Meet the Team

BCG Profiles

Trainees

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Samira Obbu

she/her

Degree(s): BS in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut (expected 2025)
Research Interests: Not sure yet, but looking to explore!
Fun Fact: My favorite TV show is Psych
Contact: samira.obbu@uconn.edu

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Sia Gbondo-Tugbawa

she/her

Degree(s): BS in Statistics, University of Connecticut (expected 2026)
Research Interests: Genetics, epigenetic, bioinformatics, and biotechnology
Fun Fact: I like to travel and crochet. My favorite place I've traveled to is Dubai!
Contact: sia.gbondo-tugbawa@uconn.edu

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Andrew Deierlein

he/him

Degree(s): BS in Molecular and Cell Biology | BS in Pathobiology, University of Connecticut (expected 2026)
Research Interests: Microbiology, epidemiology, and immunology
Fun Fact: I am developing a video game!
Contact: andrew.deierlein@uconn.edu

Student Mentors

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Anthony He

he/him

Degree(s): BS in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut (expected 2026)
Research Interests: Genomics and cell biology
Fun Fact: I play chess and read sometimes
Contact: anthony.he@uconn.edu

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Laurel Humphrey

she/her

Degree(s): BS in Biological Sciences, University of Connecticut (2024)
Research Interests: Genomics and conservation biology
Fun Fact: I love the outdoors, reading, baking, and traveling. Last summer I went on a road trip that covered 17 states over 5000 miles in 2 weeks!
Contact: laurel.humphrey@uconn.edu

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Cristopher Guzman

he/him

Degree(s): Associates in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Middlesex Community College (2021); BS in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut (expected 2024)
Research Interests: Genomics, CRISPR technology and applications, Genetic engineering, Nanotechnology, Microbiology, Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, 3D Bioprinting, Pharmaceutical and Medical Sciences, Conservation, Urban Agriculture, and much more.
Fun Fact: I love traveling, cooking, I'm a self taught herbalist, watching medical shows and I met Dr. Richard Sacra ( he contracted Ebola and survived).
Contact: cristopher.guzman@uconn.edu

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Cynthia Webster, Ph.D. Student

she/her

Degree(s): BS in Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut (2020)
Research Interests: Computational genomics, epigenetics, conservation biology, immunology
Fun Fact: I'm the lead singer in a band, I love rock scrambling on a hike, and I have a bearded dragon named Xanadu
Contact: cynthia.webster@uconn.edu

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Michelle Neitzey, Ph.D. Student

she/her

Degree(s): BS in Biology, James Madison University
Research Interests: Marine genomics, deep-sea animals, genomic adaptations, conservation genomics
Fun Fact: You can find me outdoors or at a farmer's market most weekends
Contact: michelle.neitzey@uconn.edu

Postdoctoral Researchers

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Karl Fetter, Ph.D.

he/him

Degree(s): PHD, University of Vermont (2019); MS, UNC-Chapel Hill (2014); BA, UNC-Chapel Hill (2007)
Research Interests: Conservation genomics, quantitative genetics, methods development
Fun Fact: I'm a lover of the outdoors and everything that goes with it: the plants, birds, rocks, camping, and the sunsets
Contact: kcf@uconn.edu

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Brandon Lind, Ph.D.

he/him

Degree(s): BS Chemistry (University of Northern Iowa, 2010), BS Biology (University of Northern Iowa, 2010), PhD Integrative Life Sciences (Virginia Commonwealth University, 2018)
Research Interests: Genomics of local adaptation, predictive modeling
Fun Fact: I have three ball pythons in a bioactive enclosure with a live bromeliads
Contact: lind.brandon.m@gmail.com

Principal Investigators

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Rachel O'Neill, Ph.D.

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Degree(s): PHD in Genetics and Human Variation from La Trobe University (1997), BA with Highest Honors in Zoology from the University of Texas at Austin (1992)
Contact: Rachel.ONeill@uconn.edu

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Jill Wegrzyn, Ph.D.

she/her

Degree(s): PhD in Information Systems and Technology from CGU/UC San Diego, MS in Computational Science from SDSU San Diego, BS in Animal Science/Computer Science from UC Davis
Contact: jill.wegrzyn@uconn.edu

Computational Biology Core

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Noah Reid, Ph.D.

he/him

Degree(s): B.A. Boston University 2003. M.S.University of Idaho 2008. Ph.D. Louisiana State University 2013. Postdoctoral Study: University of California, Davis.
Research Interests: Evolutionary genomics; genetics of adaptation; speciation; systematics and phylogeography
Contact: noah.reid@uconn.edu

Sequencing Team

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Nicole Pauloski

she/her

Degree(s): B.S. in Biotechnology from Rutgers University, M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from UNH
Research Interests: Method development, Long Read Sequencing, Unique and Difficult samples
Fun Fact: I love to travel and explore new places. I love to cook for family and friends, especially trying out new cuisines and recipes. Resident lab Broadway fan
Contact: Nicole.Pauloski@uconn.edu