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Clayton Lab Members


Jonathan B. Clayton, D.V.M., Ph.D. 

Principal Investigator 

Jonathan started his academic career in North Carolina where he was born and raised. After undergrad at Barton and obtaining his Certificate of Primatology at Duke, he moved on to obtain a Ph.D. and DVM at the University of Minnesota. In addition to his graduate studies involving primates, Jonathan founded the Primate Microbiome Project in his time as a PostDoc. He currently is overlooking a research lab and the Callitrichid Research Center (CRC, Marmoset Colony) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Beyond his love for primates, he also has a passion for research innovation, quality time spent with family, friends and colleagues, various athletic activities, and travel.  


Mackenzie E. Conrin, M.S.

Lab Manager, Technician 

Mackenzie has been a long-term Maverick. She received a Bachelor's of Science degree, majoring in Molecular & Biomedical Biology, followed by a Master's of Science degree in Biology. She gained four years of research experience working on characterizing Pseudomonas Bacteriophages. She currently manages a few labs on UNO's campus, while maintaining research, and dabbling in teaching. Beyond work, her favorite activities include mountain time, home renovation, interior design, landscape/ecosystem design, and maintaining health and happiness in all of her live-in plants and animals.   


Zahraa Wajih Alsafwani

Graduate Researcher

Bioinformatics student split between Clayton and Dr. Kate Cooper Labs. Full Bio pending. 


Missy Briardy

Volunteer Graduate Researcher

Missy is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska Omaha, where she also obtained her bachelor's of Science in Biology. She minors in Anthropology and has interests ranging from Paleoanthropology and Evolutionary Biology to Theoretical Physics. Missy is a graduate student for Dr. Aaryn Mustoe but volunteers some time to the Clayton Lab as her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in research and multiple experiences are shaping her to do so.  She will be assisting in the Marmoset colony with the undergraduate cohort. Outside of academia, Missy enjoys painting, the great outdoors, and working out. 


Shivdeep Hayer, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Post Doctoral Researcher

Shiv finished his DVM training from GADVASU, India in 2011 and followed it by a Masters in Veterinary Medicine in 2013. He then shifted his focus to pursue research full time ad worked on public health projects in India. In 2015, he moved to University of Minnesota (Go Vikings!!) and studied antibiotic resistance in swine respiratory and zoonotic pathogens as part of his PhD. He has joined Clayton lab in 2019 to diversify his knowledge on gut bacterial communities and their impact on health and to gain additional computational skills. Shiv enjoys spending his time diving into the literature, listening to heavy metal, and following his favorite sporting events.   


Skyler Gebers

Undergraduate Researcher

Sky is currently pursuing his Bachelor' s of Science degree in Biology at UNO. He is a highly focused individual with a passion for studying microbes, hoping to one day be a microbiologist. He enjoys spending his free time playing games or Dungeons & Dragons with his friends and would be happy to receive hazelnut coffee after a long day in the Marmoset colony with the undergraduate cohort. 


Ethan Wilcox

Post Undergraduate Researcher

Volunteer for general lab work. Full Bio pending. 

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