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Current Lab Members

Obed Hernández-Gómez PhD
Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Biology
Dominican University of California

Assistant Professor of Wildlife Disease Ecology
New Mexico State University (Spring 2024)
Reuben Oumnov BSc
Graduate Research Assistant
MS Biology Student
Dominican University of California
Elijah Costley-Trigueros
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Dominican University of California
Alison White
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Dominican University of California
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Aria Norwood
NSM Research Methodology Student
Dominican University of California
Katya Morales
NSM Research Methodology Student
Dominican University of California
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Jamiee Nguyen
NSM Research Methodology Student
Dominican University of California
Micuel Madison
NSM Research Methodology Student
Dominican University of California
Azan Yousaf
NSM Research Methodology Student
Dominican University of California
Jadyn Jamora
NSM Research Methodology Student
Dominican University of California
Interested in joining the team?

Right now the lab is looking for NMSU graduate and undergraduate researchers! If you are interested in joining the lab, please email Dr. OHG your CV, personal statement/cover letter, a list of references, and an unofficial transcript.

Former Lab Members


Shannon Buttimer

Now: PhD Student at Penn State University

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 Penn State where she works on Brazilian amphibian skin microbiomes. 

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Ricardo Moctezuma

Now: MS Student in Biotechnology at John Hopkins University

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.


Now: Associate Veterinarian at Pet's Friend Animal Clinic

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. 

Today, Ardith practices veterinary medicine in Sunnyvale, CA.


Chelsea Martin

Dominican University of California

Chelsea was a student intern characterizing the distribution of (tetrodotoxin) TTX bacteria across numerous toxic amphibians. Chelsea used the bioinformatics skills she learned in BIO3200/3205 (Advanced Genetics) to perform her research. She is interested in a career in physical therapy or neurosciences. 


Amber Del Rosario

Dominican University of California

Amber was a post-bac and independent study student performing research on the distribution of E. testavorans and microbiome characteristics in California's only native pond turtle, the western pond turtle. Amber used using DNA assays to identify the presence of the pathogen and bacteria that are part of their shell and gut microbiomes.

Amber completed her post-bac December 2021 and is currently applying to Medical School. 


Lubna Mulla

Dominican University of California

Lubna was an independent research student in genetics. Lubna helped extract DNA from turtle samples, running PCR/qPCR infectious disease assays, and helping with microbiome sequencing library preparation. She also trained other students (Fernanda Galo) in the lab.

Lubna completed her bachelors in May 2022 and is currently applying to Graduate School


Fernanda Galo

Dominican University of California

Fernanda joined the lab as a volunteer and later as an undergraduate researcher. She helped gather data for a bioinformatics project. Now she is helping process samples for DNA sequencing. Fernanda wants to go to medical school after college.


Dominican University of California

Ryan joined OHG's lab under BIO 4998 or directed research. In the future he hopes to break into the Biotechnology industry and do research in that field. 


Dominican University of California

Tatiana assisted Dr. OHG in research on infectious diseases present in the amphibian community. This developed my interest in becoming a lab technician and working in research in the future. 


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:


Dr. Montana Campbell DVM

Now: Emergency Veterinarian at The Regional Veterinary Referral Center

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.

Today Montana practices veterinary medicine in Springfield, VA.


Xitlaly Santos

Now: Lab Scientist at LabCorp

Xitlaly helped collect turtle microbiome samples in the field and evaluated the antifungal potential of bacteria derived metabolites. Xitlaly was a research student and technician in the lab. 

Today Xitlaly is a lab scientist at LabCorp!

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Hailey Cambria

Now: MS Student in Dental Biomedical Sciences at Rutgers University

Hailey helped collect microbial samples from salamanders in the field, isolate bacterial species and performing challenge experiments on Bd with metabolites extracted from these bacteria. Hailey was a research student and technician in the lab.


Today Hailey is a Master's Student at Rutgers University


Carl Hermes Castillo

Dominican University of California

Carl was an independent research student in the lab. Carl's project dealt with evaluating how Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis reacts to long-term exposure to antifungal therapies. Along caring for fungal cultures in the lab, Carl will be performing artificial selection and genome sequencing experiments to evaluate genomic changes associated with antifungal resistance in fungal pathogens.

Carl will completed his post-bac May 2022 and is currently applying to Medical School. 


Natalie De La Cruz

Dominican University of California

Natalie joined the lab through the NSM Research Methodology series as a transfer student. Natalie is helping characterize the skin microbiome of terrestrial salamanders. She helped evaluate characteristics of the microbiome across populations that experienced intense wildfires during the fall of 2020.


Dominican University of California

Emily joined Dr. OHG’s lab through the DU NSM Research and Methodology Program as a transfer student. In the future, Emily hopes to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.


Dominican University of California

Madison joined the lab through the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Research Methodology Program. She is starting an MS in biostatistics at Chapman University Fall 2023.  Her career objective is to do clinical research with in-utero genetics to test and treat fetuses for genetic diseases before they are born. Madison is a co-first author in a microbiology research publication.

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