Lab Members

Dr. Timothy J. Colston – Principal Investigator

Dr. Colston is an Assistant Professor in Biology at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Curriculum Vitae – Updated August 2023

Dr. Colston’s Google Scholar Profile

Graduate Students

Jacob D. Adam – MS Student

Jacob’s research interests lie in Herpetology and the fungal microbiome of reptiles. For his Masters research he is documenting the distribution of snake fungal disease in Puerto Rico, with special attention to the cave populations of the federally endangered Puerto Rican Boa. Part of this research is collecting baseline data on the fungal microbial community of caves throughout the Karst Region. Before joining the Lab Jacob completed undergraduate research projects on White Nose Syndrome in bats and the spread of the Spotted Lantern Fly in Pennsylvania in the Overton Lab at Lock Haven University. Jacob’s MS research has been supported by grants from the Sunset Zoo in MO and Herpetological Conservation International.

Felnor Maldonado-Cotto – MS Student

Felnor is a new MS student in the Lab with interests in genetics and gene regulatory networks. He is currently developing projects leveraging his background in herpetoculture and private industry to use CRISPR CAS9 to trace known mutations in snake phenotypes and develop novel technologies with industrial applications.

Undergraduate Students

Verónica G. Bado-Garcia (BS Biology 2025)

Verónica’s undergraduate research is focused on disease ecology within the invasive Boa constrictor population in Puerto Rico. She is documenting the distribution of Inclusion Body Disease (IBD) in wild B. constrictor using qPCR and histology. Verónica’s research has been supported by grants from the PR Hurricane Fiona BOOST initiative and PR-LSAMP.

Yeissette M. Burgos-Amengual (BS Microbiology 2024)

Yeissette’s research interests focus on microbial ecology and natural products. She recently completed an NSF REU at Rutgers University. In our Lab she has developed a research project focused on bacterial contribution to toxin production in Cuban tree frogs and her work has been supported by a grant from PR-LSAMP. She is also our resident artist and graphic designer of the Lab Logo and much of the art used on this website!

Yoshua Cintron-Alvarado (BS Biology 2024)

Yoshua is interested in Bioinformatics and host-microbe interactions. He is developing research project looking at the microbiome of sea sponges.

Lina P. Blanco-Rodrigüez (BS Industrial Biology 2024)

Lina has just joined the lab and is shadowing other Lab members while she develops her project. Her research interests focus on the gut microbiome and microbial contributions to venom/toxin production.

Lab Alumni

Amanada Colon-Mora

Amanda completed her BS in Biology 2022 and is now in a Masters program in Madrid. Her research in the Lab focused on the gut microbiome of Anolis.

Amanda Roman-Ramierez

Amanda graduated in 2023 with a BS in Biology. Her research project in the Lab focused on the gut microbiome of leaf litter geckos (Sphaerodactylus).

Rosa M Rivera-Rivera

Rosa graduated in 2023 with a BS in Biology. Her research project in the lab focused on the microbiome of Hawksbill Sea Turtles and their main prey (sea sponges).