Former Lab members



Dr Lise L Mahoney

B.S Chemical Engineering (1976)
M.S. Plant Biology (2007)

PhD Plant Biology (2014)
Research Assistant Professor 


After retiring from a successful career as a chemical engineer,  Lise returned to UNH to complete her Master's and PhD degrees in plant biology, and then continued as a post-doc in the Davis lab, breeding strawberries. Now employed as a research assistant professor at the University, Dr. Mahoney collaborates with the Davis lab, continuing her strawberry breeding work.


Dr. Daniel Frailey



While in the Davis Lab, Dan performed bioinformatics with respect to studying the genomics of crops such as chickpea and strawberry. Dan is currently working at WuXi in Philadelphia. The company tests drugs being developed by other companies. Dan is in their sequencing group,  sequencing vectors and plasmids to ascertain that there are no variants. 


Dr. Qian Zhang

Research Scientist

Qian Zhang

Dr. Zhang was with the Davis Lab for many years as a postdoctoral researcher performing biotechnological research and tissue culture with Fragaria species. She is currently performing research in plant biotechnology at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Bo Liu

Postdoctoral research scientist

Bo Liu

Dr. Liu came to the Davis Lab as a postdoctoral researcher investigating comparative genomics via cytogenetic studies on Fragaria species. She continued her Postdoctoral work at Texas A&M investigating molecular cytogenetics of cotton and is currently a scientist at FujiFilm Diosynth Biotechnologies.

Dr. Hongrun Yu

PhD Plant Science (1992)

Dr Yu earned his PhD at UNH  studying soybeans with Dr. Yun-Tzu Kiang.  As a post-doc in the Davis Lab, Hongrun investigated genetic linkage and segregation distortion in diploid strawberries. He went on to do medical research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and is currently an assistant research professor at Yoma Linda University, investigating bone health.


Samikshya Rijal

M.S. Genetics (2020)


While at UNH, Samikshya specialized in small fruit breeding. Her research activities involved marker-assisted breeding and tissue culture in strawberries. She is now a graduate research assistant pursuing her Doctoral degree in Agricultural and Horticultural Plant Breeding at the University of Georgia. 

Madhav Subedi

M.S. Genetics (2020)


While at UNH, Madav's research focused on studying locally adapted ancestral plant of quinoa i.e. C. ficifolium, as a model to study quinoa genome and identify genes associated with traits of interest. Madhav is now a graduate research assistant pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics (IPBGG). His research focuses on carrying out genome-wide association mapping (GWAS) using a diversity panel of soft red winter wheat for genetic dissection of agronomic and quality traits in wheat.

Erin Neff

M.S. Biological Sciences (2017)

Erin Neff

During her time at UNH, Erin evaluated the Chenopodium species in Northern New England as a potential source of novel genetic material for quinoa (C. quinoa) breeding programs, which included the rediscovery of a C. foggii population in Maine, and the development of several cytomolecular tools for future work in this area. Erin worked as a research associate in the Yeast Lab at Yumanity Therapeutics, where she was responsible for yeast model construction and screening with novel compounds, and flow cytometry testing of yeast models with novel compounds. She worked as the Microbiology team lead at Versatope Therapeutics, where she focused on developing bacterial strains for the production of recombinant outer membrane vesicles to be used as a universal-style influenza vaccine. Currently, she is the Program and Alliance Manager at Versatope Therapeutics, where she manages all internal projects as well as the relationships with external research and manufacturing contractors.

Sarah Levy

M.S. Genetics (2016)

Sarah Levy

While in the Davis lab, Sarah worked on a New England region, multi-institutional weed project, in which she focused on bioinformatics and next generation technologies. After graduating, Sarah parlayed the focus on bioinformatics, first by taking a position at Laboratory for Molecular Development,  working on diagnostic test development, then at Weather Analytics in Portsmouth, NH as a data science manager. Currently, Sarah is a Senior Business Inteligence Engineer with Amazon.

