Current members of the Sessa lab.

Lab, Fall 2017. \Front: Chris Krieg, Emily Sessa, Lauren Trotta; Back: Jerald Pinson, Lindsey Riibe, Maggy Bunker.

Principal Investigator
Emily B. Sessa
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012
B.A. Cornell University, 2005

Graduate Students
Jerald Pinson
Ph.D. candidate, Fall 2014–present
M.S. UNC-Wilmington, 2014
B.A. Austin State University, 2012
  • 2016 Florida Native Plant Society Research Award
  • 2016 Sigma Xi Research Award
  • 2015 Winner of the UF Three Minute Thesis competition
  • Jerald
    Lauren Trotta
    Ph.D. student, Fall 2014–present
    M.S. University of Florida, 2016
    B.S. Providence College, 2013
  • 2016 Florida Native Plant Society Research Award
  • Lauren
    Christopher Krieg
    Ph.D. student, Fall 2015–present
    B.A. Colgate University, 2014
  • 2016-2019 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 2016 Rosemary Grant Award for Graduate Student Research
  • chris-1circle
    Maggy Bunker
    Ph.D. student, starting Fall 2017
    B.S. Eastern Michigan University, 2017
    Lindsey Riibe
    Ph.D. student, starting Fall 2017
    B.S. Portland State University, 2014
    Undergraduate Researchers
    Samantha Chavez
    Nutritional Sciences '18

    Though I had never been exposed to botany until I took Dr. Sessa’s class, I have always had a passion for both nature and science. Growing up an army brat and having the opportunity to visit many different places taught me to appreciate the natural world around me. I am currently studying nutritional sciences and following a pre-medical track in hopes of one day becoming an orthopedic doctor. I also hope to obtain yoga instructor certification in effort of bettering myself and incorporating my hobbies into my chosen career. Additionally, I plan to pursue my growing interest in plants by continuing research with Dr. Sessa and further exploring Earth’s biodiversity in our local environment and in my travels.
    Samantha Chavez
    Emily Lockwood
    Biology '19

    From a young age I knew two things about my future: 1) that I wanted to study science and 2) that I didn’t want to be a doctor. Beyond that I didn’t ever really know what I wanted to do. Biology has always appealed to me, and since beginning college I’ve discovered that I am very interested in plants. I still have a lot to figure out, but working in the Sessa Lab has shown me what it’s like to be involved in plant research, and I can now say with some certainty that it is the direction I want to take with my plans for the future.
    Emily Lockwood circle 300
    Lab Alumni
    Sally Chambers
    Former Postdoctoral Research Associate
    Sally is now a Research Botanist at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida.
    Rodrigo Rivero
    Biology '17, 2016 UF University Scholars Program
    Rodrigo is earning his MS at the University of Hawaii–Manoa with Dr. Kimberly Carlson.
    Matthew Richardson circle 300
    Matthew Richardson
    Biology/Statistics '18
    Maria Rodriguez circle 300
    Maria Rodriguez
    Biology '18
    Alan Gonzalez
    Wildlife Ecology & Conservation '16
    Naomi Senehi
    Environmental Engineering '17
    Ashley Hale
    Chemical Engineering '16
    Mary Regan
    Agricultural & Biological Engineering '16
    Kaitlynn Zemaitis
    Chemical Engineering '14
    Lab, Fall 2016. L to R: Emily Lockwood, Samantha Chavez, Chris Krieg, Eddie Watkins (honorary lab member!), Emily Sessa, Jerald Pinson, Lauren Trotta, Sally Chambers, Rodrigo Rivero


    2016 Biology Reception at Austin Cary Forest. L to R: Sally Chambers, Emily Sessa, Lauren Trotta, Jerald Pinson, Helen Holmlund, Chris Krieg


    Lab, Fall 2015. L to R: Rodrigo Rivero, Chris Krieg, Jerald Pinson, Sally Chambers, Emily Sessa, Lauren Trotta, Allan Gonzalez


    Lab Spring 2015
    2015 Biology Reception at the Florida Museum of Natural History. L to R: Chris Krieg, Lauren Trotta, Jerald Pinson, Emily Sessa, Sally Chambers
    photo 1-800
    Sessa Lab, Fall 2014. L to R: Jerald Pinson, Sally Chambers, Emily Sessa, Lauren Trotta, Ashley Hale, Mary Regan, Naomi Senehi

    Interested in joining the lab? Please email Dr. Sessa for more information.