Lab Alumni

IMG_3048Ankit Pathak (Fall 2015-Spring 2017)

Ankit was the first M.S. student in the Waselkov lab, in the Biotechnology program at Fresno State.  His project was a greenhouse common garden experiment testing the fitness costs of glyphosate resistance in hairy fleabane, in well-watered vs. drought conditions.  He worked very hard and collected a plethora of data, which awaits replication for publication.  After graduation, he obtained a position in medical data analysis with the company Adaptimmune in Philadelphia, PA.


Priyanka Chaudhari (Spring 2017-Fall 2018)

Priyanka conducted research on the genetic basis of glyphosate herbicide resistance in hairy fleabane (Erigeron bonariensis) for her M.S. in Biotechnology.  She used techniques such as RNA extraction and gel electrophoresis, PCR, cDNA synthesis, and qPCR, to examine the possible upregulation of several candidate genes that may be involved in non-target site resistance to glyphosate in this species.  Priyanka now works for MolecularMD as a Clinical Medical Technologist in Portland, OR.

20170623_110258Adam Avila (Spring 2017-Fall 2019)

Adam worked on a project comparing the composition of endophytes between a parasitic plant (Cuscuta campestris) and one of its host plants (Helianthus annuus) in the Central Valley. This project was coadvised by Dr. John Constable. He received a B.S. in Biology from Fresno State in Spring 2017, and graduated with an M.S. in Biology in Fall 2019.  Adam is currently working as a COVID-19 contract tracer for the Fresno County Department of Public Health, while he applies to medical schools.

Monique CantuMonique Cantu (Spring 2019-Spring 2020)

Monique contributed to a project on Phlox population genetics by performing PCR and gel electrophoresis. She also entered data into the Fresno State Herbarium online database. In Spring 2020, she graduated with a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Physical Science. She plans on attending medical school and returning to the Valley as a physician with a specialty in skin cancer.

Harneet KaurHarneet Kaur (Summer 2018-Spring 2020)

Harneet contributed specimen data from the Fresno State Herbarium to a large online database of herbarium records, the CCH2, as part of the California Phenology Thematic Collections Network (CAP-TCN) called Capturing California’s Flowers.  She obtained her B.S. in Biology in Spring 2020, and plans to pursue a medical career in either pharmacy or physical therapy.


Diana Camarena (Spring 2017-Fall 2018)

Diana worked with Hairy Fleabane, a common summer Central Valley weed. She studied its germination rate and survival rate after being treated with glyphosate, a very commonly used herbicide. She had a 2017-18 research internship from USDA-NIFA-NLGCA, which allowed her to work on this project in the summers of 2017 and 2018. She currently has a full-time job at an undisclosed location.

20180329_084833Chyann Stiles (Summer 2018-Fall 2018)

Chyann undertook a large greenhouse experiment in Summer 2018, involving two replications of a drought experiment on glyphosateresistant and sensitive hairy fleabane, extending the research performed by Ankit Pathak in 2016.  She is pursuing a B.S. degree in Plant Science, and she’s interested in pursuing a senior honors thesis focused on glyphosate resistance in weeds.

IMG_0900Estefania Aguilar-Gutierrez (Spring 2016-Spring 2018)

Estefania was the first student to work on the population genetics of Phlox speciosa. She collected plant samples and used flow cytometry, DNA extraction and microsatellite analysis to verify the ploidy level and genotypes of the species.  She obtained her B.S. in Biology in Spring 2018, and her career goal is to attend medical school. She plans to practice as a medical doctor with a specialty in neurology.


May Yang (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

May was involved with the field work on Palmer amaranth as an undergraduate, driving over 4000 miles in 9 days to collect 22 populations between Fresno and Marfa, TX.  She also helped with DNA extractions and PCR testing of the collected samples, after graduating with a B.S. in Plant Science in Fall 2017.  She is currently working at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier,CA.  In the future, she plans to continue her studies in weed science as an M.S. student in Plant Science at Fresno State.

Pa LeePa Lee (Fall 2017-Spring 2018)

Pa entered specimen label data and mounted new plant specimens for the Fresno State (FSC) Herbarium as a work-study student in her senior year as a business administration major at Fresno State.  She is responsible for a large number of very accurately entered specimens in the database CollectionSpace, and she also proofed many previous entries.  She graduated in Spring 2018 and plans to pursue a career in sustainable development planning.

DSCN0891Rigoberto Molina (Spring 2016-Fall 2017)

Rigo contributed greatly to the quest to uncover the mutations involved in conferring glyphosate resistance to Erigeron bonariensis. He utilized multiple techniques, including extensive bacterial cloning, to successfully amplify single copies of the target gene EPSPS for Sanger sequencing, and analyzed the results. His career aim is to combine his complementary interests in biology (especially genetics) and philosophy, in which he is currently double-majoring at Fresno State.


Emeline Pano (Summer 2016-Fall 2017)

Emeline helped enter data for the FSC Herbarium during Summer and Fall 2016, as a CSU LSAMP scholar. The next year, she learned DNA extraction, PCR, and microsatellite data analysis to contribute to the research on the population genetics of Phlox speciosa.  She has also done research in the Ross lab at Fresno State (see here). She graduated from Fresno State with a B.S. in Biology in Spring 2018, and her career ambition is to attend graduate school for a Ph.D. and become a research scientist.