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Nguyen Lab, Spring 2022 at beach party

Nhu collecting Suillus lakei in beautiful Colorado. Nhu H. Nguyen
Associate Professor of Soil Microbial Ecology
Principal Investigator
Office: 221 Sherman Laboratory
Office Phone: 808-956-6593
Lab Phone: 808-956-2634
Email: nhu.nguyen@hawaii.edu


Giovana Slanzon

Giovana brings skills in rumen gut microbiomes, in particularly microbial network analyses, to study the fungal-bacterial interactions across soil niches. She is using stable isotopes in combination with 'omics techniques to study these interactions.

Wesley Sparagon

For his PhD, Wesley studied bacterial metabolism of organic matter in coral reefs. He is eager to apply his skills, including metabolomics and other ‘omics techniques, to fungal-bacterial interactions and continue to parse how microbes mediate fundamental biogeochemical transformations and influence ecosystem function.

Gaëtan Martin

Gaëtan comes to the lab with lots of experience in fungal bacterial interactions and will be using those skills to help us better understand how oxalates drive fungal-bacterial interactions.

Graduate students

Ishwora in the field

Ishwora Dhungana

Ishwora's Ph.D. dissertation research is focused on the interactions between plant roots, soil fungi and bacteria and their contributions to phosphorus solubilization in tropical soils. Her M.S. thesis work examined how different crop species and their root exudates interacts and changes microbial communities structure and functioning in soil.
Christian Fullmer

Christian Fullmer

Chris' M.S. thesis research is looking deep into the interaction between microbe, especially fungi, that live at depth in andic soils and how these microbes interact with mineral associated soil organic matter. He uses molecular ecology and biogeochemistry methods to tease apart and understand these interactions.
Rishi Prasadh

Rishi Prasadh

Rishi's M.S. thesis work will explore microbial EPS and their roles in decomposition of organic matter in tropical soils.

Undergraduate students

Sophia Lee profile photo

Sophia Lee

Sophia is developing high-throughput methods for cultivating bacteria associated with soil fungi and characterizing them using molecular methods. Sophia uses these methods to isolate and study oxalotrophic soil bacteria.
Makana Ioh profile photo

Makana Ioh

Makana is studying how interactions with fungi can change antibiotic resistance of soil bacteria. Her work is supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at UH Manoa. She also work with Suillus mushrooms, cultivating them and extracting their high-molecular weight DNA for genome sequencing.
Vivivana Gaytan profile photo

Viviana Gaytan

Viviana is studying how fungi biomineralize calcium and manganese metals, with an aim to find ways to remediate manganese toxicity in the soils in Hawaii. She is also collections manager of our lab's Fungarium.

Visiting scholars

Maya Montoya-Pimolwatana

Maya Montoya-Pimolwatana

Maya is an honorary lab member. She started as an intern learning to analyze the gut microbiomes (fungi and bacteria) of arthropods that occur across our Waimea watershed model ecosystem. She is currently a graduate student in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences at UH Mānoa studying insect gut microbiome.
Laurens Stouthart

Laurens Stouthart

Laurens is a visiting undergraduate intern from Hogeschool Leiden, The Netherlands. He uses his substantial skills in molecular biology to study oxalotrophic bacteria associated with fungi. He is also refining methods for long-read sequencing of fungal genomes.

A reverse longitudinal record of the lab

Nguyen Lab, Spring 2022 beach party Nguyen Lab, Spring 2022 showing off colorful lab coats Nguyen Lab, Spring 2021 in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Former lab members

In reverse chronological order...

Karen Parada, she loves pink!

