The Team

Possibly you?

I have an open postdoctoral position to study cyanophage-Synechococcus interactions and dynamics.

I am also seeking a PhD student for Spring 2023. Both will contribute to an NSF-funded project studying the phylogenetic and genomic determinants of host range in Synechococcus and cyanophage in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island in collaboration with Dr. Marcie Marston.
Please contact me for more information. Information on our PhD program and how to apply can be found here.

Undergraduate students
If you are interesting in joining the lab or learning more about our research, please contact me via email as well.

Master’s students
If they qualify, undergraduate students working in my lab, may be able to continue their research an earn a master’s degree through the Biology Department’s accelerated degree program (ADP). Note that we do not currently accept master’s students from other institutions.

Principle Investigator

Dr. Nathan Ahlgren

Dr. Ahlgren leads the lab in studying the interactions of microbes with environment, with each other, and with larger organism. See the Projects page for more info on the lab’s current research. Full details of Dr. Ahlgren’s background and training are available in his C.V.

  • 2008  PhD in Biological Oceanography, University of Washington; Advisor: Dr. Gabrielle Rocap
  • 2006   M.S. in Biological Oceanography, University of Washington; Advisor: Dr. Gabrielle Rocap
  • 2004   B.S. in Biology Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 2017 – present  Assistant Professor, Biology Department, Clark University
  • 2013 – 2016        Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Advisor: Dr. Jed Fuhrman
  • 2008 – 2013        Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Microbiology, University of Washington, Advisor: Dr. Pete Greenberg
  • 2001 – 2008        Graduate Research Assistant, School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Advisor: Dr. Gabrielle Rocap
  • 1999 – 2001         Research Technician, Biology and Civil Engineering Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Supervisor: Dr. Penny Chisholm

Postdoctoral fellows

See above for available position working on phage-host interactions.

PhD students

Emily Dart is interested in understanding how interactions between marine cyanobacteria and phage that infect them (cyanophage) shape the diversity and community composition of both. Her work in particular focuses on time-series studies, including those at the San Pedro Oceaon Time-Series (SPOT), to study how phage-host interactions manifest in the context of seasonal forcing of host communities. She is a recipient of NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowships Program (GRFP)

Shafer Belisle is investigating how adaptation to varying concentrations of iron in the oceans shapes the community structure, genomic variation, and physiological responses of various marine Synechococcus ecotypes.

Master’s students

Undergraduate students

Beshair Nurhussien is working on characterizing Synechococcus community diversity in Narragansett Bay and Walden Pond.

Cam McIlvenna is working on characterizing cyanophage community diversity in Narragansett Bay.

Emily Rosenbaum is characterizing Synechococcus community diversity in Narragansett Bay.

Eric Litvack-Winkler is working on Synechococcus isolates from Narragansett Bay.

Manning DelCogliano is studying changes in microbial communities associate with urbanization in Worcester watersheds.

Lab alum

Katie Crowley (M.A.) Studies the microbiomes of echinoderms. Now: Research Assistant II at Marine Biological Laboratory

Linnea Menin (M.A.) (Steinbrecher Fellow, Lyerla Graduate Fellow) See an article about Linnea’s research at Clark Now. Now: Research Associate Applications Development at Covaris

Sam Brody (M.A.) studied the molecular biology of the putative phosphorothioation restriction modification system we discovered in Thaumarchaeota.

Daniel Gaines (’22) previously studied alternative methods to controlling tick populations that carry Lyme disease

Cammi MacKenzie (’21) previously worked as an undergraduate researcher and research technician. Now: Research Associate I at Conagen

Emily Cai (’22) previously worked on phosphorothioation DNA-modification genes in marine Thaumarchaeota. Now: Lab Productions Associate at MatTek Life Sciences

Megan Mullis, PhD was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. Now: Laboratory SupervisorLaboratory Supervisor at Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Kayleigh Watson (previous Steinbrecher Fellow, ’21) Now Microbiology Medical Technologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital

Katerina Pela (’20) Now: Cell Culture Engineer at Eurofins

Alaina Tabani (’19) Now Project Manager at Upswing Health. Read this article about Alaina’s experience at Clark

Peter Korfuzi (’19 Claremont Academy High School; Bruce Wells Upward Bound Program alum) Now WPI student in aerospace engineering

Maddy Chuma (’19)

Ogechi Ezemma (’19) Now: M.D. Candidate at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Mary Yohannes (’19) Now: Associate Computational Biologist, Broad Institute

Aishwarya Ayyappan (’18) Now: Medical Student at University of New England

Steven Castiglione (’18) Now: Medical Laboratory Technician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Holly Whytock (’18) Now: Quality Control Technologist I at American Red Cross