Current Members

Lucy M. McCully, Ph.D. Candidate

Lucy M. McCully (@microMcCully on Twitter) is a PhD candidate in Integrative Biology at UMass Dartmouth. She is passionate about microbes, wine tasting, craft beer, and wine. Also wine. Her research focuses on the interaction between P. fluorescens Pf0-1 and Pedobacter sp. V48, two distantly-related soil bacteria that exhibit what we’ve termed “social motility” on a hard agar surface. She is interested in the study of bacterial communities, particularly interspecific interactions that lead to strange and cool behaviors. Microbiomes are her jam. Currently, she’s studying the nutrient conditions required for social motility, the prevalence of this behavior in closely-related bacteria, and other things like “surviving grad school”. She’s also being tortured by her bacteria who can’t seem to make up their minds about how flagella are involved in social motility. Her hobbies include PC gaming, fantasy novels, cross-stitch, and hiking. She is an amateur lab photographer, #SciComm advocate, and hopes to one day have to snowshoe to her sample site under the aurora borealis. #WomenInSTEM.


Adam S. Bitzer, Ph.D. Candidate

Adam (@AdamBitzer on Twitter) is a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology at UMass Dartmouth. His research focuses on the interaction between P. fluorescens Pf0-1 and Pedobacter sp. V48, and its impact on competitive fitness. He is interested in microbial communities and emergent trait applications. Currently, he is investigating the genetic basis of interaction and transitioning the system to plant and soil environments. His hobbies include homebrewing, adventure sports, lab equipment repair (occasionally successful), and finding the balance between recreational and research-focused reading.


Brianna Arruda, Ph.D. Candidate (Jointly with Vanni Bucci)

Ph.D. candidate and resident Science Fairy of the UMass Dartmouth Biology Department. Her current research investigates microbial peptides and their activity against antibiotic-resistant bacteria (like Klebsiella pneumoniae). She hopes to help develop targeted, probiotic-inspired treatment systems for combating these infections as an effective alternative to conventional, broad-spectrum antibiotics. When she’s not thwarting the bacterial bad guys, she is likely to be found in her natural woodland habitat or partaking in revelry with her fellow forest creatures. There’s a special place in her heart for all things philosophy and art, another for video games and Dungeons & Dragons, and of course one for craft beer, wine, and cocktails. She aspires to fill her days with music and laughter, her years with travels and exploration, and her career with super-rad scientific discovery.


Dimitar Semerdzhiev, M.S. candidate
Shalini Paliwal, M.S. candidate (jointly with Vanni Bucci)
Jasmine Graslie, undergraduate researcher


Former Members

Team member Current position
Chris Rees Undergraduate researcher MD/PhD candidate, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Stephen Costa Undergraduate researcher PhD candidate, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Aaron Aker Undergraduate researcher PhD candidate, Harvard University
Leah Smith MS student PhD candidate, University of Otago
John Lafleur, M.D. PhD student Physician/researcher
Nora Cox Undergraduate researcher
Tim Lorgeree Undergraduate researcher MS candidate, UMass Dartmouth, Chemistry
Victoria Ly Undergraduate researcher BS candidate, UMass Dartmouth
Kate Schulz REU student, summer 2017 Ph.D. candidate, Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences, Medical College of Wisconsin
Lindsey Champa Undergraduate researcher Nurse Practioner
Doug Marshall MS student Professional technician, UMass Dartmouth, Biology