Want to join our lab? Check out this page for details.


Benjamin Wolfe headshotBenjamin Wolfe, Aptman Family Assistant Professor
Benjamin joined the Department of Biology at Tufts as an assistant professor in September 2014. He conducted his post-doctoral research with Dr. Rachel Dutton the Center for Systems Biology at Harvard. Research in the Wolfe lab explores the ecology and evolution of microbial communities in food systems. For more information on his past work, please see his full CV here.





Kate Williams, research technician

Kate graduated from Tufts in 2016. She is working on the microbiome of planarian worms in collaboration with Mike Levin’s lab.






Erik Kastman, Bioinformatics guru

Erik joined the lab in September 2015 and is our in-house computing wizard. Erik received his B.Sc. in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin and has worked at Harvard on large-scale neuroimaging studies. He provides bioinformatics support for all projects in the lab. When he’s not serving as our informatics guru, Erik is probably at home brewing or gardening.





FreddyFreddy Lee

Freddy joined the lab in November 2016, after completing a PhD from Indiana University in Irene Newton’s lab. Freddy is working on the role of microbiomes in shaping development and regeneration of their hosts.




Megan Biango-Daniels

Megan joined the lab in the summer of 2018 after completing her graduate work at Cornell in Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology. Her research looks at the fungi, both good and bad, that are important to fermented foods and cheese.



Patrick Kearns

Patrick joined the lab in May 2018 following a 15 month postdoctoral research position at Michigan State University in the lab of Ashley Shade. Patrick received his PhD from Northeastern University in 2017 working in the lab of Jennifer Bowen. Patrick is interested in all facets of microbial ecology and is currently working on the cabbage/sauerkraut microbiome. For more information on his past work please see his Google Scholar page:



Esther Miller

Esther joined the lab in January of 2015. Before she was at Tufts, she worked as a regulatory affairs specialist at Oxitec in the UK. Esther’s research in the lab explores microbial dynamics in the cabbage phyllosphere.




Liz Landis

Liz joined the lab in September 2015 after doing her M.Sc. research on soil microbial communities at UNH with Serita Frey. Liz is interested in patterns and processes in microbial communities across large spatial scales and linking microbial traits to community assembly.





Casey Cosetta

Casey joined the lab in September 2015 as a rotation graduate student. Casey did her undergraduate work at Stonehill College where she explored bacterial-fungal interactions in soil. Her project in our lab continues on this theme, exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying bacterial-fungal interactions in cheese rinds.






Shravya Sakunala

Shravya is a senior at Tufts majoring in Biology. She joined the Wolfe lab in January 2015 and is studying the evolution of bacteria in sourdough microbiomes.





Jake Jiler

Jake joined the lab in the spring of 2018 and is a senior majoring in biology. He studies the evolution of bacterial and fungal communities within cheese rinds.






Mira Guha

Mira joined the lab in October of 2016 as a sophomore. She is a pre-medical student majoring in music and her research focuses on bacterial evolution in cheese rind microbiomes.





Otilia Popa

Otilia joined the lab Fall 2017 and is studying the microbial diversity in kombucha tea. She is a senior majoring in biology and psychology and is also a premedical student.





JonaJonahh Schwartz

Jonah is a senior Biology and Biotech double major at Tufts who joined the lab in Fall 2016. His research focuses on how lactic acid bacteria adapt to life in the phyllosphere.




Alexa Ornstein

Jonah is a senior majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. She is working on the ecology of yeasts and bacteria in the Napa cabbage phyllosphere.





Former lab members:

Brittany Niccum, (post-doc, now working in Patricia Foster’s lab at IU)

Noelani Kamelamela, (Research Technician)

Kaite Zhang (Tufts undergrad, now a research technician in the Lander Lab at the Broad Institute)

Ina Bodinaku, (Tufts undergrad, now a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine)

Josh Norville (Tufts undergrad, now a research technician atTufts University School of Medicine)

Jason Shaffer(Tufts undergrad, now a medical student at UMass)

Liam Easton-Calabria(Tufts undergrad)

Lucas Brown(Tufts undergrad)

Claire Walter, (Tufts undergrad)

Kinsey Drake, (Tufts undergrad)

Emily Van Doren, (Tufts undergrad)

Tom Ollerhead, (Tufts undergrad)

Maria Ordovas-Montanes, (Tufts undergrad)

Maddi D’Aquila, (Tufts undergrad)

Michael Zalesne, (Tufts undergrad)

Rachel Odillia, (Colby-Sawyer College, REU student)