Dr. Natalia Fernandes

Ph.D. Agricultural Microbiology, Federal University of Lavras – Brazil / University of California, Davis, 2021

M.S. Agricultural Microbiology, Federal University of Lavras – Brazil, 2018

B.S. Biology, Juiz de Fora Higher Education Center – Brazil, 2015

Email: natfernandes@ucdavis.edu

Natalia was born and raised in Brazil. She received her BS in Biology at Juiz de Fora Higher Education Center (CES-JF). During her undergraduate, she did an internship at the Rumen Microbiology Lab at Embrapa Dairy Cattle, where she spent a year working with microorganisms present in the rumen and the microbial dynamics of biodigesters fed with cattle and swine manure. In addition, as an undergraduate student, she carried out research involving different areas of biology and biochemistry, making it possible to gain a great deal of experience with different research laboratories. She received her MS in Agricultural Microbiology at the Federal University of Lavras (UFLA) in 2018. At UFLA, she worked with Prof. Disney Ribeiro Dias, where she studied the production of biosurfactant by yeast and its bactericidal, fungicidal and larvicidal applications. In 2021, Natalia received her PhD in Agricultural Microbiology at UFLA, with a period at UC Davis as a visiting scholar, in which it was possible to characterize the chemical structure of the biosurfactant with the expertise of Prof. Jacquelyn Gervay Hague. At the Gervay-Hague lab, she had the opportunity to obtain training in equipment used for characterization of chemical structures, such as LC-MS, GC, MPLC and NMR, as well as spectral analysis. She is currently working in the Gervay-Hague lab as a Postdoctoral Scholar, where one of the researches will be isolation and characterization of naturally occurring glycolipids using silicon NMR and her long-term research interests involve developing a comprehensive understanding of nanoparticles, including viruses, present in tea plants (Camellia sinensis), as well as the isolation and characterization of microorganisms involved with these plants and their biotechnological applications.

Ami Rose, Ph.D. Candidate

B.S. Chemistry and B.S. Applied Mathematics CSU, Chico, 2017

Ami Rose graduated with a Bachelor of Science from CSU, Chico in 2017, where she conducted an honors project in collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Ami is currently a senior graduate student in the Jacquelyn Gervay Hague lab at UC Davis, and helped establish the UC Davis test plot at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Fresno. During her time in the JGH lab, Ami has developed efficient methods for extracting and measuring the polyphenols and alkaloids in California grown tea varieties. These optimized methods allow the lab to compare the chemical profiles of California grown and known high quality tea varieties from the freshly picked leaf to the finished consumed product. Following her passion for teaching, Ami was also recently hired as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Folsom Lake College, where she hopes to grow the Food Science curriculum and research connection with UC Davis.

Matthew Orellana, Ph. D. Candidate

B.S. Biochemistry, San Francisco State University, 2018

Matthew is focused on the synthesis of lipids with bioorthogonal functional groups and synthesis of complimentary fluorophores. These metabolic precursors are delivered to various growing media and withdrawn from total lipid extracts by capitalizing on the specificity of the Copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (CuAAC). The result of this strategic design is isolation of lipid metabolites parceled with highly-ionizable fluorophores. This work, accompanied by pure glycolipid standards previously synthesized by our lab, provide the synthetic toolkit necessary to detect and characterize femtomolar amounts of metabolites by HPLC-MS/MS.

Bao Vue, Ph.D. Candidate

B.S. Chemistry, California State University Fresno, 2006

M.S. Chemistry, California State University Fresno, 2008

Bao’s research focuses on applying ReSET (Regioselective Silyl Exchange Technologies) to functionalize carbohydrates using continuous flow microfluidics. Natural products have been widely used as starting materials, reagents, or as targeted products of organic synthesis. Often, these compounds contain reactive functional groups like hydroxyls, amines, thiols, or carboxylic acids. Protecting or converting these functional groups into a less reactive functionality involves multiple steps and is time consuming.  The focus of Bao’s Ph.D. research is to develop a time efficient and economical synthetic route to functionalized sugars and natural products.  To accomplish this goal, she began by converting Regioselective Silyl Exchange Technology (ReSET) synthetic routes from batch to continuous flow synthesis. ReSET is a synthesis tool, which converts the reactive hydroxyl group into a silyl ether, then regioselectively converts the silyl group to an acetate.  In her system,  the reaction solution continuously flows through a small reactor with controllable temperature, pressure, and flow rates.  An advantage of the silicon projecting group is the in situ characterization of silyl sugar intermediates using silicon-29 NMR, which is a unique and powerful tool to monitor and optimize the chemical reactions.

Octavio Sousa, B.S.

Visiting Scholar

B.S. Agronomy, Federal University of Lavras – Brazil, 2020

Octavio earned his bachelors degree in Agronomy at the Federal University of Lavras, one of the most respected universities in Brazil in the agriculture field. He is currently a grad student in a specialization course entitled “Soils and plant nutrition” at USP, another prestigious Brazilian university. Octavio has always worked with research but has also ventured into the corporate world. He has experience with seed quality, soy, corn, coffee and nursery management. Octavio has a great passion for trying to find solutions to problems facing the world of agriculture. His current interests include soil fertility and microbiota, protected cultivation, plant nutrition, and biocontrol focusing on Camellia sinensis.

Sophia Bessa

Undergraduate Researcher

Sophia is currently in her third year studying chemistry. To support the tea project, she will be extracting, isolating, and identifying various polyphenols found in the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. Her academic interests are in analytical and organic chemistry. She is excited to apply these areas to study the chemistry of natural products found in tea!

Wenrui chen

Undergraduate Researcher

Wenrui is a 3rd-year undergraduate researcher in the JGH lab. She is majoring in Chemistry and currently supporting Dr. Natalia Fernandes’s research on extractions and analysis of coffee beans with HPLC. She will do further research in the coming year with Dr. Fernandes and try to make more progress in the project.

Lauren Leyva

Undergraduate Researcher

Lauren Leyva is a third-year biochemistry and molecular biology major at UC Davis. This past summer, she began working at the Coffee Center on the chemistry team with Dr. Gervay-Hague and Dr. Ristenpart. Lauren has enjoyed her work at the Coffee Center and Chemistry Annex as she has had the opportunity to learn more about the chemical analysis and complex science behind coffee with Dr. Natalia Fernandes. Since joining the lab this summer, Lauren has partaken in the roasting project. Being a part of Dr. Gervay-Hague and Dr. Ristenpart’s research has furthered her interest in the science of coffee and academic research. Lauren looks forward to supporting and assisting future research projects.