Student Projects

Research projects in the Boundy-Mills lab focus on building and using the Phaff Yeast Culture Collection. The collection is expanding through a collaboration with Indonesian scientists, more information available at Filamentous fungi isolated from wood-feeding beetle larvae and infested wood in Indonesia were found to have novel xylanase gene sequences. New yeasts from Indonesia, as well as other yeasts in the Phaff collection, are being screened for ability to convert carbohydrates in lignocellulosic hydrolysates to lipids. We are working to characterize novel yeast species. We have identified pectinolytic yeasts that may be the causative agent of olive spoilage in California. This research is performed by a highly talented and hard-working research team:

Dr. Irnayuli Sitepu is a postdoctoral fellow. She has studied the lipid accumulation and fatty acid composition of oleaginous yeasts, the biodiversity of yeasts, filamentous fungi and bacteria in the rain forest in Indonesia, and secretion of cellulolytic enzymes.

Luis Antonio (Tonio) Garay Almada is a graduate student in Food Science and Technology. He is studying intracellular and extracellular lipids produced by oleaginous yeasts.

Tylan Selby graduated in June 2013. He studied the physiological properties of oleaginous yeasts, including sugar assimilation and toxin tolerance.

Elaine Chow graduated in June 2013. She has explored many aspects of yeast microbiology, including association of pectinolytic yeasts with olive spoilage, and identification of yeasts and filamentous fungi from insects and plants in Indonesia.

Enrique Fernandez graduated in March 2013. He studied lipids accumulated by oleaginous yeasts, insect-associated yeasts and filamentous fungi, taxonomy of yeasts based on ribosomal sequences.

Grace Ghrist, undergraduate student, has assisted with archiving the Phaff collection at a remote cryopreservation facility, and characterizing novel yeast species.

Erin Cathcart, undergraduate student, has assisted with organizing DNA sequence data and other strain data.

Lab people
Boundy-Mills Lab, Spring 2013. In front: Undergraduate students Tylan Selby and Grace Ghrist. On stairs, left to right: Luis Antonio Garay Almada (Food Science graduate student), Enrique Fernandez, Erin Cathcart, Irnyuli Sitepu, Shirley Zhu, Kyria Boundy-Mills, Elaine Chow.


Phaff Yeast Culture Collection
Kyria Boundy-Mills, Curator | tel: 1(530) 754-5575 | fax: 1(530) 752-4759 | email: