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Laura Wegener Parfrey
Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia

Laura is fascinated by microbial diversity and enjoys exploring many facets of our microbial world. She got her scientific start investigating the eukaryotic tree of life, and carries this phylogenetic perspective into all aspects of her research. [CV]

Office phone: 604-827-2214
Lab phone: 604-827-1879
Location: Biodiversity Research Centre 109 (Office) and 170 (Lab)
Address: 2212 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada

Andrew Loudon
PhD Student

Background: Mount Union College, BS; James Madison University, MSc.

My research focuses on the bacterial communities associated with sea stars. I’m interested in how these communities are structured and maintained, which bacteria are specific to sea stars and their function. I’m also investigating the affects of sea star wasting disease on sea star’s bacterial communities. Lastly, I’m involved in sea star disease monitoring on Calvert Island.


Email: loudon at

Katherine (Katy) Davis 
PhD Student

My research examines the drivers of host-associated microbial community diversity and function as well as the effects of the microbiome on host fitness and ecology. In particular, I am exploring the community structure, functional roles, and fitness benefits of microbes associated with marine macroalgae and seagrasses.

Emily Adamczyk
PhD Student

I’m interested in how eelgrass community structure varies temporally and spatially. More specifically, my research focuses on processes that drive eelgrass microbial colonization and how these communities facilitate or prohibit wasting disease.


Vincent Billy
PhD Student

Background: University of Angers (BSc), University of Montpellier (MSc)

I am interested in the interaction between eukaryotic microbes, the gut microbiome (especially bacteria diversity), and the mammalian immune system in the context of human health. During my PhD, I will be exploring the role played by Hymenolepis diminuta and Blastocystis as potential modulators of the immune system and microbiota in humans and in mammalian models of immunee-Mediated Diseases.

Jungsoo Park
PhD Student

I have a keen interest in endophytes associated with seaweed species. Endophytes are crucial for the survival of many terrestrial plants, but little is known about the presence and importance of endophytes of marine seaweeds. More specifically, my research focuses on defining endophytic ecological functioning, with the aim of understanding seaweed-microbe interactions and associated core microbiota.


Evgeniya (Jane) Yangel
Masters Student

My current research project focuses on microbes in freshwater systems. In particular, I want to understand how food web organization and climate change together affect bacterial community structure and what predators are primarily controlling bacterial abundances. This work will allow to assess future ecosystem health under global warming by parameterizing models that will take into account a higher number of trophic levels in the community.

Florent Mazel
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

I’m a biogeographer and macro-ecologist from the University of Grenoble-Alpes where I worked with Dr. W. Thuiller and S. Lavergne. My research focuses on phylogenetic and functional diversity patterns – of mammals at the global scale but also on mammalian gut microbiota at a micro scale. In Vancouver, I’ll  be focused on the macro-evolution of gut microbiota communities along the host phylogeny.


Bianca Trevizan Segovia
MITACS/Hakai Postdoctoral Fellow

Background:  Nucleus of Research in Limnology, Ichthyology and Aquaculture – State University of Maringa, Brazil

I’m interested in the microbial community associated with seagrass. I am investigating changes in diversity over space and time and also trophic interactions occurring in the epiphytic community associated with Zostera marina. I’m also interested in examining how taxonomic and functional diversity of microbes vary under different conditions of temperature and dispersal.

Kendrix Kek
Undergraduate Student

I’m interested in the interactions between various protists and the environments that they inhabit – in particular, looking at the role of the parasitic protist, Labyrinthula zosterae in causing wasting disease in seagrass along coastal British Columbia. I am also looking to study the taxonomic diversity of protists in their respective communities over space and time.

Evan Morien
Staff Bioinformatician

I assist lab members with their research, develop data pipelines for the lab, write up protocols and best practices for computational analyses, maintain the lab website, act as the lab’s system administrator, and process the lab’s data. [CV] I am also available for freelance work.

Former Lab Members