NMDC Champions

NMDC Champions understand and appreciate the value of well-curated data, and are willing to advocate for the importance of FAIR microbiome data.

Featured NMDC Champions

FAIR microbiome data is necessary to support collaborations and future research analyses. It is important to assess the data quality and connect the metadata, including sample processing and data creation/analyses steps. I became a NMDC champion to help test workflows and make microbiome data FAIR.

Nancy Merino
LLNL, Postdoctoral Researcher

Nancy Merino is currently a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, studying the microbial impacts on the fate of actinides in the environment. She obtained her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) at UCLA and was a research fellow at the Earth-Life Science Institute and the University of Southern California, where she used single-cell genomics to examine the microbes in serpentinite-hosted systems and co-developed a bioinformatics prediction tool called ‘FeGenie’. Her current research interests include microbe-metal interactions, geobiology, and microbial ecology.

I would like to be an advocate to the community for reproducible workflows, open code and do more than just lead by example, but work to educate others on these topics.
Cassie Ettinger
University of California, Riverside, Postdoctoral Researcher

Cassie is currently a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Microbiology & Plant Pathology at the UC Riverside. She received her Ph.D. in Integrative Genetics and Genomics at UC Davis, in Dr. Jonathan Eisen’s laboratory, where she studied the seagrass microbiome and mycobiome. Her current research interests include plant-microbe interactions, the co-evolution of microbes and their hosts, and marine fungi.

Science relies on our ability to replicate data. Transparency in data science requires access to the same datasets. Meta analysis requires access to consistent datasets. I'd like to help shape the future of microbiome metadata and find a way to make data more accessible.
Justine Debelius
Karolinska Institutet, Postdoctoral Researcher

Justine received a PhD in 2015 from the UC Boulder, followed by postdoctoral work at UC San Diego and the Karolinska Institutet. Justine’s work focuses on the relationship between the human gut microbiome and health, specifically in the context of neurodegenerative disease and cancer.

Active NMDC Champions

Interested in becoming an NMDC Champion?
Read up on what it means to be an NMDC Champion on our Engagement Roadmap page. Then, fill out our NMDC Champion application.
Kai Blumberg (UA)
"I became an NMDC champion for because I want to participate in the creation of a unified and interoperable semantic layer which can be used to join data from different scientific disciplines. As an early career scientist, I'm very excited to potentially play a role in enabling scientists to unify our knowledge and data to better address global scale environmental challenges."
Jenny Bratburd (UW Madison)
PhD Candidate
“I am excited about the potential for microbiome research to improve human health, and I believe we need to improve rigor and reproducibility to achieve that potential.”
John-Marc Chandonia (LBNL)
"I became an NMDC Champion because I am interested in collaborating to develop new technologies for managing data. I am particularly interested in solving long-standing challenges in making data truly interoperable and reusable."
Sean Cleveland (University of Hawai'i)
Cyberinfrastructure Research Scientist
I want to be a part of the process for defining FAIR standards and integrations, as this data is important and expensive to acquire and therefore should be responsibly managed. The need for standards and methods for integration is essential.
Joan Damerow (LBNL)
Postdoctoral Fellow
I became an NMDC champion because I want to work together toward a culture of open and multi-disciplinary science--enabling global search and integration of microbiomes with associated environmental data now and in the future.
Justine Debelius (Karolinska Institutet)
Postdoctoral Researcher
Science relies on our ability to replicate data. Transparency in data science requires access to the same datasets. Meta analysis requires access to consistent datasets. I'd like to help shape the future of microbiome metadata and find a way to make data more accessible.
Bill Duncan (LBNL)
"I became an NMDC champion because of the great need to develop systems that bring together data from multiple microbiome data repositories. The development of these systems is a truly exciting opportunity to advance an emerging branch of science."
JP Dundore-Arias (California State University, Monterey Bay)
Assistant Professor
"I became an NMDC Champion because I am excited to be part of this collaborative community developing efforts to increase awareness, access and engagement in the microbiome research community."
Cassie Ettinger (University of California, Riverside)
Postdoctoral Researcher
I would like to be an advocate to the community for reproducible workflows, open code and do more than just lead by example, but work to educate others on these topics.
Alexis Garretson (George Mason University)
Graduate Research Fellow
"I hope as an NMDC Champion I can apply my knowledge of data rescue, scientific gateways, and data integration efforts to support the ongoing work of NMDC and advocate for FAIR microbiome data."
Sean Gibbons (ISB)
"I became an NMDC Champion because I believe that access to usable public data and metadata is a right and not a privilege."
Bonnie Hurwitz (University of Arizona)
Associate Professor
Beautifully harmonized metadata is like a love letter to the future. NMDC is the global community and service making sure these letters get delivered!
Ulas Karaoz (LBNL)
"I became an NMDC Champion because as microbiome science shifts from data generation to interpretation, FAIR data is critical to enable integration of global datasets."
Nancy Merino (LLNL)
Postdoctoral Researcher

FAIR microbiome data is necessary to support collaborations and future research analyses. It is important to assess the data quality and connect the metadata, including sample processing and data creation/analyses steps. I became a NMDC champion to help test workflows and make microbiome data FAIR.

Luke Thompson (NOAA)
"I am excited to be an NMDC Champion because our community has a special opportunity to make our data more reusable -- empowering scientists, citizens, and governments to use this data for research, medicine, conservation, and restoration."
Alonna Wright ( UC Davis)
PhD Candidate
“I believe microbiome data helps us better understand our world and our health. Making this data more accessible and adherent to FAIR data practices would provide opportunities for meaningful analyses that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”
Ying Zhang (University of Rhode Island)
Associate Professor
I see from my own work the importance of benchmarking diverse approaches and making sure data obtained from different studies are standardized for comparison. I want to work with scientists of the same interests to help promote the production and documentation of high quality data.

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