Current Lab Members

Nana_picNana Ankrah

Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: na423 [at]

I am a generally interested in how microbes inhabiting different niches interact with their hosts and elucidating how these interactions affect host fitness. My current research in the Douglas lab focuses on understanding how metabolic networks between insect hosts and their bacterial symbionts are structured and characterizing how metabolite exchange within these networks are regulated by the host.

Arinder AroraArinder Arora

Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: aka76 [at]

I am interested in using novel strategies to control vector borne diseases. In the Douglas lab I am working on grape mealybug, a vector of grape leafroll-associated viruses (GLRaV). I am using RNAi to silence various genes in the mealybug gut resulting in their killing, hence breaking the disease cycle. My long term goal is to take RNAi and other transgenesis based strategies to the field to control various vector borne diseases.

Bueno_EduardoEduardo Bueno

Laboratory Technician

Email: eb537 [at]

I primarily assist Alyssa Bost and Karen Adair in their research on how the Drosophila gut symbiosis responds to different sets of microbiota. Currently I am in charge of performing DNA extractions, PCR, and Drosophila dissections. In addition, I work alongside Marita and help with maintaining and expanding our fruit fly populations. In my free time, I continue to educate myself on the evolution of Chicano and East Asian cultures in the US.


John McMullen_091015John McMullen

Graduate Student

Email: jgm263 [at]

I am broadly interested in host-microbe co-evolution and investigating microbial metabolites that impact host behavior and overall physiology. I am currently working with both bacterial and fungal gut symbionts of Drosophila to better understand their symbiotic interactions and how they impact Drosophila evolution. Prior to joining the Douglas Lab, I obtained my MS at the University of Arizona studying phenotypic trait evolution in the mutualistic symbionts of insect pathogenic nematodes.

Danielle Preston


Email: dep85 [at]

I am interested in the gut microbiota and various biological mechanisms that influence insect behavior, as well as integrated pest management plans for invasive species. While obtaining my BS in environmental science at SUNY ESF, I worked in partnership with the Charles Darwin Foundation to investigate the biology of a parasitic fly Phylornis downsi that is invasive to the Galapagos Islands. My area of research targeted the identification and optimization of microbial attractants for IPM practices.


Michael Stephens

Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: mes483[at]

I am generally interested in intimate symbioses such as endo- and ectosymbioses and the mechanisms underlying their initiation, maintenance, and evolution. In the Douglas lab, I’m currently studying the maternal (vertical) inheritance and evolution of an immortalized bacteriocyte harboring endosymbionts in the silverleaf whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Some foci of this work include (i) investigating the role of horizontal gene transfer in mediating the nutritional symbiosis between this globally important agricultural pest and its endosymbionts and (ii) exploiting this information for the development of novel pest control strategies.