Research Lab


Dr. Erin Eggleston is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Middlebury College. Her CV is here.





Miranda Herschel Seixas, a senior at Middlebury, grew up in Newbury Park, California. She is an Independent Scholar in “Geobiology“, interested in looking at extremophiles on Earth to push the boundaries of what we know about the environmental limits to life. She hopes to use her pilot’s license to fly herself out to field sites. Outside of the science realm you can find her backpacking, climbing, singing with the Middlebury College Choir, or playing IM Soccer.

Laura Blum is an undergraduate Biology major at Middlebury College. In the past she has developed metabarcoding methods for detecting invasive aquatic plants as well as characterizing reactive oxygen species dynamics on coral reefs. In the Eggleston Lab, she is excited to be exploring marine microbial ecology using metagenomics in collaboration with Harriet Alexander and Maria Pachiadaki at WHOI. She plans to keep studying amazing microbes and origin of life research in the future.



Bryn Hester is a sophomore at Middlebury College. She is from Portland, Oregon and is intending to major in biology. She is interested microbiology, specifically how it relates to the environment. Outside of the lab, she enjoys hiking, working at the Knoll, and baking bread.






Evan Fedorov is a junior at Middlebury College from Los Angeles, California. He is a molecular biology/biochemistry major and Russian minor interested in virology and pharmacology.  Outside of lab, he can be found enjoying chess and coordinating Red Cross blood drives.





Kaja Aagaard is a sophomore at Middlebury from Seattle, Washington and is new to the Eggleston lab. She has interests in ecology and medicine and plans to major in biology with a minor in global health. At Middlebury, she sails, cross-country skis, goes bouldering and occasionally bakes challah.



Lab Alumni


Ellie Broeren is a sophomore at Middlebury College and is from Mount Vernon, Ohio. She is undeclared, but plans to major in molecular biology and biochemistry, with a minor in gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. She’s interested in microbiology, especially the impacts on human health. Outside of science, she can be found participating in feminist activism, leading workshops as a peer sex educator, or playing water polo. 




Clara Loftis is a junior at Middlebury College and is from West Palm Beach, Florida. She is majoring in neuroscience on the pre-med track and is interested in using research to decrease health disparities. Outside of the lab, you can find her reading a book, running, or hiking.





Rebecca Lightman ’19 hails from Orange County, California. She is a molecular biology & biochemistry major interested in the connections between microbial life, humans, and the environment. When she’s not busy studying, you can find her giving campus tours or playing water polo for the Panthers.





Omar Valencia ’19 grew up in La Puente, California. They majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. They’re interested in extreme environmental conditions and how those can affect life at the microbial level. When they’re not in the lab, they tend to read and walk at the same time. They think it helps their motor skills since they haven’t tripped yet!




Therese Tran ’19 is from Lake Worth, Florida. She is a Molecular Biology & Biochemistry major on the pre-med track and is interested in epidemiology, immunology as well as preventative medicine. Outside of being a medicine fanatic, you can find her steaming dumplings or slurping down noodles.





Monica Melendez ’18, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, graduated from Middlebury College. She majored in Biology and Biochemistry major, with an Education Studies minor, and is interested in Epidemiology and Microbiology. She’s also interested in providing early access science education to children in urban areas. When not wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), you can find her binging on Netflix, reading literally anything, and catching up with friends.




John Rustad, from Boise, Idaho, is a senior at Middlebury College. He is a molecular biology/bio chemistry major, and religion minor, interested in biogeochemistry and clinical immunology. Outside of lab, John enjoys skiing, cycling, and ’90s Japanese cars.




Independent Study or Senior Thesis Research Advisees

Miranda Seixas, Senior Independent Study & Thesis, Fall 19/Spring 20, Eggleston and Munroe Labs

Laura Blum, Senior Independent Study & Thesis, Fall 19/Spring 20, Eggleston Lab

Evan Fedorov, Independent Study, Fall 19, Eggleston Lab

Omar Valencia, Independent Study, Spring 19, Eggleston’s Lab

Therese Tran, Independent Study, Spring 19, Eggleston’s Lab

Rebecca Lightman, Independent Study, Spring 18/Fall 18/Winter 19/ Spring 19, Eggleston Lab

Alexander Pastora, Senior Thesis Committee, Spring 18, Spatafora’sLab

Katherine Morillo, Senior Thesis Committee, Spring 18, Dr. Gidding’s Lab

Zachary Peters, Senior Thesis Committee, Fall 18, Dr. Spatafora’s Lab