Lab Members

Dr. Irene Newton, PI: Dr. Newton’s interests are in mechanisms of host-microbe interaction (CV).


Dr. MaryAnn Martin. Research Associate. My current research focuses on how Wolbachia pipientis infects and is transmitted by its host, the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Melissa Phelps. Research Associate. My current research focuses on understanding the function of type IV effectors of Wolbachia.

Dr. Lílian Caesar: Postdoctoral Fellow. My interests are broadly related to symbiont and host eco-evolutionary dynamics. I am applying this framework to the study of microbe-bee interactions, and its impact to host health. Currently I am focused on investigating the protective role of Bombella strains associated with managed bees.
@lica_beeologist Google Scholar:

Dr. Sergio López-Madrigal: Postdoctoral fellow. Interested in the mechanisms and eco-evolutionary dynamics of host-microorganism interactions. Currently working on the identification and characterization of effectors driving Wolbachia/Drosophila molecular cross-talk. Twitter: @lopezmadrigals . ResearchGate:


Audrey Parish:Graduate Student. I am interested in the role microbes play in developmental plasticity. Particularly the effects of the microbiome on honey bee health and development, as the queen and worker castes develop from genetically identical larvae but rearing conditions alone modulate the phenotypic switch. @AudParish


Delaney Miller: Graduate Student. For nearly 300 million years insects have been engaged in a co-evolutionary arms race with entomopathogenic fungi. How microbial symbionts in insect hosts respond to this selective pressure is of great interest to me. By coupling in vitro and in vivo approaches, I try to elucidate the mechanisms underlying symbiont-pathogen interactions and their impact on host fitness. Currently I am studying how members of the honey bee microbial community interact with fungal pathogens. @helikalebacter |

Will Hamilton: Graduate Student. My research interest is in effectors secreted by Wolbachia and how these effectors interact with and modulate host cell function. Of particular interest are the Ankyrin repeat proteins and how they interact with Drosophila as a host.

Chris Robinson: Graduate Student. I am broadly interested in complex systems, epigenetics, and the evolution of emergent feedbacks in symbioses. I am excited to work with Dr. Irene Newton and Dr. Curt Lively on theoretical questions relating to mutualisms and selection as well as the evolutionary and ecological genomics of honey bees and their associated microbes.

Emily Layton: Graduate student. Broadly, I’m interested in the control of viral diseases using Wolbachia bacteriaUnder the mentorship of Dr. Irene Newton and Dr. Richard Hardy, I’m working to identify the virus genes and insect host genes necessary for Wolbachia to inhibit viral replication.

@emilymlayton |

Dr. Danny W. Rice: Research Associate. I am interested in how Wolbachia bacteria thrive in eukaryotic cells over a large phylogenetic spectrum of hosts. This is achieved in part by exporting proteins into the host cell milieu to alter host cell function. I work on the computational prediction of these proteins based on experimental results from our lab and the literature. I also collaborate regularly with members of the lab to help with various computational questions.

  • Alyssa Lara: Graduate Student
  • Dr. Osvaldo Marinotti: Research Associate
  • Jillian Lewis: Undergraduate Researcher
  • Mariah Martin: Undergraduate Researcher
  • Erin Hardy: Undergraduate Researcher
Lab AlumniCurrent position
Melissa BlunckOffice of the Provost for Undergrad Research @IU
Dr. Freddy LeeInvaio Sciences
Dr. Kayla MillerDakota Wesleyan University
Lucas HenryPrinceton University
Rachel NiemiecUniversity of Chicago
Mairead O’Connor-
Kaeli BryantVanderbilt University
Dr. Eric SmithCoreBiome
Dr. Amelia LindseyUniversity of Minnesota
Dr. Tamanash BhattacharyaFred Hutch Cancer Research Center
Dr. Lindsay NevalainenMayo Clinic Microscopy Facility
Dr. Jon MasseyScientist at LanzaTech

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