NorthenLab: Exometabolomics linking genomes with environments to understand how webs of microbes sustain biomes

New Lab Member Highlight: Marco Duenas

The Northen Lab recently hosted Marco Duenas, a graduate student from UC Berkeley. Learn more about Marco in the following interview.

What is your area of expertise? Could you talk a little bit about your background and what brought you to your field? 

My name is Marco Duenas, I did my undergrad at UCR and am currently getting my PhD at UC Berkeley. Currently I am a first year PhD rotation student at UC Berkeley’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, but I know I want to focus my research on algal lipid accumulation and potential applications for biotechnology. I have a love for aquatic organisms and sustainable energy, and studying algae brings together the best of both worlds.

Do you have any anecdotes or funny stories from your previous research?

On the first day of my undergrad lab, I thought I’d be doing a bunch of crazy science but instead my PI handed me a shovel and wire and we spent the next 3 days building a huge fence for his vegetables.

What research topics or experimental techniques were you most excited to work on in the Northen Lab? 

I was excited to learn extraction techniques and data analysis for LC-MS and GC-MS, specifically to examine fatty acid profiles for oleaginous alga.

Could you name a favorite book, piece of music, video game, or movie?

I love watching Ocean Documentaries and playing Super Smash Bros Melee with my brother.

Is there anything you are excited to see or do in the Bay Area? Or, if you have been here before, any recommendations? 

I went backpacking to Angel Island with my girlfriend, it was an amazing experience!