Shekhar Mishra

Shekhar obtained his B.Tech and M.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2014. He discovered the joy of research through an internship in computational fluid dynamics, before moving into the field of systems biology with research on modeling the human cholesterol metabolism. After working as a Project Engineer for 9 months on fermentation technology at the DBT-ICT at Mumbai, India, Shekhar started his Ph.D. research at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. His doctoral research, in the lab of Huimin Zhao, involved the interdisciplinary application of computational modeling, CRISPR editing and mass spectrometric techniques to design rational strategies for metabolic engineering in yeast. Shekhar joined the Arkin Lab in September 2023 as a postdoctoral researcher with an eye on employing the toolkits of metabolic engineering for improving predictive microbial ecology within the ENIGMA project. Shekhar’s goal is to pursue advances in research that inform strategies for mitigating the adverse effects of anthropogenic climate change. In his spare time, Shekhar volunteers with the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, plays the guitar, goes rock climbing, does some gardening, and tries to catch up to an ever-growing list of books to read.

Hira Panna Lesea

Hira Panna Lesea is a Research Associate in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory working on isolating bacteria from groundwater and sediment from Oak Ridge National Laboratory that have been identified as important to the field site’s community function.  She is measuring the growth phenotypes of ENIGMA isolates using a high throughput characterization pipeline under conditions relevant to the field site, such as low pH and high nitrate, in addition to providing high quality genomes of the characterized isolates. She is working with the Arkin lab on the ENIGMA project because of her interest in how microbes affect contaminated ecologies and her experience with studying the microbiome of the domestic cat at UC Davis. In addition to her passion for the unseen, she is also a chef and avid music lover.

Xiaohan Zhu

Xiaohan Zhu a graduate student in the UC Berkeley Biophysics program. She rotated in the Arkin lab researching microbial community assembly. She was mentored by Dr. Bradley Bigg during her rotation.

Manoshi Sen Datta

Manoshi is a computational microbial ecologist interested in harnessing the power of microbial consortia for sustainability.  During her academic training, Manoshi explored how microscale eco-evolutionary dynamics in wild microbial ecosystems drive ecosystem-level properties. She employed a variety of approaches, including novel experimental model systems (with Otto Cordero), mathematical modeling of laboratory ecosystems (with Jeff Gore), and comparative genomics of wild bacteria (with Martin Polz and Roy Kishony).  Manoshi then joined Boost Biomes, an agtech start-up, where she developed data science approaches to accelerate microbial interaction discovery in complex soil communities.  In the Arkin Lab, she combined her expertise in computational genomics and data science to design synthetic microbial consortia for bioremediation of nitrate and heavy metals.

Isra Raza

Isra was an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in Environmental Sciences. She worked with Dr. Bradley Biggs on ENIGMA to conduct research focusing on pairwise microbial interactions under low pH and anaerobic conditions, with aims of applying this to broader biological modeling efforts.

2022 Min Kim

Min Kim

Min is a second year undergraduate student at Berkeley studying bioengineering. She works with Dr. Biggs to characterize enzyme genotypes and functions from metagenomic data based on the iterative workflow that involves parallel sequencing and complementation assay. The project takes isolate level approaches that can be combined with field studies to fill in the gaps in understanding metabolism.

Riley Stockard picture

Riley Stockard

Riley, a graduate student in the UC Berkeley/UCSF Bioengineering program. She researched in the Arkin lab for her third lab rotation.  She was mentored by Yolanda Huang, a postdoc in the Arkin lab, to help develop barcoding and functional genomic libraries.


Shuwen Hou

Shuwen Hou was an undergraduate student at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) studying biochemistry. She attended UC Berkeley for an exchange study.
Shuwen worked with Dr. Fangchao Song to profile the microbial physiology in different conditions through droplet-based microfluidics as part of the ENIGMA project.

2021 Cameron Hearne photo

Cameron Hearne

Cameron is a graduate student in Plant & Microbial Biology Dept and jointly advised by Drs. Mutalik and Arkin

2021 Bradley Biggs photo

Bradley Biggs

Bradley completed his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Southern California, where he worked on silicon-based optical biosensors. As his research interests evolved, he pursued an M.S. in Biotechnology at Northwestern University, and subsequently worked for a time at a metabolic engineering startup based in Cambridge, MA called Manus Bio. He later returned to Northwestern University to pursue his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering working with advisor Keith Tyo in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, with his thesis work focusing on engineering the soil bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi for applications in lignin upgrading. In the Arkin Lab, Bradley’s work focuses on integrating synthetic biology and systems biology approaches to the ENIGMA project, continuing to explore soil bacterium and their relevance to engineering applications and the environment.