Principal Investigator

Jake Waldbauer

Raised in and around Washington, D.C., Jake decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Oceanography despite a lifelong predisposition to seasickness. He tries to keep in mind the ancient maxim, “A dreamer has a philosophy: the entire grill is hot."

Postdoctoral Researchers

Broadly I'm interested in understanding the important roles that microbes play in controlling the ocean biogeochemical cycles. I approach this topic by making measurements of organic molecules that microbes use and produce and by measuring the proteins microbes make and use to carry out their metabolism. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Waldbauer lab I am asking how the uptake and use of different nitrogen sources changes phytoplankton metabolism. To do this I grow model marine microbes in the lab and conduct experiments with different nitrogen sources, measuring growth and protein expression.

When not doing science I love getting outside to hike, bike, ski, and swim. Like other Waldbauer and Coleman lab postdocs I also enjoy cooking and baking.

I always have been fascinated by the ocean and its impact on our climate. In the field of molecular biogeochemistry I try to understand and unravel the bigger picture, while studying the impact of microorganisms on the elemental cycling. I am particularly interested in microbial N2 and CO2 fixation. At the Waldbauer lab I use a combination of cultivation, field based approaches and proteomics to unveil the fate of marine nitrogen derived via biological N2 fixation.

Reach out if you are interested in climate activism and the work of the Sunrise Movement in Chicago.

I love to be outside and explore nature and what the city of Chicago has to offer. I like to be crafty, whether it be drawing something or knitting something for the cold Chicago winter.

Graduate Students

I graduated in 2020 from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Ecology and Evolution and in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. After graduating I worked for the USGS as a laboratory assistant at the Boulder Nitrogen Lab. I am still trying to figure out my research interests, but one thing I am interested in is paleoproteomics.

I enjoy reading, rock climbing, and hiking.


Lichun Zhang

Research Specialist & Lab Manager


Angela Boysen, postdoc: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Pacific Lutheran University

Amy Zimmerman, research scientist: Computational Scientist, PNNL

Gwen Gallagher, Ph.D. 2021: Coastal Climate Specialist, NY Sea Grant

Samuel Miller, Ph.D. 2019: Postdoc, Meren Lab

Xiufeng Ma, Ph.D. 2017: Senior Data Scientist at Octane

Adriana Rizzo, B.S. 2017: Ph.D. student at UC Riverside