Current Lab Members


Obed Hernández-Gómez PhD

Assistant Professor

I am an Assistant Professor at Dominican University of California as of January 2020. I recently completed two postdoctoral fellowships (NSF PRFB and National Academies of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering Ford Foundation Fellowships) at UC Berkeley. Prior to that, I obtained my PhD from Purdue University and a bachelors from Texas Tech University. I had the privilege of working as a licensed vocational nurse during my undergrad and graduate education. I have more than 10 years of experience in the healthcare field, and I am excited to help students who are interested in this industry! My research interests are microbial ecology and immunogenetics in relation to amphibians. Currently, I am working on projects dealing with host-genetic influences on microbiomes, co-evolutionary associations between parasites and hosts, and metagenomics of host-associated microbiomes.


Interested in joining the team?

I am currently looking for undergraduate researchers to partake in the research methodology course offered Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021. Please contact me if you are interested in participating!

Former Lab Members


Shannon Buttimer

PhD student at the University of Alabama

Shannon and I collaborated on a woodland salamander skin microbiome project while she was an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. Shannon collected skin microbiome samples, extracted DNA, and characterized microbial communities using 16S rRNA sequencing from the skin of terrestrial salamanders. In addition, we cultured bacteria from the salamander skin and tested its anti-fungal potential. This work was part of her senior thesis project.

Today, Shannon is a PhD student in Dr. Gui Becker's lab at the University of Alabama where she works on Brazilian amphibian skin microbiomes. 

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Ricardo Moctezuma

University of California, Berkeley

Ricardo volunteered his time to help with immunogenetics work in the laboratory as an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. He was involved in a project that is evaluating the effect of MHC genotype on the skin microbiome of wood frogs. He helped tremendously with DNA extractions and amplicon sequencing library preparation.


Ardith Wang

UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine

Ardith leaded a hellbender eDNA project when she was an undergraduate researcher at Purdue University. We sampled hellbender streams throughout the eastern US to evaluate for the presence of hellbenders. She also used 18S rRNA amplicon sequencing to characterize eukaryote diversity within streams. Ardith is a co-author on a peer reviewed paper.


Carissa Tinoco

University of California, Berkeley

Carissa volunteered her time to help in the field and laboratory as an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. She gained valuable experience in DNA extractions, PCR set up, and electrophoresis. Carissa is also a great artist. She has been awarded a creative internship with NASA! Check out her personal website at:


Montana Campbell

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Montana's project used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing to investigate population genetics diversity among a population of eastern box turtles in Indiana. She compared mtDNA diversity to that of previously documented biparentally inherited markers of the same population. Montana was co-advised by Obed and Dr. Steve J.A. Kimble at Purdue University.


Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

School of Health and Natural Sciences

Dominican University of California

155 Palm Avenue

San Rafael, CA 94901

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