Graduate Students



Alfonso Carrillo, PhD student

Alfonso joined the Sullivan lab in the Spring of 2021 after graduating from the University of Florida with a B.S. and a M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Florida. Previously, he studied gut microbiota interactions with human norovirus alongside Dr. Melissa K. Jones at the University of Florida. Currently, he is working on how to implement phage therapy into Pseudomonas aeruginosa infected burn wounds along with aiding in the creation of a high-throughput screening method to detect phage-host relationships. 


Dylan Cronin

Dylan Cronin, PhD student

Dylan Cronin attended Bowling Green State University with a dual major in Computer Science and Biology with a specialization in Marine and Aquatic Sciences, where Dylan first found his interest in aquatic microbial ecology. Currently, he is interested in applying ‘omics data to examine global ocean phage ecology as well as studying viruses and their impact on the Pacific coral reefs.


Marissa R. Gittrich, PhD student

Marissa joined the Sullivan lab in the Spring of 2019 after receiving a B.S. in Microbiology from Bowling Green State University.  Previously she studied factors that contribute to Cyanobacteria blooms in Lake Erie. Currently she is studying the ecology of phage resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is characterizing Pseudomonas phages.


Emily Hageman, Masters student

Emily joined the Sullivan in Summer 2021 after graduating from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and a minor in environmental science.  Emily’s interests include environmental microbiology and developing new techniques to studying microorganisms.



Mohamed M. Mohamed, PhD student

Mohamed is a biophysics student who joined the Sullivan Lab in Spring 2019. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Science and Technology at Zewail City, Egypt in 2018, where he studied biomedical sciences, with a focus on computational biology and a minor in physics. He is currently interested in applying ensemble assembly approaches to study microbial and viral communities in different environmental samples.


Kimberley S. Ndlovu, Ph.D. student

Kim joined the Sullivan Lab in the Spring of 2021. She graduated from Missouri Valley College with a B.S in Biological Sciences and minors in Chemistry and Forensic Science. She is currently interested in studying the maternal (vaginal) & fetal (fecal) virome & microbiome and how specific taxa could increase low-birthweight and subsequent mortality of HIV-exposed uninfected infants. She is also interested in developing strategies for phage therapy in burn wounds and/or spinal cord injury-induced gut dysbiosis.

Rokaiya N. Shatadru, Masters student

Rokaiya joined the Sullivan lab in Fall 2021. She graduated from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, with a Bachelor of Science and subsequently obtained a Masters in Microbiology, for which she studied the genomics of pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa. She is now particularly interested in phage genomics within the human microbiota, and to broadly understand how microbes impact human health.


Sergei Solonenko, PhD Student

Sergei joined the Sullivan Lab in Summer 2016. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Arizona in 2014 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas in 2008 in Cell and Molecular Biology. He is a graduate student in Evolution Ecology & Organismal Biology, and his interests include the impact of new sequencing technologies on viral metagenomics and the use of metagenomics for inference of evolutionary processes. Sergei is also working to identify viral introns to investigate the role of mobile genetic elements in their host genome – are they domesticated or parasitic?


Funing Tian,  PhD student

Funing joined the Sullivan Lab in Spring 2019 after she received her B.S. degree at Northwest A&F University in China. She used to focus on viral assembly and vaccine development. Currently, she is interested in marine viral manipulation on microbial community and hence the biogeochemical cycling with the application of omics data.



VikDean Vik, PhD Student

Dean joined the Sullivan Lab in Fall 2014 from his undergraduate degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is very interested in virus-host interactions as they influence microbial evolution and large scale ecosystem functions such as oceanic nutrient cycling. His present focus is on archaeovirus biogeography in oxygen minimum zones.




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