Lab Personnel

Faculty & Staff Members

Zachary Noel Headshot
Assistant Professor

Plant health issues growers face within agricultural ecosystems are complex and dynamic. The goal of my research program is to study how agricultural management influence fungal, oomycete, and bacterial diversity and interactions to develop new strategies to promote plant growth and prevent plant diseases. I am particularly interested in studying fungal and oomycete interactions with bacteria at the seed and seedling stage of plant development. I am also interested in understanding how agricultural management systems alter the complexity and resiliency within microbial communities. 


Morgan Bragg
Postdoctoral Fellow

Morgan is a postdoctoral fellow working on characterizing the microbiome and functional gene content associated with cotton seedlings across the Southern US, its relationship to seed treatment efficacy, and environmental conditions.

Education & Research Experience:

  • M.S. Animal Science, University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
  • M.S. Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
  • Ph.D. Environmental Science and Public Policy, George Mason University


Auburn-Agriculture-ENPP-Lab-Noel-Personnel-Bibek-Dabargainya-29052024 copy

Bibek Dabargainya
M.S. Student

Bibek is an M.S. student working on developing qPCR assays specific to bacterial strains and tracking their populations in forage grass hosts. Bibek also studies the effect of bacterial inoculants on the form and function of the microbiome.

Education & Research Experience:

  • B.S. Agriculture, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
  • Intern at the National Plant Pathology Research Center and the National Entomology Research Center, Khumaltar, Nepal

Logan Luchs
Ph.D. Student

Logan is a Ph.D. student working on the assembly of the soybean seed’s spermosphere microbiome. He is also working on how disturbances such as soil steaming or seed oomicides affect this assembly of the spermosphere or treatment efficacy.

Education & Research Experience:

  • B.S. Biology and Ecology, Saint Francis University
  • Researched Self-Assembled Monolayer and its effect on cytochrome c electron transfer rate

Sachida Pokhrel
M.S. Student

Sachida “Sachi” is an M.S. student working on phyllosphere yeast genomics, their ecological function, adaptation, and interaction with fellow bacteria.

Education & Research Experience:

  • B.S. Agriculture, Agriculture and Forestry University, Nepal
  • Intern at the National Plant Pathology Research Center, Khumaltar, Nepal

Beatrice Severance
M.S. Student

Beatrice is a M.S. student studying the effects of fungicides on the pecan phyllosphere microbiome. She is also working on classifying a novel phyllosphere yeast isolated from a magnolia leaf, utilizing comparative genomics techniques.

Education & Research Experience:

  • B.S. Cellular and Molecular Biology, Auburn University
  • Utilized shotgun metagenomic techniques to study soils from Cullars Rotation, a soil fertility experiment that has been running for over 100 years

Past Graduate Students

  • Oluwakemisola “Kemi” Olofintila: Kemi is a research associate at the Donald Danforth Center and a PhD student at Washington University of St. Louis.
  • Laura Rodriguez: Laura is a PhD student at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Past Undergraduate Students

  • Emma Wingfield
  • Charis Harrison
  • Sheridan Spivey
  • Shauna Giroir
  • Emily Munroe
  • Dylan Warner

About Us






209 Life Science Building
Auburn Univ, AL 36839
(334) 844-1956