Zeni Ramirez

Zeni RamirezMGM Graduate Student (2018)
Surana Lab
436 Jones, 3352 DUMC
Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 681-2081


Research Interest: I completed my Bachelors in Microbiology and Master’s in Biology at Arizona State University under the 4+1 program and graduated in Summer 2018. During my time at ASU I worked in the Cadillo lab initially on microbial diversity and targeting the growth of bacterial heterotrophs, Acidobacterium, and 0.2 μm bacterial heterotrophs from Amazon peatland soils. I later began identifying novel species isolated from my previous efforts, culturing methanogenic Archaea, and worked on establishing syntrophic interactions from a collection of bacteria and methanogens for the purpose of better understanding methane output from Amazon wetlands and to investigate if these interactions constrain the niche of methane production. These studies influenced my master’s work and I completed my thesis on the Isolation of Anaerobic Archaea and Bacteria from Amazon Peatlands and Evaluation of Syntrophic Interactions. Microbes are ubiquitous and inevitably live in communities interacting with one another, releasing and consuming substrates, establishing defined niches, etc. My research interests reside greatly on these concepts of microbial interactions and how these interactions establish a certain function or play a role in a greater issue.

Personal Interests: While in high school I began watching video tutorials on how to decorate cakes which progressed into developing my own techniques and maintaining a bakery business while completing my undergraduate and graduate studies. Today I still very much enjoy baking and cake decorating in addition to cooking, reading, and playing soccer.