Dave Wood

B.S. Biology (2012)

Dave Wood

Dave entered the Master's progam in Genetics with a focus in bioinformatics. Dave completed most of the requirements for his degree, but moved into the industry sector and is currently working as the principal data scientist at Argo Digital.

Xin Ding

M.S. Biological Sciences 2012

Ding Xin

Ding joined the Davis lab to invesitigate the potential roles of specific genes of interest to plant breeders with regard to sex determination in strawberries. After completing his M.S. at UNH, he moved on to get an M.B.A. at Babson College, and is currently the Assistant President of the Wuhan Dangdai Group in China, and is in charge of global strategic investment and acquisition in pharmaceuticals for the group.

Zahra Hadadian O'Connor

M.S. Biological Sciences 2010

Zahra Hadadian O'Connor

Zahra worked on the Davis lab's mint project,  developing the genomic resources that would allow for the construction of a genetic linkage map. After completing her M.S., Zahra moved into the industry sector while also starting a family.

Dr. Benjamin M Orcheski

B.S. Biochemistry 2007
M.S. Genetics 2010
Ben Orcheski

Dr. Orcheski joined the Davis lab as an undergraduate, and continued with Dr. Davis pursuing his M.S.,  investigating the genetics of sex determination in Fragaria virginiana. Subsequently, he performed genetic research in apple and received his PhD in Horticulture at Cornell. He continued working as a postdoctoral associate researcher at Cornell, investigating  the genetic and physiological basis of bitter pit in apple. and is now a scientist at the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, as an apple and pear breeder.

Elizabeth Poulsen

B.S. Molecular Biology 2005 
M.S. Genetics 2010

Liz Poulsen

Liz joined the Davis lab as an undergraduate  in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) and with a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF), then continued in the lab during her Masters in genetics. She developed a pentaploid population of Fragaria (strawberry) to gain insight into octoploid genome composition and allele transmission patterns. After graduating, Liz began working at Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in the Molecular R&D lab, where she is now the lab manager. There she helps design and validate sequencing, genotyping, qPCR, and end-point PCR assays for animal pathogens and has also further developed her bioinformatics skills

Dr. Robin Brese

M.S. Plant Biology (2006)
Robin Brese

Dr. Brese joined the Davis lab as a Master's student. Her research included contructing a cDNA library  from developing flower buds of the yellow-fruited strawberry, Fragaria vesca ssp vesca cv. 'Yellow Wonder', and analyzing the resultant sequences of the Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs). She worked as a research assistant at Brown University for a few years, then continued her education, getting a PhD at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (2016). She is currently a Patent Attorney at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Boston, MA,.

Andrea Quintana Penilla

M.S. Plant Biology (2006)
Andrea Quintana

Andrea performed genetic research in in the Davis lab, investigating flower color determination in the ornamental bedding plant Anagallis monelli . After completing her M.S., Andrea  took a position as an orchid breeder at Oglesby Plant International. She then returned to her native contry, Columbia, and went on to become the Laboratory Director for C.I. Paso de Luna  (now a Florigene company) in Bogata. She worked for a number of years at Ball Horticulture (Bogata) ultimately becoming a Research Associate evaluating new floral products. In recent years, she has been raising a family and has opened her own bakery business, Alevri Recetas de Casa, in Medellin, Columbia.

Peter Reavey

M.S. Genetics (2002)

Peter Reavey

Peter investigated segregation distortion of alleles and maternal inheritance of organelles in Fragaria vesca while in the Davis Lab. Subsequent to completing his M.S., he took a position as an associate scientist at Human Genome Sciences, and is currently a senior associate scientist at Biogen Idec,  managing Quality Control projects for the manufacturing and release of biopharmaceuticals..

