2023 | Faculty Promoted to Senior Faculty Research Assistant I/II

26 OSU Faculty are Promoted to Senior Faculty Research Assistant I/II

As Oregon's land grant university, Oregon State University is committed to educating, both on and off-campus, the citizens of Oregon, the nation, and the international community, and in expanding and applying knowledge. Candidates for promotion are evaluated objectively for evidence of distinction in their performance of assigned duties and in their scholarship or creative activity. The excellence of our faculty is paramount and we are very proud of the faculty recently promoted to the rank of senior faculty research assistant I or II.

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Heather Andrews Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Horticulture

Heather assists the research program through managing projects at NWREC and at cooperating growers’ farms. She also supervises a crew of research assistants for summer research trials. Before joining the lab, Heather completed an MS in Entomology from Virginia Tech and a BS from Southern Oregon University.

 

 

 

 

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Brittany Barker Senior Research Associate I | Horticulture

Brittany is broadly interested in how past and current environmental changes influence the dynamics and distributions of animal and plant populations. Her current research focuses on developing science-based and ecologically-informed models that can help agricultural decision makers with managing and monitoring pests, their crop hosts, and their natural enemies. For example, model forecasts can help stakeholders detect invasive species before they can establish and spread, reduce abundance of pests before they cause widespread damage, release biological control agents in locations that will optimize pest pressure, and increase reliance on beneficial species over chemical pest control methods.  

 

 

 

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Meredith Cocks Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

Meredith Cocks has worked for the National Pesticide Information Center at OSU since 2019. She was a Pesticide Specialist for over three years during which she had thousands of conversations with the public about pesticide risk. She is currently serving as NPIC’s Interim Project Coordinator, overseeing quality control for the organization, as well as maintaining relationships with NPIC's external partners. Meredith received a Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Environmental and Occupational Health from Oregon State University. Her work focused on water contaminants found in drinking water wells in Benton County.  

 

 

 

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Scott Fisk Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Crop and Soil Science

Scott has been a Faculty Research Assistant in the Department of Crop and Soil Science with the Barley Breeding Program since 2012. As the research maltster and manager of field-based operations he is involved in the many facets of Barley World including disease resistance, winter-hardiness, growth habit, and malting quality with the overarching goal of developing better barley for the field, malt house, and brewery/distillery. Scott holds a B.S in Biology and M.S. in Crop Science, both from OSU.

 

 

 

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Craig Hayslip Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Sciences

After completing his Bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Washington in 1982, Craig began working as a plant biologist in Somalia. He then worked as a NOAA fisheries observer in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. In 1991, Craig enrolled as a post-baccalaureate student at UW, concentrating on courses in conservation biology, biogeography, and marine mammals, continuing to work as a fisheries observer before joining MMI at OSU in 2005. Since 2005 Craig has participated in over 30 satellite tagging projects with whales, and, more recently, conducting aerial and ship-based marine mammal surveys.

 

 

 

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Adam Heesacker Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Crop and Soil Science

Adam Heesacker is an Oregonian since birth. As an undergraduate at Oregon State University he worked for the Sunflower genetics project under the leadership of Steven Knapp which gave him a taste of molecular genetics and marker design. Work with the Knapp laboratory led to a Faculty Research Assistantship for 3 years, after which the lab was moved to the University of Georgia, Athens. There, Adam became a graduate student attaining a Masters degree in Crop Science while working with the genetics of Sunflower, Watermelon, and Peanut. After graduate school he returned to Oregon State University to work for the Wheat Breeding Project as a Faculty Research Assistant. Adam’s genetic marker development contributions to the project have allowed marker assisted breeding to become part of the overall variety development strategy at Oregon State University. Adam’s developed markers, populations, and genotyping for wheat genetics have improved quality and disease resistance in wheat varieties in Oregon, across the Pacific Northwest Region, the United States, and Internationally.

 

 

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Ekaterina Jeliazkova Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Crop and Soil Science

Ekaterina Jeliazkova joined Oregon State University’s work force in 2015. Ekaterina received a Master’s of Science Degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Sciences and Agronomy from the Higher Institute of Agriculture in Plovdiv Bulgaria. Prior to joining OSU, Ekaterina worked on various research projects with crops at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College Truro Canada, Mississippi State University Starkville, University of Wyoming ShREC Sheridan, and prior to these at the Higher Institute of Agriculture Plovdiv Bulgaria. At OSU, Ekaterina is a faculty research assistant, has worked at research stations in Eastern and Central Oregon, and is currently part of the Soil Fertility Program team within the Department of Crop and Soil Science responsible for field trials at multiple locations in Oregon.

 

 

 

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Eric Johnson Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

Eric Johnson has served as a Faculty Research Assistant for 15 years under Dr. Robyn Tanguay. Prior to that Eric was an FRA for 10 years under Dr. Jerry Hendricks. Previous fields of work include carcinogenesis and chemoprevention, coastal water pollution sampling, and marine fisheries. Eric has an MA from Fresno State University, and an MS from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. In his current service for the Tanguay Laboratory he: manages the facility, maintains and fabricates life support and behavior analysis systems, creates defined diets, and anything that needs doing of which he is capable.

