Graduate students

Graduate student group photo
First row (L to R): Max Butensky, Giulia Berzoini Costa Leite, Jera Monaghan, Isabela Carrari, Alexander Iritani, and visiting scholars Luiza DaSilva and Luiza Vitarelli. Second row (L to R): Sabrina Haney, Makenzie Melby, Michee Van Rooyen, Sharmeen Islam, Adriana Zaragoza, Valerie Achziger, Priunka Bhowmik, and Xinrui Li. Third row (L to R): Emaly Suarez, Allison Herrick, Victoria Kelson, Kassie Stadler, Tholen Blasko, Md Nazmul Hossain, and Zhongyun Kou. Not pictured: Shane Carrion, Jose Francisco Martinez, Nafise Noroozi, and Emma Wheeler.

Valerie Achziger (MS, Marcondes)
Hometown: Eastvale, California
Research focus: Identification of effective dietary strategies that balance dairy cattle health and sustainability

Giulia Berzoini Costa Leite (MS, Marcondes)
Hometown: Juiz de Fora, Brazil
Research focus: Use of rBST as an alternative strategy to overcome constraints on mammary gland development of dairy heifers subjected to high feeding levels and early breeding practices

Priunka Bhowmik (PhD, Jiang)
Hometown: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Research focus: Identify DNA and RNA variants associated with endometritis in dairy cows

Tholen Blasko (MS, Phelps)
Hometown: Sultan, Washington
Research focus: Applying CRISPR-Cas12 diagnostic capabilities to detect target species’ environmental DNA (eDNA)

Max Butensky (PhD, Phelps)
Hometown: Los Altos, California
Research focus: Maturation process in Pacific salmon

Isabela Carrari (PhD, Marcondes)
Hometown: Curtibaba, Parana, Brazil
Research focus: Effects of seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) on the digestion, performance, and enteric methane emissions by dairy cows

Shane Carrion (PhD, Jiang)
Hometown: Jackson, Mississippi
Research focus: The link between APA site use and phenomics

Sabrina Haney (PhD, Phelps)
Hometown: Ogden, Utah
Research focus: Understanding the evolution of viviparity in sharks using comparative genomics

Allison Herrick (PhD, Neibergs)
Hometown: Bliss, New York
Research focus: Utilizing genomic selection as a risk management tool for commercial dairies

Md Nazmul Hossain (PhD, Du Lab)
Hometown: Magura, Bangladesh
Research focus: Effect of obesity on epigenetic reprogramming of germ cells and embryonic organogenesis

Alexander Iritani (MS, Phelps)
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Research focus: Understanding the environmental impacts that influence spawning success in Pacific salmon

Sharmeen Islam (PhD, Du)
Hometown: Mymensingh town, Bangladesh
Research focus: Effects of maternal obesity on offspring muscle development and properties by programming insulin growth factor 2 signaling

Victoria Kelson (MS, Neibergs)
Hometown: Molino, Florida
Research focus: Identify genes associated with embryonic loss in highproduction Holstein dairy cows

Zhongyun Kuo (PhD, Du)
Hometown: Yunnan, China
Research focus: Effect of maternal obesity on early embryonic vasculogenesis and hematopoiesis

Xinrui Li (PhD, Du)
Hometown: Shanxi, China
Research focus: Elucidate the intricate network of epigenetic factors that dynamically regulate gene expression and cellular differentiation during early embryonic development

Jose Francisco Martinez (PhD, Maquivar)
Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico
Research focus: Endometrial gene expression profiles related to resilience to metritis and endometritis in organic dairy herds

Makenzie Melby (MS, Adams Progar)
Hometown: Pleasanton, California
Research focus: Impact of cow health status on risk of injury to handlers in human-dairy cow interactions

Jera Monaghan (MS, Johnson)
Hometown: Burlington, Wisconsin
Research focus: How vermifiltration (worm-powered manure management) affects greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater nutrient profiles, and farm economies on dairies

Nafise Noroozi (PhD, Du)
Hometown: Tehran, Iran
Research focus: Calf nutrition during the pre-weaning period

Emaly Suarez (MS, Neibergs)
Hometown: Yakima, Washington
Research focus: Identification of genomic regions and genes associated with spontaneous abortion (fetal loss) in dairy cows

Michee Van Rooyen (MS, Jiang)
Hometown: Pretoria, South Africa
Research focus: Transcriptomic profiling of Karakul sheep to determine relationships between genetic expression patterns and functional characteristics

Emma Wheeler (PhD, Jiang)
Hometown: Emporia, Kansas
Research focus: Neuroscience and genomics of chronic cannabis use in rodents

Adriana Zaragoza (MS, Maquivar)
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Research focus: Identification of transcriptomic changes in endometrial cells in response to pathogenic contamination in organic dairy cows

Makenzie Melby

Makenzie Melby

Outstanding MS Student
Valerie Achziger

Valerie Achziger

3rd Place Graduate Student Competition Pacific Northwest Nutrition Conference

Class of 2024

Tholen Blasko, MS
Shane Carrion, PhD
Yao Gao, PhD
Victoria Kelson, MS
Makenzie Melby, MS
Jera Monaghan, MS
Emaly Suarez, MS
Emma Wheeler, PhD