Current Lab Members



Iris Meier: Principal Investigator








PhD Students

Holiday MagicNorman Reid Groves

Norman is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program. Norman’s research centers around identifying novel proteins at the plant inner nuclear envelope. He is also interested in the protein signals that target a protein to the inner nuclear envelope. Norman received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, where his undergraduate research focused on studying genes of unknown function necessary for Arabidopsis hot/cold stress response. Norman is an avid racquetball player, and enjoys going to see baseball games with his wife, Gemini. Norman can be reached at

Anna&Denis-32Anna Newman-Griffis

Anna is a Ph.D. Student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology graduate program.  Her research focuses on the role of the nucleus and its movement in symbiosis, pathogenesis, and development of model plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula, and Lotus japonicus.  Her B.A. is from Carleton College, where she worked under Dr. Susan Singer characterizing the flowering time pathway of the new model legume Chamaecrista fasciculata.  Anna’s interest in plants extends beyond the laboratory, and she loves to go on hikes and regale anyone she sees with “fun facts” about the plants around them.  She lives in Upper Arlington with her husband Denis, where they are both members of the Columbus Symphony Chorus and CSC Board. You can reach Anna at

Alecia profile pic 1Biel

Alecia is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology graduate program. Her research focuses on elucidating the role of plant nuclear envelope proteins in Arabidopsis development. She is also interested in research that can have potential environmental impacts. She received her B.S. in Biology from Penn State University, where she worked under Dr. Gong Chen optimizing the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells as a scaffold for future disease research studies.  Alecia lives with her husband Jesse, and both are vegetarians who enjoy being active in mind and body. You can reach Alecia at


Andrew Kirkpatrick

Andrew is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Genetics Graduate Program. Andrew’s research focuses on the role of Reactive Oxygen Species, calcium changes as well as nuclear positioning in the processes of fertilization. Andrew grew up in Connecticut and received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Hartwick College in New York. He continued his study at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee using electron microscopy to study pollen exine morphology and development. He enjoys long walks on the beach by moonlight, discussing poetry of the Romantic Era, and cleaning. His favorite movies are The Notebook and the Breakfast Club, and he is skilled both in the culinary arts and the art of taxidermy. When not volunteering at the local animal shelter, Andrew enjoys hiking and spending Sunday afternoons with his grandmother.  Andrew can be contacted at

Swtizerland and Sweden 2014 1103Morgan Moser

Morgan is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology graduate program. Her research focuses on the function and mechanism of action of a plant-specific LINC complex in guard cell nuclear positioning and aperture control. Morgan received her A.S. in Chemistry from Hagerstown Community College and her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). As an undergraduate she worked under Dr. Michael Summers determining the structure of the matrix domain of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) Gag polyprotein and analyzing the method it utilizes to target and bind to the plasma membrane of the host cell during the viral replication cycle. Morgan loves to cook and watch sports. She can be reached at

Tyler Mendes

Tyler is a Ph.D. student in the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology graduate program. He studies pollen expressed kinesins and their role in pollen tube formation in Arabidopsis. He is also interested in how heat shock can impact pollen tube development. Tyler is originally from San Diego, CA, and he moved to New Mexico for his undergrad. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico where he worked in the lab of Dr. Richard Cripps where he worked on muscle development in Drosophila. In his free time he enjoys swimming, biking, and playing video games. You can reach Tyler at


Sarah Spahr



Former Lab Members

Katherine Beigel, Honors Undergraduate

Research Assistant



Anissa Moussa, Student Worker




Edwin Rice, Student Worker




Xiao Zhou

Dr. Xiao Zhou, PhD Student and Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California Berkeley




Dr. Chris Defraia, Postdoctoral Fellow

Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Ferris State University




Bailey Tillford, Undergraduate




Joanna BorucDr. Joanna Boruc, Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Daniel Van Damme, VIB, Ghent University



Alex ToughAlex Tough, Research Assistant




Shalaka PatelShalaka Patel, PhD Student

Senior Manager of Research,  Immucor, Inc.



Jelena BrkljacicDr. Jelena Brkljacic, Postdoctoral Fellow

Associate Director of the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center



Mintu DesaiDr. Mintu Desai, Postdoctoral  Fellow

GMO Specialist at TYTON BioEnergy Systems



Dongfeng DingDongfeng Ding, PhD Student

Financial Consultant



Tomasz CalikowskiDr. Tomasz Calikowski, Postdoctoral Fellow

Scientific Officer at EC, Brussels, Belgium



Sowmya VenkatakrishnanSowmya Venkatakrishnan, PhD Student

Technical Consultant at Alleman Hall McCoy Russell & Tuttle



annkatrinDr. Annkatrin Rose, Postdoctoral Fellow

Associate Professor, Appalachian State University



Sun Yong JeongSun Yong Jeong, PhD Student

Research Associate, University of North Carolina



qiao zhaoQiao Zhao, PhD Student

Assistant Professor, Tsinghua University



xianfeng xu and sylvia heXianfeng Morgan Xu, PhD Student, and Sylvia He, Research Assistant

Patent Agent, Arnold and Porter, LLP



sivaSiva Muthuswamy, PhD Student

Research Scientist, Hospira



Not Pictured: Thushani Rodrigo-Peiris, PhD Student

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