Dr. Junyu Lin

M.S. Plant Biology (1997)

Junyu Lin

Dr. Lin came to the Davis lab from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he earned his B.S. in Biochemical Engineering. At UNH, he investigated the chlorplast genome in Fragaria species. He went on to obtain his PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford. Since then he has been a scientist at Five Prime Therapeutics, and is the founder and CEO of his own company, Namocell, in the San Francisco Bay area, now functioning as its Director.

Scott Williamson

M.S. Plant Science (1993)

While in the Davis lab, Scott helped develop and assess the strawberry gerplasm collection.

Dr. Ken Haymes

M.S. Plant Biology (1993)

Dr. Haymes investigated agrobacterium-mediated transformation of strawberries while in the Davis Lab. After completing his M.S., he went on to obtain his PhD, in Molecular Genetics, at Wagenigen University in The Netherlands. He is currently a biologist  on the biotechnology team in the Office of Science Technology and Policy (OSCP) at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Ann Greene

B.S. (1988)
M.S Plant Science (1992)

Anne performed research on tissue culture and genetic transformation of Fragaria vesca while in the Davis Lab. Anne went on to pursue her doctoral degree at Michigan State University, but sadly, Anne died in a car crash during her time there.

Jacqueline Heard

M.S. Plant Science (1992)

Jackie worked in the Davis lab studying the biological characterization of nodulation mutant lines of chickpeas.

Dr. Leslie Matthews

M.S. Plant Science (1988)

Dr. Matthews studied the characterization and breeding of non-nodulating chickpeas while working on her M.S. in the Davis lab. Leslie went on to pursue a PhD in genetics (1998) at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is currently working as an environmental scientist at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.




Dr. Yilong Yang

PhD, Genetics (2016)

Yilong Yang

Dr. Yang's projects included defining genome composition in the octoploid Fragaria species and utilizing bioinformatics to analyze genome composition of octoploid and pentaploid strawberries. He continued his research as a Bioinformatics Scientist at GeneWiz, R&D genomics service, and is presently a staff scientist of bioinformatics at Mission Bio in California.

Dr. Kelly J Vining

M.S. Plant Biology (1999)
PhD Genetics (2007)

Kelly Vining


Dr. Vining initially began working in the Davis lab after completing her M.S. with Dr. Brent Loy at UNH. She then pursued her PhD in the Genetics program working on the genetics and genomics of mint species, with an emphasis on identifying genes responsible for Verticillium wilt resistance. Dr. Vining moved on to a Postdoctoral position at Oregon State University, and is now an Associate Professor in the Deparment of Horticulture, where her research focuses on crops of importance to the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.A., including mint, hemp, hazelnut, black raspberry, and potato.  Dr. Kelly Vining, Oregon State University.

Laura DiMeglio

B.S. General Studies in Life Sciences 2000

Laura DiMeglio

Laura joined the Davis lab during her undergraduate work at UNH. After completing her B.S., she initially pursued her M.S. in the Genetics program, and that transitioned into the PhD program. As a PhD candidate, Laura completed all the research aspects of her degree, but moved on to raise her family. She is currently active in a homeschool community and is on the board of the homeshcool Cooperative Learning Project, as well as being a massage therapist.

Dr. Chaoyang Deng

PhD Genetics (2001)

Dr. Vijayashri Paruvangada

PhD Genetics (1993)


Aidan Walsh

Undergraduate, Genetics (2022)

Aidan Walsh

During Aidan's years in the Davis lab, he assisted on strawberry genomics and breeding projects.  What he learned in the genetics program, he intends to apply to a future in genealogical pursuits.  He was the Founder and President of the UNH Genealogy Club. During his senior year he  secured  a  position as a staff geneologist/assistant librarian at the Newmarket Public Library developing their geneaology program. Additionally, he was hired as a researher at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, in Boston, working there part-time until his graduation, whereupon the position became full-time. 


