top of page

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. 

  • White Twitter Icon
  • Twitter

    Zach Shomo, PhD

Graduate Student

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

  • White Twitter Icon
  • Twitter
Fangyi 2021_edited.jpg

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.


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.

Aline 2021.jpg

Aline Rodrigues de Quieroz, PhD

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.

Jithesh 2021.png

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.


Cailin Smith

Graduate Student

Cailin joined the lab in 2021. Her research is focused on identifying membrane contact sites between the thylakoid and inner envelope membranes of chloroplasts. She is also an amateur potter and gardener.

Harris 2021.jpg

Harris Ebrahim

Undergraduate Researcher

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.

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!

Roston Lab Group 8032021 (1).JPG

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

Jamie 2021.png

Jamie Fuqua

Undergraduate Student

Jamie joined the lab in 2020. She brought expertise in plant anatomy and physiology and interest in patent law. Her project connected plant and bacterial growth using redox. She left to pursue graduate work in ecology.

Tom 2021.png

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 brought his desire to learn and his willingness to work hard. His project looked at salt stress and its affects on plant redox environments.

Ngoc's photo.jpeg

Ngoc Pham Thien Thao

Postbaccalaureate Technician

Ngoc joined in 2019 and is interested in medicinal plants. We benefitted from her excitement for learning new techniques. Her project looked at mechanisms used to protect membranes from freezing. She is now in graduate school in Chicago.

Samantha Surber


Undergraduate Researcher

"Sammi" joined the lab in 2018 working directly with Allison Barnes. She then pursued her own projects on the role of proton pumps during freezing tolerance, and a mysterious species which responded differently, cotton. She left to pursue graduate school at the University of Georgia.

Mahaa Nena

Undergraduate researcher

Mahaa joined the lab in 2018. She tested multiple methods of lipid extraction to determine the most effective, and published the research with us.

Maxwell Regester_edited.jpg

Max Regester

Postbaccalaureate Technician

Max joined in 2019 and left to be a doctor. He tested multiple methods of lipid extraction to determine the most effective, and published the research with us.

2021 Joslin.png

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.


Pacifique Muzigura

Undergraduate Researcher

Pacifique joined the lab in 2022. He brings his previous research experience in plants. He is working as part of a team to uncover plant signaling mechanisms during severe cold.

Hailey Olberding.jpg

Hailey Olberding

Undergraduate Researcher

Hailey joined the lab in 2022. She brings her desire to learn and her willingness to work hard. Her project looks at the molecular responses of applying antioxidants to plants.

Sarah Heilman_edited_edited.jpg

Sarah Heilman

Undergraduate Researcher

Sarah joined the lab in 2023 to explore a potential career in research. She brings a joy for learning and a willingness to be taught. She is working with Aline on photosynthetic effects of antioxidant application.


You next?

Undergraduate Researcher

If you want to experience research and you're also willing tosupport group needs (maintaining the research space), apply! We typically hire undergrads @ the end of summer or early fall.


You next?

Undergraduate Researcher

If you want to experience research and you're also willing tosupport group needs (maintaining the research space), apply! We typically hire undergrads @ the end of summer or early fall.


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

2020 - Associate Professor

2023 - Associate Director, Center for Plant Science Innovation



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

  • Enzymes, a graduate level course on thermodynamics, kinetics, and mechanism of life's catalysts (BIOC 933)

  • researchgate
  • googlescholar
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
Rebecca in Japan_edited.jpg

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

bottom of page