Gifty Atanga ’23 is from Los Angeles, California. She is a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry major interested in research, microbes, and pathogens. She is passionate about using science to better serve minority populations, especially through a public health lens. When not in the lab, you can catch her watching Netflix, listening to R&B, or reading a book at the beach.
Briana Johnson ’23 is from Los Angeles, California. She is a Molecular Biology and Biochemistry major on a pre-med track. She plans to use research to find cures for diseases which predominantly affect people of color. Briana is also a member of the track and field team at Middlebury, and a food enthusiast with a passion for cooking.
Matt Brockley ’23 is from Delmar, NY. He is a Biochemistry major who intends to pursue a second major in Mathematics. He is interested in microbiology, pharmacology, and reaction kinetics. Outside of lab, Matt enjoys taking long walks, downhill skiing, and playing the cello and piano.
Kaja Aagaard ’22 is from Seattle, Washington . She has interests in ecology and medicine and is majoring in biology with a planned minor in global health. At Middlebury, she sails, cross-country skis, goes bouldering and occasionally bakes challah.
Amanda Girod ’21 grew up in Miami, FL, and is a senior at Middlebury College studying Molecular Biology and Biochemistry on the pre-med track. Outside of her passion for medicine, Amanda is interested in marine biology and ecology. Outside of the lab, you can find her dancing in Evolution Dance Crew, reading books, or binging TV and Netflix shows.
Colin Howe ‘20.5 grew up outside of Syracuse, NY. He is a senior feb pursuing a biology major with a religion minor. Previously, Colin worked with Professor Dave Allen studying the ecology of Lyme Disease. He is excited to continue studying microbial ecology in the Eggleston lab and beyond. Outside of the lab, you can find Colin on the Middlebury College log rolling team, snowboarding, or cooking with friends.
Ellie Broeren ’21 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.
Evan Fedorov ’21 is 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.
Miranda Herschel Seixas ‘19.75 grew up in Newbury Park, California. She was 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 ‘19.75 majored in Biology 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 explored 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. She will start a Masters program in Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College Fall 2020.
Bryn Hester ’22 is from Portland, Oregon and is intending double majoring in biology and education studies. 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.
Clara Loftis ’21 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 majored in molecular biology & biochemistry with interests 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. She started medical school Fall 2020.
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 was 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 was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. 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 ‘19.5 is from Boise, Idaho. He majored in molecular biology/bio chemistry, and earned a religion minor, with interests in biogeochemistry and clinical immunology. Outside of lab, John enjoys skiing, cycling, and ’90s Japanese cars.
Independent Study or Senior Thesis Research Advisees
Evan Fedorov, Independent Study, Fall 19/ Spring 20, Senior Independent Study Fall 20, Senior Thesis Spring 21, Eggleston Lab
Amanda Girod, Independent Study, Spring 21, Eggleston Lab
Margot Chisholm, Senior Independent Study Fall 19, Eggleston Lab
Ellie Broeren, Independent Study Spring 20, Eggleston Lab
Kathryn Van Artsdalen, Senior Independent Study Spring 20, Eggleston Lab
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
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 Lab
Katherine Morillo, Senior Thesis Committee, Spring 18, Giddings Lab
Zachary Peters, Senior Thesis Committee, Fall 18, Spatafora Lab