 

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Teepakorn Kongraksawech Senior Research Associate I | Crop and Soil Science

Dr. Teepakorn Kongraksawech (TK) is a Research Associate in the Department of Crop & Soil Science at Oregon State University (OSU). TK makes major contributions to OSU’s cereal variety development efforts as manager of the OSU Cereal Quality Laboratories. His major responsibility is supporting the wheat breeding program by providing essential and timely quality data to facilitate the efficient selection of superior quality varieties. He collaborates with other cereal quality, extension, and genetics programs, both within and beyond OSU. One of the most enjoyable parts of his work is assessing cereal quality by making and sharing cereal-based foods.

 

 

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Ellie Kurth Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Botany and Plant Pathology

Ellie Kurth is a Senior Faculty Research Assistant I at Oregon State University in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology. Ms. Kurth earned her B.S. in Biotechnology at Montana State University and her M.S. in Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska. Prior to joining Oregon State University in 2004, Ms. Kurth worked as a research technician at the University of Nebraska, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Montana State University. In her current position Ms. Kurth is the central molecular diagnostician for the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) program, lead researcher in a forest soils metagenomics project and manages the Populus tissue culture stocks for the forest pathology laboratory.

 

 

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Briana Richardson Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Botany and Plant Pathology

Briana Richardson is a Faculty Research Assistant in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology at OSU. She joined the Gent lab in 2017 upon completing her Master’s in Botany and Plant Pathology at OSU. In this position, Briana conducts and supports a wide range of research projects spanning from basic to applied research on downy mildew and powdery mildew of hop.

 

 

 

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Michael Simonich Senior Research Associate I | Environmental and Molecular Toxicology

Dr. Michael Simonich has served as an FRA for 15 years under Dr. Robyn Tanguay. He previously worked in the fields of chemoprevention, microbiology, cell physiology and plant molecular biology. Michael holds a doctorate from Indiana University. In his current service with the Tanguay laboratory he identifies points of laboratory automation and directs an engineering team to develop de novo automation for zebrafish behavioral assays and chemical screening. Michael has a strong background in technical writing with which he contributes substantially to the lab’s impressive publication record and mentors graduate and post-doctoral students to hone their technical writing skills.

 

 

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Victoria Skillman Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Botany and Plant Pathology

Victoria Skillman is a Faculty Research Assistant for Ken Frost’s Plant Pathology Program at Oregon State University’s Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center. There she supports potato pathology laboratory and field research trials and the Hermiston Plant Clinic. She earned her B.S. in Horticulture with Horticultural Research and Viticulture & Enology Options from OSU. She went on to earn her M.S. from OSU in Horticulture with an Entomology Option. During that time, she worked in three OSU labs that focused on grass pathology, grape physiology, and invasive insects. In 2017, she joined Ken Frost’s Plant Pathology Program in Hermiston, OR.

 

 

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Kelsey Sondreli Senior Research AssociateI | Botany and Plant Pathology

Kelsey Søndreli has been a Research Associate in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology since 2016 after finishing her Ph.D. at Oregon State University. Prior to joining OSU, she worked as a Biological Science Laboratory Technician at the USDA-ARS in Fargo, ND and then started her PhD at North Dakota State University. Kelsey earned her B.S. and M.S. in Botany at North Dakota State University. In her current position, Kelsey’s research focuses on understanding the interaction between fungal pathogens and forest trees, specifically, using the Populus – Sphaerulina pathosystem as well as the Phytophthora ramorum – Notholithocarpus densiflorus pathosystem.

 

 

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Brent Warneke Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Horticulture

Brent holds a BS in Horticultural Science Colorado State University and an MS in Plant Pathology from Oregon State University. Brent has expertise in plant pathology, viticulture, and spray application technology. In his current role Brent has been investigating how intelligent sprayer retrofits can improve chemical use efficiency and reduce off target drift in wine grapes, hazelnuts, and ornamental nursery crops. Brent is passionate about the practical application of science and working with diverse groups to achieve the most efficient outcomes for crop production, farmers and the environment. Brent enjoys rock climbing, fishing, camping, skiing, and many other outdoor pursuits.

 

 

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Daisy Wood Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Crop and Soil Science

Daisy grew up in rural Sherman County and then attended Oregon State University where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Sciences. She spent nearly 5 years working at an organic farm in Philomath. After moving to Pendleton with her husband, she accepted a position as an FRA in the Cereal Extension Program assisting Dr. Ryan Graebner with the Cereal Variety Testing Trials. Since 2018 Daisy has been traveling all over the PNW seeding, harvesting and maintaining variety testing plots for wheat and barley. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, two dogs and cat.

