Former Lab members

 

Postdoctoral

Dr. Qian Zhang

PhD
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

PhD
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 is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M investigating molecular cytogenetics of cotton.

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.

Doctoral

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 is presently employed as a Bioinformatics Scientist at GeneWiz, R&D genomics service.

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, which transitioned into her current position of Assistant Professor in the Deparment of Horticulture. 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)

Master's

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, in Massachusetts,  working on diagnostic test development, and subsequently moved on to Weather Analytics in Portsmouth, NH where she is now the data science manager.

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

M.S. Biological Sciences 2010

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. Susequently, he performed genetic research in apple and received his PhD in Horticulture at Cornell. He is currently a postdoctoral associate researcher at Cornell, investigating  the genetic and physiological basis of bitter pit in apple.

Elizabeth Poulsen

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

Liz Poulsen

Liz joined the Davis lab after completing her B.S. in at UNH. 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

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 technical specialist at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm.

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. Most recently, she has taken a few years off to be with her family, but is now preparing to return to the horticultural industry.

Peter Reavey

M.S. Genetics (2002)

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 an associate scientist at Biogen Idec.

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 now the founder and CEO of his own company, Namocell, in the San Francisco Bay area.
 

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.

 

 


Undergraduates
and other helpers

Alden Perkins

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. 

Patricia Ford-Ortiz

B.S. Biomedical Science (2017)

Patricia Ortiz-Ford


Patricia worked with Dr. Lise Mahoney, assisting with strawberry maintenance and propagation of plants in the Woodman Farm fields and Macfarlane greenhouse. Patricia is now working as a quality control microbiologist at Novo Nordisk.

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. 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.

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 working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as a piping plover intern at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. 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.

Liz 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 is currently working on a doctoral degree in entomology at the University of Vermont.

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 is currently pursuing a Master's degree in science. 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 is currently an Adjunct Professor at Southern Maine Community College. She is also 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 currently holds a position at TCR2 Therapeutics. 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 working as an instructor of biology at both Stockton University and Atlantic Cape Community College, as well as being a substitute high school teacher.

Elisabeth Antanavich

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 supervisor of the newly formed Production Tissue Culture 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 donates $60,000 each year to enrich science education in local public schools.  Twice a year, the Education in Science Committee reviews grant proposals submitted by area schools and divides the available funds. Additionally, members of the Education in Science committee provide outreach to local students by judging science fairs, offering science scholarships and summer internships, hosting tours of CST, and providing job shadowing opportunities. 

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 a practicing Hospitalist at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA.

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 LFB-USA (formerly Genzyme transgenics). The company has an R&D  genetics lab pioneering animal transgenic work, which results in drugs produced in animal milk. Although initially hired to do process development work, Sarah is now a quality control scientist  maintaining and validating protein chemistry lab equipment, drug analytical test methods, and computer software systems.  

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 currently works as the Operations Director for Dümmen Orange, a global leader in flower breeding, where she oversees the daily operations of the North American team.  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)
 
Jesse Davis

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 Haigis


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 director of Cancer Genetics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.