Team Members

Ian Hewson (he/him/his)IMG_2963
Principal Investigator
Department of Microbiology
Cornell University
Ithaca NY 14853
Tel: 607-255-0151
Fax: 607-255-3904
hewson ‘at’ cornell ‘dot’ edu

Chris DeritoIMG_9189
Laboratory Manager

Since joining the lab in late 2017, Chris has facilitated research expeditions to Santa Cruz, Bodega Bay Marine Lab, and worked on bacterial amplicon sequence libraries in Ithaca. He also directed work on hypoxia, and became an expert in computed tomography imaging interpretation. Chris has a wealth of experience in microbial biogeochemistry in environments as diverse as soils and groundwater to the human microbiome. Since the start of the COVID pandemic, Chris has led efforts to examine SARS-CoV-2 presence in Ithaca’s wastewater.

Elliot Jackson
Graduate Student, Microbiology

Elliot joined the lab in August 2014. Sea stars are ecologically important predator species in the intertidal and subtidal environments along the west IMG_4526coast of North America and have been greatly affected by a marine epizootic known as sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS). During 2013-2015, there was a mass mortality of sea stars due to SSWS which was observed from California to Alaska that led to dramatic declines in sea star populations which negatively impacted the health and stability of coastal ecosystems like kelp forests. One hypothesis is that SSWS was caused by a densovirus, commonly known as SSaDV, which is a single-stranded DNA virus. Elliot’s PhD research explores this hypothesis using a combination of molecular and computational approaches to investigate the ecology, genomic diversity, and pathogenicity of sea star densoviruses.

Jordan Rede
Graduate Student, MicrobiologyJordan

Jordan joined the lab in Fall 2018 and has worked on sea star microbiome interpretation. His background is in antibiotic resistance and microme analyses. He has recently performed a survey of seagrass-associated bacteria, and hopes to study this system in the future.


Ashley Altera

Undergraduate Researcher

Ashley joined the lab in Fall 2021 and works on sea cucumber flavivirus detection via RNA extraction and RT-LAMP. 


Ricardo Bourdon 

Undergraduate Researcher

Ricardo joined the lab in Fall 2021 and works on seagrass-microbiome interactions.


Jameson Crandell
Undergraduate ResearcherJay

Jameson joined the lab in Spring 2020 and works on bioinformatic discovery of RNA viruses in metagenomes and metatranscriptomes sequenced in previous work. He is interested in virology, especially enveloped single-stranded RNA viruses.


Audrey Vinton

Undergraduate Researcher

Audrey is working collaboratively with Bob Howarth and Roxanne Marino (EEB), investigating the abundance of Labyrinthula zosterae using quantitative PCR in the West Falmouth Harbor.


Team Aquatic Virus Alumni

Citlalli Aquino, Undergraduate Researcher 2018 – San Francisco State University
Will Aragundi, Undergraduate Researcher 2010-2011 – New York Aquarium
Kate Baggaley, Undergraduate Researcher, 2010 – Freelance Journalism
Jorge Barbosa, Technician 2010-2011
Ryan Besemer, High School Student 2016-2017 and Undergraduate Researcher 2019 – UNC Wilmington
Victor Biguma, Undergraduate Researcher, 2015 – University of Cincinatti
Kalia Bistolas, PhD Student, 2014 – 2019 – Oregon State University
Julie Brown, PhD Student 2009-2015 – Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Jason Button, Technician 2014-2015 – Illumina
Ashley Campbell, Rotation Graduate Student, 2009
Isabelle Davenport, Undergraduate Researcher 2019 – UC San Diego
Ryan Donelan, Undergraduate Researcher 2011-2012 – Old Bridge Dental
Devin Doud, Rotation Graduate Student, 2010 – Senda Biosciences
James Eaglesham, Undergraduate Researcher 2011-2015 – New England Biolabs
Erin Eggleston, PhD Student 2010-2015 – Middelbury College
Phil Fargo, Undergraduate Researcher, 2014-2015 – Syracuse City School District
Nicole Felice, Undergraduate Researcher 2009-2010
Jacob Flanzenbaum, Undergraduate Researcher, 2016-2017 – SUNY Stony Brook
Parker Foster, Honors Student, 2014-2015 – John Hopkins University
Shari Gitlin, Undergraduate Researcher, 2009 – SUNY Downstate Medical College
Brent Gudenkauf, Honors Student, 2013-2014 – John Hopkins Medicine
Grace Ha, Undergraduate Researcher, 2010
Adam Hall, Undergraduate Researcher, 2009
Ted Hermann, Research Technician, 2010
Mitch Johnson, Undergraduate Researcher and Research Technician, 2014 – 2017 – San Diego State University
Brenna LaBarre, Undergraduate Researcher, 2009-2010 – Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Chaunte Lewis, Undergraduate Researcher, 2015-2016 – Michigan State University
WenFang Li, Undergraduate Researcher, 2011 – 2012
John McAdams, Undergraduate Researcher, 2012
John Means, Undergraduate Researcher, 2009
Josh Moyer, Research Technician, 2011 – U Mass Amherst
Mizue Naito, Rotation Graduate Student, 2011 – Dose Biosystems Toronto
Will Najar, Web Programmer, 2012-2013 – Microsoft
Dani Neuharth-Keusch, Undergraduate Researcher, 2011 – Change Corps
Johanna Pedersen, Undergraduate Researcher, 2010 -NOAA
Sue Pierre, Honorary Grad Student, 2014-2018 – UC Berkeley
Eva Quijano Carde, DVM Student, 2014-2017 – UC Davis
Phil Thompson, Technician 2011-2012 – Hong Kong University
Alex Vompe, Undergraduate Researcher, 2016 – Oregon State University
Mary Beth Wilhelm, Undergraduate Researcher, 2010-2011 – NASA Ames
Alex Wolverton, Research Technician, 2010 – Cayuga Pet Hospital

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