 

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Brandy Cervantes 

Senior Research Associate I | College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Dr. Brandy Cervantes is a physical oceanographer with a Ph.D. in Oceanography from Oregon State University (2005) and a B.S. from the University of Michigan (1998). During her time as a Research Associate in CEOAS, she has studied shelf dynamics in the California Current System, internal tides on the Oregon shelf, and ocean mixing, and she helped to develop coupled biophysical models of the Columbia River Estuary and Beaufort Sea Lagoons. She is currently working with Dr. Melanie Fewings studying subsurface water masses in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and with the Ocean Observatories Initiative providing data QA/QC support.

 

 

 

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Christopher Fanshier

 Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Chris Fanshier was born and raised in Salem, OR, attending the University of Oregon and receiving a bachelor's degree in Geology in 2007. After his degree Chris worked a variety of jobs including potash mining, outdoor education, and fisheries science, along the way developing a connection to the ocean on various sailboats. He started working as a coring technician for the Marine Sediment Sampling Group at OSU in 2019.  

 

 

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Daniel Heaton 

Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Daniel is from the high desert of southern California and got his undergrad geology degree at Cal Poly Pomona and his Master's degree from San Diego State. His research interest in geochemistry evolved to isotope geochemistry with his time in San Diego. For his doctoral research at OSU, Daniel studied AR/AR geochemistry and plate motion modeling. During his PhD and in recent years, he attended four research cruises in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. He continues his career in isotope geochemistry at the Argon Lab here at OSU. Daniel has two small children and enjoys mountain biking and camping.

 

 

 

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June Marion 

Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

June earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering through OSU in 2010 and went on to earn her MS in Atmospheric Science in CEAOS in 2014. Since graduation she has been working as an engineer and field technician in the Ocean Mixing Group, and the CEOAS Machine and Technical Development facility designing, building, testing and deploying oceanographic instruments in unique and novel ways. June enjoys using her skills and expertise to push the boundaries of ocean data collections beyond what has been done in the past, helping to broaden the scientific knowledge base.

 

 

 

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Jeffrey Wood 

Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

I am a FRA in CEOAS working for Dr. Peter Ruggiero and at OSU’s Ocean Observing Center (OOC). I specialize in Real-Time Kinematic surveying of nearshore coastal environments, field installations, and mooring operations. I work with Dr. Ruggiero to utilize rover-mounted (backpack, PWC, ATV) RTK-DGPS systems to collect elevation and depth data along the outer coast beaches of Oregon and Washington, to quantify coastal change and assess coastal hazards. I am a mooring technician at the OOC, working to build, maintain, deploy, and recover the advanced mooring systems that comprise the Endurance Array of the Ocean Observatories Initiative.

 

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Randall Pittman 

Senior Faculty Research Assistant I | Civil and Construction Engineering

Randall received a B.S. in Applied Physics/Computer Science from Grove City College in 2007. He worked in the intelligent transportation systems and air traffic & airport management industries in systems integration and testing before joining OSU in 2011. Since then, Randall has led deployment of oceanographic marine radar systems, mobile radar tower systems, and wave measurement buoys; developed automated data acquisition, processing, and web publishing software; compiled research datasets for internal and external researchers; and installed, configured, and managed field research computing systems. In 2022, Randall also began administering the computing systems of the Coastal Imaging Lab in CEOAS.

 

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Jed Cappellazzi

 Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Wood Science and Engineering

Jed is a Senior Researcher in Wood Biodeterioration & Co-Manager of the Utility Pole Research Cooperative in the Department of Wood Science & Engineering in the College of Forestry. Mr. Cappellazzi earned a dual major MS in Soil Science and Forest Science at OSU with a focus on Mycology. Jed’s publication record within the last four years is at par with several early to mid-career faculty lines in the unit. He is a well-respected expert across the glove in the field of mycology and wood products.

 

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Matthew Konkler

 Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Wood Science and Engineering

Matt is a Senior Researcher & Co-Manager of the Utility Pole Research Cooperative in the Department of Wood Science & Engineering in the College of Forestry. Mr. Konkler has earned an MS in Trace Metal Biogeochemistry from Wright State University in Ohio. Matt is always looking for new and unique ways to approach research challenges and has published widely and successfully mentored dozens of students and postdocs.

 

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Jaewoo Choi Senior Research Associate I | Linus Pauling Institute

Dr. Jaewoo Choi is a Research Associate in Linus Pauling Institute at the Oregon State University (OSU) and serves as the Manager of the Analytical Service Core Laboratory. He completed his PhD in Chemistry at the Case Western Reserve University (2010), and post-doc in College of Pharmacy at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2012), then joined in Linus Pauling Institute at OSU. His research interests include the organic synthesis of bioactive compounds and their metabolites, as well as using metabolomics and lipidomics techniques for assessment of altered metabolism.  

 

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Scott Leonard 

Senior Faculty Research Assistant II | Linus Pauling Institute

Scott Leonard is a Senior Faculty Research Assistant in the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI). In 1998, he received a master’s degree in Nutrition at Oregon State University, than began his laboratory career in the LPI. For 25 years, he has performed analytical analysis of vitamins and phytochemicals in various biological and food systems. Most recently, he has begun to analyze environmental samples for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, trail running, gardening, and watching baseball games.