Undergraduate, Biochemistry (2020)

Megan Alix

Megan assisted Dr. Lise Mahoney in the greenhouse and field,performing maintenance of plants, phenotyping, strawberry harvests and data logging, making controlled self-pollinations, seed harvesting and propagation.

Alana Fifield

Undergraduate, Liberal Arts (2019)


Alana helped Dr. Lise Mahoney with the maintenance and propagation of strawberry plants, and preparation and sowing of seeds.​

Gwenyth Fifield

Undergraduate, Genetics (2020)

Gwenyth Fifield

Gwenyth helped Dr. Lise Mahoney with the harvest of strawberry plant crosses, seed drying, cleaning and germination.

Aggie Sutherland

Undergraduate, Biology (2017)

Aggie Sutherland

Aggie is working with Dr. Lise Mahoney in the greenhouse and field, performing maintenance of plants, phenotyping, strawberry harvests and data logging, making controlled self-pollinations, seed harvesting and propagation. After graduating in December, Aggie will be continuing at UNH in order to obtain an M.S. Nursing.

Alden Perkins

B.S. Agriculture and Food Systems (2018)

Alden Perkins

Alden assisted Dr. Lise Mahoney  working in the greenhouse and field,  maintaining plants, phenotyping, harvesting and data logging strawberries, making controlled self-pollinations, seed harvesting and propagation. After his time at UNH, he pursued a Master's in Horticulture at Penn State and is currently a grad student in plant breeding and plant genetics at the University of Wisconsin -Madison.

Patricia Ford-Ortiz

B.S. Biomedical Science (2017)

Patricia Ford Ortiz-Cedrone

Patricia worked with Dr. Lise Mahoney, assisting with strawberry maintenance and propagation of plants in the Woodman Farm fields and Macfarlane greenhouse. After graduating, Patricia worked as a quality control microbiologist at Novo Nordisk, then as a lab technician at Tripler Army Medical Center: Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory in Hawaii. She is currently employed as a QC specialist in environmental monitoring at Premier Research Labs in Texas.

Mary Barnovsky

B.S. Nutrition (2016)

Mary Barnovsky

Mary worked with experiment station researcher Dr. Lise Mahoney for more than three years, helping with strawberry maintenance and propagation, as well as phenotyping and data logging in the Woodman Farm fields and Macfarlane greenhouses.

Brendan Carr

B.S. Biological Sciences (2016)

Brendan Carr

Brendan assisted Dr. Lise Mahoney with a strawberry inbreeding project, which involved selfing plants, harvesting fruit, drying the seeds and maintaining the records.

Parker Woolley

B.S. Pre-Med & Finance (2016)

Parker Wooley

Parker assisted Dr. Melanie Shields in the laboratory helping with cytometry and other molecular techniques. He also assisted Dr. Lise Mahoney  in the field by participating strawberry harvests and data logging, seed harvesting and propagation, and helped with plant maintenance as well.  Parker is currently a medical student at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Amanda Adams

B.S. Biology (2015)
Amanda Adams

Amanda worked with Dr. Lise Mahoney maintaining and monitoring research strawberry  populations as well as performing sample and data collection. She spent a semester studying abroad in New Zealand, and is hoping to pursue postgraduate studies there. Amanda is currently with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as a Biological Science Technician working on plant propagation & habitat restoration. In addition to her scientific interests, Amanda is a talented artist whose work depicts flora and fauna.

Nick Deal

B.S. Biomedical Science (2014)
Nick Deal

Nick worked with Lise Mahoney Collecting and maintaining strawberry plants  at UNH Woodman farm and Macfarlane greenhouse. Nick is currently working at  Stratacuity, providing contract and permanent placement for scientists in top biopharmaceutical companies.

Elisabeth A. Hodgdon

M.S. Biology (2013)

Liz Hodgdon

While persuing her Master's with Extension Professor Becky Sideman, Liz worked on strawberry plants in the greenhouse for Lise Mahoney. She went on to get a doctoral degree (2019) specializing in entomology and integrated pest management at the University of Vermont, and is now the regional extension vegetable specialist for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in  Clinton County, NY.

