*Please note, this is not an exhaustive list as not all lab members chose to have their bio listed online.
Johanna Holman, B.S.
Master’s of Science, Human Nutrition and Food Sciences
Johanna joined the lab in fall 2020 to investigate the effects of diet on the gut microbiome, and on host-microbial interactions. For the past several years, she has been working with Drs. Tao Zhang and Yanyan Li at Husson University, and her project will combine her previous work on the nutritional biochemistry of broccoli with effects on gut microbes.
Sarah Hosler, B.S.
Master’s of Science, Animal Science
Sarah is from Newton, NJ and has lived in NJ her whole life until she started college at Albright College in PN. Her undergraduate research was on protein classification. Sarah joined the lab in fall 2020 to create new methods for studying host-microbial interactions.
“I am excited to see how much I grow through my graduate experience at the University of Maine. I’m also a little bit nervous about the cold, but I’m sure I will get used to it.”Sarah, Apr 2020
2022 Finalist for UMaine NSFA graduate awards
Ayodeji Olaniyi, B.S.
Master’s of Science, Animal Science
Ayodeji is a graduate student in the animal science department. An aspiring and self-motivated student, with practical experience in animal production and proper farm maintenance. Spurred by the needs to improve the production of meat/livestock in Africa and ensure good health and environmental conditions for animals. Also an Animal Science Enthusiast that seeks acquisition of knowledge and the practical use of such knowledge to bridge the gap between research findings and solving Animal production challenges. He joined the lab in 2022 tracking the trends in the spread of Cryptosporidium parvum at the Witter farm. Ayodeji is an international student from Nigeria and he is looking forward to all UMaine has to offer in this next phase of his life.
PhD, Biomedical Science
Joined March 2022, bio in development
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Ecosystems and Human Impact, Stony Brook University
Myra is a Research Assistant for the Ishaq Lab, who was accepted to the University of Maine’s 2021 Summer REU program. Due to the ongoing pandemic, she is conducting remote research for the Ishaq lab by doing data analysis on camel metagenomic data. At her home institution she conducts ecotoxicology research under Dr. Pochron, where she looks at plastic mulch’s impact on worm and microbial health. She hopes to integrate environmental health with human health, and pursue public health through an anti-racist approach.
Undergraduate Researcher, Biology, Tufts University
Joe Balkan is from South Burlington, Vermont and is majoring in biology at Tufts University. He enjoys research related to human health, and is especially interested in the microbiome. Joe is researching protocols for the lab’s investigation of broccoli bioactive metabolism in the gut.
Undergraduate Researcher, Biology, Heidelberg University
Alexis is from Ohio and is majoring in Biology at Heidelberg University. Her research interests are in genetics and she has a love for the fascinating world of microbes. She joined the lab through the Summer 2022 REU. She is researching Cryptosporidium in cows, helping in the MSE Symposium, and aiding in the Camel Rumen Microbiome Project this summer.
Undergraduate Researcher, Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Marielle Pelletier is an undergraduate student on the pre-veterinary track studying Animal and Veterinary Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. She has worked in the veterinary field since high school
and has personally seen the effects of veterinary shortages in various areas of the world. Her experiences in veterinary medicine in both rural and urban Maine as well as in underdeveloped Costa Rican neighborhoods have piqued her interest in the veterinary shortage crisis Maine is currently facing. As a Top Scholar at the University of Maine, Ellie hopes to expand her knowledge in the animal and environmental health areas and connect with local policymakers to create an effective management plan to absorb Maine’s shortage while
advancing her laboratory and research skills.
Adwoa Dankwa, M.S.
Doctorate of Philosophy, Human Nutrition and Food Sciences, Adviser: Dr. Jennifer Perry
Adwoa is a graduate student in Food Science and Human Nutrition department. Adwoa’s work in the Perry lab is focused on understanding the microbial and chemical composition of fermented non-dairy low alcohol beverages and how these influence consumer acceptability over time. Dr. Ishaq serves on Adwoa’s committee to provide expert advice on microbial ecology, DNA sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis. Aside from formal mentorship, Dr. Ishaq provides insight, support, and encouragement in all areas that are deemed helpful in making Adwoa succeed in her program. Adwoa originally hails from Ghana and is loving all the seasons Maine has to offer.
Alice Hotopp, M.S.
Alice is a PhD candidate in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, co-advised by Drs. Kristina Cammen and Brian Olsen. Alice is part of the Genomic Ecology of Coastal Organisms (GECO) research group, which studies the genomic basis of adaptation in sparrow species inhabiting tidal salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of North America. Alice’s research focuses on understanding potential evolutionary drivers of plumage coloration, such as plumage microbial communities, in tidal marsh sparrows.
|Research Students mentored||Current||Former||Total while at UMaine|
|PhD, primary mentor||1||0||0|
|PhD, committee member||3||0||3|
|MS, primary mentor||3||0||3|
|MS, committee member||2||2||4|
|MPS, primary mentor||0||1||1|
|MPS, committee member||0||0||0|
|Honors, primary mentor||1||2||3|
|Honors, committee member||0||3||3|
|BS, primary mentor||0||5||5|
|Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)||2||1||3|
Join the lab
Interested in our work? Please read the information provided to determine if the Ishaq lab might be right for you before inquiring. Still interested? Send your CV and a brief explanation of what you want to study and why you want to join a research lab.