Here at the MSAR Lab, we take pride in the individuals that make up the heart of our team. Our lab members strive for excellence through their passionate work ethic, effective communication, resiliency, adaptation, and persistence in the scientific field. Our current members include:


Huiping Yang, Principal Investigator


Yangqing Zeng – Ph.D. Student 


Leslie Sturmer – Extension Agent


Cher Nicholson– Undergraduate Research Assistant

keegan k

Keegan Kelly– Research Assistant


Matthew Morgan–  Volunteer


Sara Thorsness–      Volunteer

Students Graduated

Erangi Heekenda,  MS,  graduated in July 2017. Erangi was supported by the Fulbright Scholarship for her Master.  She is currently working as a Lecturer in Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka.

Natalie A. Simon. MS, graduated in July 2017.  After graduation, Natalie stayed in the lab as a PhD student for one year.  She left the program in May 15, 2018, and now is working as an OPS biologist at the UF shellfish extension team.

Visiting Scholars

Dr. Zhe Zhang. Dr.  Zhang is a research scientist from the South China Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fisheries Sciences.   Dr. Zhang obtained her BS in 2003 in Biotechnology at Shandong Agricultural University, and her Ph.D. in 2008 in Marine Ecology at Ocean University of China. Her expertise focus on molecular biology, microbial analysis, and eco-toxicology analysis. She is a visiting scientist will stay for one year (Sep, 2018 – Sep, 2019).

Undergraduate Students (student workers and volunteers)

Matthew R. Shinego.  Volunteer.  June 2018 – Now.

Matthew Morgan. Volunteer and student worker.

Sara Thorsness. Volunteer. August, 2018 – May 2018.

Cher Nicholson. UF/IFAS summer intern. Student worker.