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Meet the Lab!

Here's our dynamic team of knowledge conjurers, each adding their unique spark to illuminate our path to understanding insect-microbe interactions!


These magical beings, once our lab members, have remained persistent collaborators and fellow conjurers of knowledge.


Assistant Professor at LSU

Dr. Aaron Ashbrook

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Aaron, a Michigan native and passionate entomologist, has a broad research palette, spanning stress responses and enhancing entomopathogen effectiveness for urban pest control. Outside research, he delights in gardening, pets, and devouring horror and science fiction books and movies. He currently holds a faculty position at Louisiana State University while maintaining an active visiting appointment at NCSU, where he continues to collaborate on our lab's projects.


President's postdoctoral fellow at UMN

Dr. Cristian Beza-Beza

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Cristian, hailing from Guatemala, developed a deep love for nature in his mountainous surroundings, sparking a lifelong passion for biodiversity. His research centers on evolution, systematics, and diversification drivers. Outside of work, he enjoys weekend hikes, cheering for Club Social y Deportivo Municipal, and quality time with loved ones. He is currently a President's postdoctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota, while maintaining a visiting appointment at NCSU, where he continues to collaborate on our lab's projects.

Lab Alumni (and their last known whereabouts)

Marissa Cole

Undergraduate mentee (September 2019 - December 2019); Graduate research assistant (January 2020 - November 2023)

Sydney Baker

BeeMORE mentee (May 2023 - July 2023)

Cristian Beza-Beza (President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota)

Postdoc (September 2021 - September 2023)

Melbert Schwarz (Postdoc, Meiklejohn lab)

Graduate research assistant (August 2018 - August 2023)

Ezra Bailey (Graduate student, Wiegmann lab)

Lab technician (February 2020 - August 2021); Graduate research assistant (August 2021 - April 2023)

Elizabeth Wiles (Graduate student, Genetics and Genomics Scholars program)

BeeMORE mentee (May 2021 - July 2021); Lab technician (August 2021 - August 2022); Rotation student, GGS program (August 2022 - January 2023)

Maeve Finley

BeeMORE mentee (May 2022 - July 2022)

Estefany Valdez

BeeMORE mentee (May 2022 - July 2022)

Aaron Ashbrook (Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University)

Postdoc (June 2020 - April 2022)

Rebecca Lessler (M.Sc. student, Sobotnik lab)

Lab technician (June 2021 - June 2022)

Sophia Copeman (Graduate student, Frank lab)

Lab technician (February 2020 - February 2021)

Caroline Elliotte

Lab technician (Nov 2018 - Nov 2019)

Former members


Currently, there are no funded opportunities in the Mikaelyan lab for postdocs or graduate students. Jobs will be posted on the website when available. However, we are always eager to working on collaborative proposals for fellowships for independent research, such as postdoctoral fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, NSF-GRFP, the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) 

We are always looking for hard working undergraduate students who are interested in either assisting graduate students or postdocs with their research. There are also opportunities for students interested in gaining experience in independent research. Feel free to contact Dr. Mikaelyan directly for inquiries.

Open positions
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