Nick Reichart​​ 3rd year grad student

Nick earned his B.S. in biology with a chemistry minor from York College of Pennsylvania in 2014. He then worked as a research technologist at The Center for Inherited Disease Research at Johns Hopkins. Since 2016 he pursues a PhD in biochemistry through the Molecular Bioscience Program. Nick studies uncultured microbes in Yellowstone hot springs, with an emphasis on archaea that might be involved in carbon cycling. In addition, he works on the development of a novel bioorthogonal labeling approach to visualize DNA-synthesizing cells using click chemistry.  

​​​​​We are looking for a Research Scientist in Bioinformatics to join our team. Learn more and apply here.
If you are a highly motivated prospective grad student or postdoc candidate, please contact Roland by email. Prospective graduate students interested in microbiology, biochemistry, astrobiology, and molecular biology are encouraged to apply to both the Chem-Biochem and Molecular Biosciences Program.

​​​​​​Graduate students

Rachel Lange Spietz, PhD                                                                    Visit GoogleScholar profile

Rachel earned her B.S. in Environmental Biology with minors in Microbiology and Soil Science in 2009 from MSU Bozeman. In 2013, she received a M.Sc. in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) researching the effects of decreasing dissolved oxygen on microbial communities in Hood Canal, WA. During her PhD in the School of Oceanography at UW (2013-2017), she studied the influence of deep-sea volcanic eruptions on pelagic microbial communities and the ecophysiological role of an abundant and ubiquitous mixotrophic sulfur-oxidizing marine bacterial clade. As a post-doc at MSU, Rachel is studying the spatial distribution of microbial activity in salt marsh and deep sea sediments.


Brett Baker, University of Texas at Austin

Mark Ellisman, University of California San Diego 

Emiley Eloe-Fadrosh, DOE Joint Genome Institute
Peter Girguis, Harvard University

James Hemp, University of Utah

Laura Pace, University of Utah

Martin Pilhofer, ETH Zurich

Anja Spang, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Andreas Teske, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Brian Bothner, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Valerie Copie, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Matthew Fields, Center for Biofilm Engineering

Robin Gerlach, Chem. and Biolog. Engineering

William Inskeep, Environmental Sciences

​Tim McDermott, Environmental Sciences

Luke McKay, Center for Biofilm Engineering

Brent Peyton, Chem. and Biolog. Engineering


In charge of moral support.


Mackenzie Lynes  2nd year grad student

Mackenzie earned her B.S. in microbiology with a minor in plant pathology from the Ohio State University in 2016. Following her degree, she participated in the Higher Education Research Experience program at Oak Ridge National labs for a year. She started her PhD in biochemistry at MSU in 2017. Mackenzie studies uncultured archaea in geothermal features in different regions of Yellowstone National Park in order to define seasonal changes in microbial community composition and geochemistry and characterize the function of novel archaea. Her work is supported through NSF BuG ReMeDEE.

Dogtoral students and postdogs

​​Roland Hatzenpichler, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Affiliated Faculty at the Thermal Biology InstituteCenter for Biofilm Engineering

Roland earned his Ph.D. in Microbial Ecology in the lab of Michael Wagner at the University of Vienna (Austria). After finishing his Ph.D. in 2011, he moved to the U.S. to perform postdoctoral research with Victoria Orphan at the California Institute of Technology. Roland moved to MSU in Aug. 2016 as an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Since Nov. 2016, he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 2017, he was named a NASA Early Career Fellow.

Download CV (as of June 2018)     ​email: roland.hatzenpichler (at)
Visit Researchgate profile     Visit GoogleScholar profile

Collaborator labs

Viola Krukenberg​, PhD                                                                        Visit GoogleScholar profile

Viola earned a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Göttingen (GE) in 2009 and graduated with a M.Sc. in Marine Microbiology from the University of Bremen (GE) in 2011. During her PhD studies (2012-2015) at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Bremen), Viola worked with Gunter Wegener and Antje Boetius on the microbial interactions in anaerobic methane-oxidizing consortia. After a short postdoc at the MPI, she started her postdoc at MSU in 2017. Viola studies the physiology of uncultured microbes and their biogeochemical function in the transformation of diverse carbon compounds in deep-sea sediments of the Guaymas Basin.


Responsible for providing comedic therapy.