Karen Parada

Karen studied the intimate interactions among fungi and bacteria across a natural to urban soil gradient on O'ahu using both culturing and molecular techniques.
Andrew Lin profile photo

Andrew Lin

Andrew cultivated soil bacteria and helped to develop high-throughput molecular techniques identify antibiotic resistant bacteria in the soil across the Waimea Ahupuaʻa (watershed). He is also a pro at building amplicon libraries for Illumina sequencing. Andrew graduated in Spring 2022 with a BS in Microbiology. He is currently working as an emergency medical technician while applying for medical school. He was in the lab from January 2021 to January 2023.
Kiana Rich profile photo

Kiana Rich

Kiana graduated with a BS in Tropical Agriculture and the Environment at UH Mānoa in December 2022. Before she graduated, she spent time in the lab studying how fungi and bacteria coexists in soil. On the side, she worked with TPSS graduate student Juli Burden to isolate wild yeasts in coffee flowers to produce coffee-flower yeast ferments with flavorful results.
Rick in the field

Ricky Lewis

Rick developed high-throughput molecular methods to characterize soil biodiversity, and use these methods understand how different agricultural management systems, soils, and nutrient mineralization affects soil biodiversity. He brought great new ways to analyze microbiome data to the lab. On the side, he worked on cacao phyllosphere and ferment microbiomes. Rick was in the lab from August 2020 to May 2022.
Roxanne Main profile photo

Roxanne Main

Roxanne used molecular methods to barcode the lab's mushroom collection, with a particular focus on the fungi of Hawaiʻi.
Ashlyn Takamiya profile photo

Ashlyn Takamiya

Ashlyn worked in the lab for 2 semesters as an intern for her undergraduate program. She used molecular methods to identify bacteria responsible for nitrogen mineralization in various soils in the state.
Raphaela Che profile photo

Raphaela Che

Raphaela joined the lab for a semester as an intern for her undergraduate program. She learned to prepare high-throughput Illimuna sequencing libraries to characterize the fungal diversity across different Hawaiian soil types and land use. Her work will contribute to our understanding of soil health. She graduated in Spring 2020 and continued onto nursing school.
Christopher Kim

Christopher Kim

Christopher explored topics in symbiotic relationships between soil fungi (including mycorrhizal fungi) and bacteria, and how these symbioses impact the soil ecosystem.
Talyssa cradleing a harvest of cacao beans

Talyssa Topacio

Talyssa was a visiting summer 2019 REU student. She worked working on yeasts associated with cacao fermentation and whether the fermentation process reduces phenolics in cacao pods. Her work contributed to the understanding on how microbes might contribute to the terroir of Hawaiʻi grown chocolates. Talyssa started graduate school at UC Riverside in Fall 2019.
Cade sampling nectar from Hibiscus kokio

Cade Justad-Sandberg

Cade was a visiting summer 2019 REU student. He worked on nectar yeasts of native and non-native Hibiscus species, with a focus on characterizing native yeast species using DNA. He continued onto an internship with NASA after graduation.
Brennan Hee

Brennan Hee

Brennan worked on inventorying litter arthropods of Waimaea Valley. The microbiome from these organisms eventually was sequenced to understand the diversity of microbes in Waimea Valley.

Conor Palmer

Conor worked on developing a system for growing an edible tropical mushrooms using locally sourced substrate. He worked with various genotypes of the fungus to produce a Hawaiʻi relevant strain that maximizes production.
Steven in the field

Steven Heisey

Steven was the first graduate student in the lab. He used integrated molecular microbial and biogeochemical techniques to study the nutrient flow associated with organic and inorganic soil amendments. Steven contributed to the lab's toolbox to use network analysis to hypothesize interactions across different domains of life, and developed high-throughput sequencing primers to effectively assess nematode biodiversity in diverse Hawaiian soils. He wore a relevant lei while defending his MS Thesis. He graduated with an MS degree August 2019, and after a couple of months of working in the lab as a tech, joined the greater workforce.

Jon Abe

Jon was one of the first undergraduates to join the lab, starting March 2017 where he conducted research characterizing the diversity of rhizobia in native and non-native legumes in Hawaiʻi. He isolated and used molecular methods to identify legume-nodulating bacteria, created a culture collection, and produced a protocol to inoculate native wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) seedlings. His research was partially supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and culminated in a Senior Honors Thesis, a Senior Honors Project Award for best thesis in the natural science category, a provisional patent, and a peer-reviewed publication! Jon graduated in Spring 2020 and continued on to medical school afterwards.

Madi Miyamura

Madi joined the lab in Spring 2017 as an intern. She learned basic molecular techniques and graduated in Fall 2017. She continued onto graduate school in Botany.