Lab Members

Department of Microbiology and Cell Science University of Florida
Email | CV

Jamie Foster

Jamie Foster is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida. Dr. Foster’s research lab is located at the Space Life Sciences Lab – Exploration Park, Merritt Island, FL

Education: Ph.D., 2000, Zoology, Mechanisms of developmental remodeling in the symbiosis between the Hawaiian squid Euprymna scolopes and the luminescent bacterium Vibrio fischeri, University of Hawai’i; M.S., 1996, Biological Sciences University of Southern California; B.S., 1992, Zoology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Research Interests: Dr. Foster is dedicated to understanding the complex interactions of symbiotic microbes with their surrounding environment.

Clotilde Bongrand

Clotilde is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida.


2006 : BS Life Sciences, Major: Biomedical Chemistry, Biology and Physics, Paris V University
2008: Master Sciences and technology, Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Speciality Microbiology, Paris VI University 
2011: PhD Microbiology and Virology, Paris VII University. Transcription regulation by the secretion activity in Shigella flexneri“ , Unité de Pathogénie Microbienne Moléculaire, Pasteur Institute, Paris
2012-2020: Postdoctoral Fellow  (university of Wisconsin, University of Hawaii), Ruby lab, Impact of strain diversity on the squid-vibrio symbiosis.

Eric Koch

Eric is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida Space Life Science Lab

Education: Ph.D., Zoology, 2019, University of Hawaii at Manoa. “The anatomical, biochemical and molecular effects of persistence in the squid-vibrio symbiosis.”; M.S., Bacteriology, 2012, University of Wisconsin-Madison; B.S., Zoology, 2010, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Research interest: My research interests focus on exploring how mutualistic interactions shape animal development over the host lifespan using the squid-vibrio model system. In the Foster lab, I’ll also be studying how symbiotic interactions are affected by microgravity conditions.

Natasha Sng

Natasha is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida Space Life Science Lab.

Education: Ph.D., 2017, Plant Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Florida; M.S., 2011, Translational Medicine, Harvard and University of Western Australia; B.S., 2009, Biomedical Genetics, University of Western Australia.

Research interest: Natasha’s research interest focuses on understanding the plant-microbial interaction of crops grown in conditions observed on the International Space Station. Her research will identify important microbes that will aid in producing food that is safe and sustainable for astronauts in future space exploration missions.

Madeline Vroom

Maddie is currenting working on her Ph.D research at the University of Florida Space Life Science Lab. Education: B.S. 2016, Microbiology, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH. Maddie’s interest focuses on investigating the role that mutualistic bacterial symbionts play in the physiological development of their animal host. Maddie’s current research involves elucidating the mechanisms by which apoptosis-driven morphological changes occur in juvenile Euprymna scolopes colonized with symbiotic Vibrio fischeri and the effect of a space environment (microgravity) on these developmental events. 

Professor Octavius Squidby

Prof Squidby is the Lab Mascot providing emotional calmness and stress relief. Education:  Cephalopodiatrist Extraordinaire