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Current Lab Members

These are the successful young scientists making the research that happens in the lab possible. 

If you're on a computer, hover your mouse over the images to see what their area of focus is.

Samira Mahboub


Samira joined the lab in 2014 and has clocked hundreds of hours doing lipid analysis. Also an expert in plant growth.

     Evan LaBrant

Graduate Student

Evan joined the lab in 2017. He is studying the molecular and structural components involved in thylakoid membrane biogenesis and ultrastructure. He’s interested in all things plastid biology including their evolutionary history, physiological functions, and morphological diversity. For fun, Evan is an amateur botanist, beginner beekeeper, and novice chef. 

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    Zach Shomo

Graduate Student

Zach joined the lab in 2018. He is studying the mechanism by which a critical freezing tolerance enzyme, SFR2, is activated.

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Fangyi Li

Graduate Student

Fangyi joined the lab in fall, 2019 and is co-mentored by James Schanble. She brings expertise in large data and the willingness to work in fields. Her project attempts to improve field measurements of cold tolerance.

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Jeremy Brown

Graduate Student

Jeremy joined in 2019 and is interested in how to use plants in unique ways to benefit society. We benefit from his high experimental standards. His project looks at the effects of antioxidants on plants.

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Aline Rodrigues de Quieroz

Graduate student

Aline joined in 2019 and is co-advised with Katarzyna Glowacka. She brings her enthusiasm for discovery and her willingness to learn any technique. Her project combines photosynthesis and redox.

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Jithesh Vijayan

Post-doctoral Researcher

Jithesh joined the lab in late 2019. He brings an encyclopedic knowledge of redox and enthusiasm. He helps direct a project which aims to further our understanding of manipulating a plants' redox environment.

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Ngoc Pham Thien Thao

Postbaccalaureate Technician

Ngoc joined in 2019 and is interested in medicinal plants. We benefit from her excitement for learning new techniques. Her project looks at mechanisms used to protect membranes from freezing.

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Tom Ramaekers

Postbaccalaureate Technician

Tom joined in 2020 and is going to be a doctor. We all think he'll be great at it. He brings his desire to learn and his willingness to work hard. His project looks at salt stress and its affects on plant redox environments.

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Jamie Fuqua

Undergraduate Student

Jamie joined the lab in 2020. She brings expertise in plant anatomy and physiology and interest in patent law. Her project connects plant and bacterial growth using redox.

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Harris Ebrahim

Undergraduate Student

Harris joined in 2020 and is interested in science broadly. We benefit from his work ethic, fabulous attitude, and creativity. His project looks at the role of kinases in severe low-temperature tolerance.

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Joslin Ishimwe

Undergraduate Researcher

Joslin joined the lab in 2021. He brings expertise in biochemistry and interest in plant research. His project is cloning and characterizing a number of proteins that may be involved in lipid transfer.

End (?) of Pandemic Party

August 2021: We celebrated the departure of REU awardee Elizabeth Balzani and fabulous researcher Tom Ramaekers. They're off to their next stages and we wish them well!

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Congratulations on your success and thank you for your contributions!

Dr. Allison Barnes

Graduate Student

2014 - 2019. Her dissertation describes how plants react to freezing and other stresses by modifying membranes.  She is currently a post-doc with Rubén Rellán-Álvarez at North Carolina State University.

Mason McCormick

Undergraduate Researcher

Mason joined the lab in 2016 and left for a job in chemistry. Graduated UNL 2019.

Jenny Myers

Undergraduate Student

Jenny joined the lab in 2016 and graduated in 2018. She's now off being a graduate student at North Carolina State University.

Former Lab Members

Samantha Surber


Undergraduate Researcher

"Sammi" joined the lab in 2018 working directly with Allison Barnes. She's now pursuing her own project on the role of proton pumps during freezing tolerance

Mahaa Nena

Undergraduate researcher

Mahaa joined the lab in 2018. She is testing multiple methods of lipid extraction to determine the most effective.

Maxwell Register

Undergraduate Researcher

Max joined the lab in 2019. He is testing multiple methods of lipid extraction on Sorghum to determine the most effective

Xindi Chen

Undergraduate Researcher

Xindi joined the lab in 2019. She is testing multiple application methods of antioxidants application to plants.


Associate Professor of Biochemistry

Rebecca moved to UNL in 2014.

A brief biography:
2003 B.S. UC Davis
2009 Ph.D. UC Davis with Kentaro Inoue
         Focused on chloroplast protein targeting.
2014 Post-Doc. MSU with Christoph Benning
Focused on Plant Lipid Metabolism and Transport.

2014 - Current: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Focused on Membrane Remodeling and plant redox


Teaching: Macromolecular Structure and Metabolism, a beginning biochemistry course at UNL (BIOC431)

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We Escaped!

Februrary 2019: We celebrated being awarded an NSF-CAREER award by going to an escape room. The escape room was bio-terror related, with us ransacking a "lab" to find the cure (NaCl--really?). We escaped with fifteen minutes to spare, but only managed to save Canda from the ravages of the disease...

Go team!


Allison and Rebecca make the news based on their recent publication

Summer 2015: The Roston Lab Travels First Class

Back row: Alexi Lauray, Samira Mahboub, David Logan
Middle row: Ali Meyers
Front row: Allison Barnes, Carol Roston, Rebecca Roston

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