Hoover Fellowship

2023 Hoover Fellow: Nicholas Haas

Nick is a third-year graduate student in the Microbiology program studying bacterial metabolism in Associate Professor Jake McKinlay’s lab. His research focuses on defining the limitations of energetically challenging forms of metabolism like fermentation, and how bacterial cells accommodate energy demanding processes when performing these forms of metabolism. Hopefully, understanding these constraints in the native system will provide foundational knowledge that is needed to engineer bacterial species to produce valuable chemical compounds from renewable carbon sources.

2023 Hoover Fellow: Brittany Herrin

Brittany is a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in Associate Professor Jake McKinlay’s lab studying how microbial nutrient metabolisms evolve and impact the organism's physiology, both from an organismal and community perspective. She also studies how we can manipulate the metabolisms of microbial communities to produce valuable products, like hydrogen gas, in environments like the Martian atmosphere. The Hoover Fellowship will fund her while she is performing techniques to detect specifically how carbon from an evolved metabolism is moved through central metabolic pathways. After completing her Ph.D., Brittany hopes to pursue her love of space biology by becoming a NASA postdoctoral fellow.

2023 Hoover Fellow: Emmi Mueller

Emmi is a sixth-year Ph.D. candidate in Professor Jay Lennon’s lab where she studies patterns of biodiversity in various ecosystems, including mammalian guts and lakes. Her dissertation aims to answer questions about how residence time (e.g., the time microorganisms spend in a lake) and habitat structure (e.g., intestinal villi arrangement) shape microbial communities. For mammalian gut-related research, Emmi designs 3D-printed gut segments with varying levels of residence time and habitat structure. For lake microbial community research, she uses bioreactors to impose a gradient of residence times on the system. The Hoover Fellowship will support her continued work investigating the role of changing physical complexity on the gut microbiome and potential consequences for human health.