Microbiology.

Morgen Clark

Ph.D. student | Metal detoxification


I received my BS in Molecular Genetics from the University of Vermont. I am currently a PhD graduate student in the MMG department and the multi-disciplinary graduate program in Environmental and Integrative Toxicological Sciences (EITS) [Link]. My research in the Reguera lab investigates how electric microbes detoxify metal contaminants and exploits this knowledge to develop biomimetic platforms for bioremediation applications. I am also involved and serve as an undergraduate mentor in the MSU chapter of the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) organization [Link].

Hunter Dulay

Ph.D. student | Cobalt biomineralization

Co-mentored with Dr. Kaz Kashefi [Link]

I have a BS in Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. I am currently a PhD candidate in the MMG graduate program studying how electric microbes mineralize cobalt and how these activities impact cobamide-dependent microbiomes. Outside of the lab, I am active in science communication as a writer for SciWorthy, a leader in Science Debate, and an active volunteer for local science outreach events.

Kristin Jacob

Ph.D. student | Otic microbiome


I received my BS and MS in Biology, with an emphasis in Microbiology, at Northern Michigan University and worked as a technician at the University of Michigan for two years before coming to MSU. Currently, I am a PhD candidate in the MMG department investigating the adaptive responses that allow oral migrants to colonize and grow in the middle ear mucosa. I am also an active board member of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) [Link] and participant in outreach programs supporting young girl’s interest in STEM. Outside of science, I enjoy spending time outdoors (kayaking, hiking, or fishing) and black & white film photography.

Marcela Tabares

Ph.D. Student | Agrochemical remediation


I study the microbial communities that drive nitrogen (N) cycling in natural and agricultural ecosystems. I am particularly interested in understanding the ecological drivers of bacteria that make ammonia from nitrate (dissimilatory reduction of nitrate to ammonia or DNRA), a process that retains N in soils and prevents the leaching of fertilizers. DNRA bacteria compete for the same substrates as denitrifiers and, therefore, can significantly reduce the release of greenhouse gases. This is particularly important in technologies we are testing for the treatment of agricultural run-offs.

Emma Boismier

Undergraduate student | Otic microbiome


I am an undergraduate student in the MMG department working with Kristin Jacob to investigate the genomic determinants of otic colonization. This study is helping us understand how the ecological diversification and niche adaptations of otic-adapted strains from oral commensals.

Starvros Hedglin

Undergraduate student | Cobalt biomineralization


I am a professorial assistant in the College of Natural Sciences working with Hunter Dulay on the genomic reconstruction of pathways for cobalt biomineralization in bacteria and archaea. My goal is to understand the role of these microbes in cobalt cycling and mineralization.

How about you?

See how to apply in our contact page!


Graduate students & Postdocs

Joo-Young Lee – Postdoc (Aug 2017–Oct 2020)
Oona Snoeyenbos-West – Postdoc (Sep 2018–Jul 2019)
Krista Cosert – Ph.D. (Jun 2018)
Becky Steidl – Ph.D. (Aug 2015; postdoc, Dec 2017)
Bhushan Awate – Postdoc (May 2014–Aug 2017)
Mike Manzella – Ph.D. (Aug 2017) 
Clara Corbella – Visiting scientist (Apr 2015–Sep 2015)
Martha Vives – Visiting Professor (Jun 2013)
Allison Speers – Ph.D. (Aug 2012); Postdoc (Aug 2013)
Sanela Lampa-Pastirk – Postdoc (Jul 2009–Apr 2013)
Dena Cologgi – Ph.D. (Aug 2012)
Jenna Young – Ph.D. (Aug 2012)
Ana Catalina Lara – Visiting scientist (Oct 2010–April 2011)
Bryan Schindler – Postdoc (Jun–Dec 2011)
Jihwan Hwang – Postdoc (Sep 2010–Apr 2011)
Pablo Gutierrez – Visiting scientist (May–Aug 2008)


Mariam Charles – MMG undergraduate researcher (Aug 2008–May 2020)
Hugh Mccullough – Undergraduate researcher (Jan–May 2018)
Joshua Fisher – Undergraduate lab aid (2017– 2018)            
Ardwan Mehaal – Undergraduate lab aid (Jan–May 2016)
Andrew Baker – MMG undergraduate researcher; co-mentored with Matt Comstock, MSU Physics (2015  – Dec 2017)
Andrew Brown – Undergraduate lab aid (Aug 2016-Aug 2017)    
Alex Grohalski – MMG undergraduate researcher (Aug 2014-Aug 2017)
Thilo Hamlisch – Visiting exchange student, Genetics program (Jan–May 2016)
Matthew Paxhia – Biosystems Engineering undergraduate researcher (Aug 2014-2016) 
Charlotte Thomas – Biosystems Engineering undergrad (Aug-Dec 2015)          
Sean Norton – Chemical Engineering undergrad (Aug 2014-May 2015)   
Jonathan Yang –   Lab aid (Aug  2014–Dec 2015)           
Sarah Tressede – MMG undergraduate researcher (Jan-May 2014)
Aycin Cen – Visiting exchange student, Genetics program (Jan–May 2014) 
Neha Reo – MMG undergraduate researcher (Jan–May 2013)            
Marvin Vann – Lab aid (Aug 2010-May 2014)
Derek Wooster – Undergrad lab aid (May 2014)
John Herdman – Undergraduate lab aid (May 2014)
Mike Paxhia – CNS professorial assistant, undergraduate researcher (Aug 2009–May 2013)
John Rotondo – CNS professorial assistant, undergraduate researcher (Aug 2010–May 2012)
Aycin Genc – Visiting exchange student, Genetics program (May 2013)
Carlos Salgado – MMG undergraduate researcher (Aug 2008–May 2011) Melissa Asher – CNS professorial assistant, MMG undergraduate researcher (Aug 2008–May 2011)
Annie Otwell – MMG undergraduate researcher (Aug 2008–Aug 2010)
Katie Boatman – DVM undergraduate student (Aug 2008)
Catherine Silva McNair – McNair/SROP summer scholar  (May–Aug 2007)

Laboratory technicians

Kwi Kim – Laboratory technician (Aug 2009)
Blair Bullard – Laboratory technician (Sep 2009)
Karl Hedderich – Laboratory technician (Aug 2007–Aug 2008)