Current Members


Robert Brucker, Ph.D., (Principal Investigator)

I received my B.S. from the University of Mount Union in Alliance, OH and my Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. I stayed on for a short postdoc at Vanderbilt before starting my lab at the Rowland Institute at Harvard as a Rowland Junior Fellow.


I started my research career working on amphibian conservation and skin microbiota–isolating anti fungal compounds the bacteria were producing. Then I continued to explore the role of microbial communities in animal health and survival. My research focus has been on animal-microbe interactions.




Google scholar Publications

Guan-Hong Wang, PhD., (Postdoctoral Fellow)

My research and career focus has been on understanding the role of microorganisms that interact with animal hosts; specifically, using insects (jewel wasp, bees, mosquito, fig wasp) to determine the molecular interactions of bacteria (Wolbachia, Serratia, Pseudomonas, gut bacterial community), parasite (Plasmodium) and phage (phage WO) as progenitors of their hosts’ fitness and reproductive success.



Brittany Berdy, PhD., (Posdoctoral Fellow)


I received my B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY where I researched oxidative stress and its role in sexual selection in the Common Yellowthroat. Then I went on to study microbiology and received my  PhD from Northeastern University with a specialization in microbial cultivation techniques. Now I hope to be delving into the microbiome world. My main interest has always revolved around how microbes interact with each other, and importantly, with their human/animal host.



Amulya Shastry, (Coop Student - Bioinformatics)

Amulya is a Masters Student in bioinformatics at Northeastern University. She is joining the Brucker lab for her coop. She will be studying the NGS data sets developed.

Sara Dunaj (PhD candidate, UMass Lowell)

Sara is a PhD candidate in the Garb Lab at UMass Lowell. The aims of this study will elucidate if there is a distinct evolutionary pattern of phylosymbiosis across widow spiders and if there is evidence that supports the existence of evolutionarily significant spider-microbe relationships.



Bonirath Chhay (Undergrad, Harvard University)

Bonirath was the first member of the Brucker lab, starting as a Freshman she is a bioengineering major. She has been designing and building tools to facilitate studying the interactions of the microbiome and Nasonia.


2015 - Insect Genetic Technologies Research Coordination Network at the Arthropod Genomics Symposium  - Travel Grant for Poster Presentation

2016 - Harvard College Program for Research in Science and Engineering - Fellowship

2016 - Microbial Science Initiative Summer Research Fellowship - Fellowship

2017 - Harvard College Research Program - Grant

Olivia Velasquez (Undergrad, Harvard University)

Olivia joined the lab as a summer research student through Harvard University's PRISE program. She is testing the effects of bacteria density on xenobiotic metabolism and pathogenicity.

Casey Chertavian (Summer student from Concord Academy Student)

Casey is a summer student from Concord Academy that is working on visualizing bacteria in the gut of Naosnia.

Matt Johnson,

Undergrad, Louisiana State University, Summer REU 2016, Harmony Fellow 2016-2017

Jessica Dittmer, Ph.D., (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Currently at the University of Millano


Google scholar  Publications


Matt Pintkowski

Undergrad, Bunker Hill Community college, Summer REU 2015