Lab members (in random order):

Alison Gould, Postdoctoral fellow


A Bay Area native, Alison earned her undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Biology from the University of Virginia (wahoo-wa!) in 2005, after which she returned to San Francisco to complete a Master's degree in Marine Biology at San Francisco State's Romberg Tiburon Center in 2009. Alison then worked for a small biotech startup that developed novel applications of bacterial communities and became fascinated by the microbial world! She decided to go back to graduate school and received a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2016 from the University of Michigan, where she combined her background in marine science with her new found love of microbes to study a bioluminescent symbiosis between a coral reef fish and a luminous bacterium. Deciding to dry off for a bit, Alison joined the Ludington Lab in 2017 and currently studies how gut symbiont community composition affects host fitness using the gnotobiotic fly system. Although Drosophila can't swim, she thinks they're pretty neat and believes they can make a real "splash" in the symbiosis community.

algould at berkeley


Benjamin Obadia, Postdoctoral fellow

Benjamin Obadia

After a M.S. in Genetics at the École Normale Supérieure and the University of Paris Sud (Paris 11), Benjamin obtained a Ph.D. in "Life Science Complexity" from the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6). His Ph.D. work in Carla Saleh's lab (Institut Pasteur, Paris) focused on dsRNA-mediated antiviral immunity in the insect model Drosophila. Benjamin's postdoctoral research explores interactions between the immune system and the gut microbiome.

benjamin dot obadia at berkeley


Angus Chandler, Postdoctoral fellow

A Wisconsin native, Angus received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a double major in Biochemistry and Genetics. (By the way, one of his son's first phrases was "Go Badgers!"). At Wisconsin, he worked in a molecular plant pathology lab and a stickleback speciation lab. Angus then earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis where he characterized the microbes associated with wild populations of fruit flies. He next did a two-year postdoc at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco investigating the viral communities of mosquitoes. Angus is currently an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley working with Will Ludington and Mike Eisen. He has switched back to fruit flies and his current research is asking if intestinal microbes help flies stay healthy even when they are feeding on high concentrations of ethanol. Thats right, Angus gets flies drunk in the name of science.

jachandler at berkeley


Vivian Zhang, Research Assistant

Vivian earned her B.S. in genetics from the University of California, Davis. After working in mammalian neurobiology and fly behavior, she started the gnotobiotic fly colony in the Ludington lab. Vivian continues to investigate fly behavior in these gnotobiotic animals.

vivzhang at berkeley



Tuzun Guvener, Project Scientist

Tüzün earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the laboratory of Dr. Glenn Chambliss on carbon catabolite regulation in the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Her postdoctoral work in Linda McCarter’s lab at the University of Iowa focused on capsular polysaccharide production, gene regulation and biofilm formation in the marine bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Tüzün did another postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Caroline Harwood at the University of Washington on subcellular organization of signaling proteins in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Her work particularly focused on cyclic-di-GMP signaling, controls biofilm formation, in number of bacterial species including P. aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes and V. cholerae. She is exploring ecological relationships in the microbial community of the fly gut.

tuzun dot guvener at berkeley


Brian Null, Freelance Scientist

Brian did his PhD and postdoc at Stanford studying fruit flies by microarray and a new MRI technique. In his spare time he studies fecal microbiomes of diverse organisms and teaches our liquid handling robots how to dance.

zenbonz at gmail


Will Ludington, principal investigator


Will studies ecological and evolutionary principles of microbiomes using systems biology approaches. He did undergraduate work in plant ecology and population genetics at Stanford University. He then worked for the US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Nature Conservancy on invasive species eradication, small stream hydrology, and salmon smolt recruitment before earning his Ph.D. on quantitative cell biology at UCSF under Wallace Marshall using computational microscopy, math models, microfluidics, and time series analysis. Will did postdoctoral work on aquifer contamination using whole metagenome shotgun approaches under Joe DeRisi (UCSF) and began a Bowes Faculty Fellowship in the MCB Department at UC Berkeley in 2013. He also cofounded uBiome in 2012 to improve access to microbiome research for academics, clinicians, and citizen scientists alike. Will is no longer involved in the company.

His lab uses experiments, theory, and computational approaches to investigate the complex relationship between gut microbial ecology and host health.

will dot ludington at berkeley



Former lab members:

Joshua Bloomstein, Research Assistant

Josh graduated from the University of California San Diego with a B.S in General Biology and a focus on Human Biology.  He also studied Zoology and International Relations at the University of Concepcion (Concepcion, Chile) and the University of Chile (Santiago, Chile).  In the Ludington lab, Josh isolates the microbes of the Drosophila gut microbiome and extracts gDNA for whole genome sequencing.  He studies the influence of the microbiota on the expression of immune system genes in different organ systems of the fly.


Shrey Desai, internship student and webmaster


Shrey graduated from Saratoga High School and is off to college. In the Ludington lab, he worked on CAD design and 3D printing of fruit fly behavior pens as well as image analysis and time series analysis.


Thaddeus Seher, Bioinformatician

Thaddeus Seher

Thad worked on metagenomics of mouse, fly, and groundwater systems. He is currently a graduate student at UC Merced.

tseher at ucmerced


Ted Kim, Staff Research Associate and Lab Manager

Ted Kim

Ted earned his B.S. in plant and microbial biology from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a fearless scientist and helped establish the Ludington lab. Ted left to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in August 2014.