Wenyue Jenny Jing

B.S. Biomedical Sciences (2013)
Jenny Jing

Jenny worked in the Davis lab for three years, exploring polyploidy in transgenic strawberry plants via leaf morphology and assaying anthocyanins in strawberry fruit. In her senior year, she won the prestigious Fuller Fellowship from the American Cancer Society, allowing her to work  in the  Reproductive Endocrine Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital after graduation. There, she assisted in mouse and human genotyping and analysis to gain insight into the neuroendocrine and genetic control of Gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion, its impact upon gonadotropin secretion and gonadal physiology, as well as it regulation by higher neural regulation. Jenny has since gone on to graduate work at McGill, where she completed a Master's degree in science and is currently a candidate for her MD. She is using natural language processing techniques to predict the occurence of pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis.

Olivia Cushing

B.S. Natural Resources (2012)

Olivia Cushing

Molly Mansfield

M.Ed. Education (2011)
B.S. Microbiology (2010)
Molly Mansfield

Molly performed research in the Davis lab for three years, assisting Kelly Vining  with investigating the timeline of Verticillium infection of mint. Molly is truly a Renaissance woman, having pursued many interesting vocations since leaving UNH, among them, teaching, landscaping, working as a vineyard lab technician, a gymnastics coach, and an artist.  She is currently freelancing as an educator, scientist, childcare provider, wine educator, coach and artist.

Monica Quimby

B.S. Biology: Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology (2009)

Monica Quimby

Monica continued her education at Kaplan University, earning an M.S. in Higher Education Administration, and went on to be an Adjunct Professor at Southern Maine Community College. She is currently an independent motivational speaker, giving talks on the importance of higher education for students with disabilities. You can read more about Monica here.

Justin Quinn

B.S. Biochemistry/Genetics (2009)

Justin Quinn

Justin worked in the Davis lab during his senior year at UNH, isolating strawberry DNA and learning other biomolecular techniques. He went on to work in the biotech industry and is currently the Director of Product Research at Colossal Biosciences, where they are using gene editing technology aimed at rebuilding the DNA of lost megafauna. Justin has also been involved in the Woolly Mammoth Project at the Revive and Restore Organization.

Melanie Schroer

B.S. Environmental Conservation (2009)

Melanie Schroer

While in the Davis lab, Melanie investigated molecular diversity among wild strawberry species. She went on to get her M.S. in biology and environmental endicronology at Northern Arizona University and is currently a tenure track instructor of biology at Stockton University and Adjunct Instructor of Biology at Atlantic Cape Community College.

Elisabeth (Antanavich)  Russell

B.S. Biochemistry (2008)

Elisabeth Antanavich

Elisabeth worked in the Davis lab for three years, assisting Kelly Vining with her research on verticillium wilt resistance in mint. She also prepared an undergraduate research project investigating the effect of limonene-3-H alleles on peppermint oil production (scent). Since graduating, Elisabeth has worked at Cell Signaling Technology (CST).  She began as a research assistant and later as a product scientist responsible for testing new lots of antibody products and providing technical support to CST customers.  She is currently the senior group leader for Tissue Culture Core  and Western Blot Core, responsible for generating cell lysates for use in testing CST antibody products.  Elisabeth also serves as chair of the CST Education in Science Committee.  CST makes substantial donations each year to enrich science education in local public schools, as well as offering grants for environmental and community programs.

Dr. Kevin deHaan

B.S. Biology: Molecular, Cellular and Development Biology (2005)

Kevin deHaan

Dr. deHaan was a laboratory assistant in the Davis Lab for all his undergraduate years at UNH. He trained graduate and undergraduate students in molecular techniques and investigated phylogenetic markers and growth modulation genes in strawberry. He obtained his M.D. at Dartmouth (2012), completed a residency at Boston Medical Center, and is currently the Hospitalist Lead at  Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, MO.

Sarah (Olson) Prochazka

B.S. Plant Biology and Linguistics (2004)

Sarah (Olson) Prochazka

Sarah worked on a project with Kelly Vining performing DNA isolation for parental genotyping, and PCR cloning of mint species and hybrids, as well as investigating mint/ fungus interactions. After graduating, she worked in horticultural for some time, then moved on to do immunochemistry work. Sarah now works for Charles River Laboratories in MA. where she is now the Lead Scientist for development and validation of pharmacokinetic and antibody analysis test methods.  

Ann Reinhard

B.S. Plant Biology (2003)
Ann (Reinhard) Seman

While in the Davis lab, Ann studied chloroplast DNA in Fragaria for an Honors Senior Thesis. Ann went on to complete her Master's in Medical Genetics, University of Cincinnati (2005). Since then, Ann has worked as a genetic counselor at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, ME, Boston Children's Hospital, Claritas Genomics, and then returned to  Boston Children's Hospital where she is working as a clinical genetic counselor in the general genetics clinic.  As a clinical genetic counselor, Ann meets with children of all ages and their families to help identify the underlying genetic cause for the child's features.

Dr. Kate Santos

B.S. Plant Biology (2003)

Kate Santos

Dr. Santos worked with the Davis lab sequencing portions of the chloroplast genome of Fragaria x ananassa as part of her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). After UNH, she worked as a grower for Cavicchio’s Greenhouse operation, and then returned to graduate school for her PhD (Environmental Horticulture, 2012) at the University of Florida. Kate subsequently became Director of Research and Development for Costa Farms, and as the Operations Director for Dümmen Orange. Currently, Kate is the Director of Research and Conservation at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.  In addition, Kate is proud to serve on the Board of Directors for Luxflora, a non-profit organization focused on connecting women in floriculture, and on the Leadership Cabinet for Seed Your Future, an organization focused on promoting horticulture and inspiring people to pursue careers working with plants. To learn more about Kate Santos, click here.

Dr. Jesse Davis

B. A.Sc. Biochemistry (1999)

Dr. Jesse Davis assisted with strawberry and mint research while in the Davis Lab during his undergraduate years. He went on to pursue his Doctorate of Chiropractics (2006) at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Jesse worked as a chiropractor for seven years at Franson Family Chiropractic, and is currently owner and practitioner at Davis Chiropractic.

Joe Rajewski

B.S. Biochemistry (1998)

Joe Rajewski

Joe's work in the Davis Lab focused on genome mapping of strawberry and mint, investigating their phylogenetic histories and the enhancement of economically-important traits. He continued his education at Tufts, earning an M.S. in chemical engineering (2006). He has since worked as a scientist, in companies such as Pfizer and Millipore, and an engineer, at Shire Human Genetic Therapies and Dendreon. He is currently working as a scientist (bioprocess  development engineering) at Alder Biopharmaceuticals, and is pursuing a second Master's degree in applied mathematics (U of WA, 2018).

Dr. Laura Jones

B.S. Biochemistry (1997)
Laura Jones

Dr. Jones worked as an undergraduate in the Davis Lab, implementing the study of mint research here. Laura went on to earn her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and is currently the owner of Whole Health Concord, where she practices as a naturopathic doctor specializing in women's health issues, endocrine disorders and autoimmune diseases.

Dr. Kevin Haigis

B.S. Biochemistry (1996)
Kevin Haggis

Dr. Haigis was with the Davis lab during his undergraduate years at UNH, invetigating the development a protocol for making transgenic chickpeas using biolistic particle delivery.  After leaving UNH, he completed his PhD at U. Wisconsin, Madison in genetics, and performed postdoctoral work  at MIT, specializing in cancer biology, focusing on oncogenic signaling in colorectal cancer. He started his own lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School , and is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Dana Farber Cancer Institute