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 friends and colleagues, snowboarding, and arm wrestling. 


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 Biotechnology, 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. Her hobbies include mountain time, renovating her house, making fun of her cats and dog, crafting, and long boarding. 


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. 


Jenny Thompson

Undergraduate Researcher

 Jenny is currently a senior at UNO working towards a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Biology. Her educational goal is to attend graduate school to investigate neurobiological responses to daily choice behaviors- specifically in relation to mood disorders and cognitive impairments. As the dysfunctions of neural networks are typically well-established by the time diagnoses are made, her broader career goal is to explore feasible, age-independent mitigation strategies for individuals suffering from these types of socially isolating debilitations. Ultimately, she aims to increase the body of evidence for specific choice behaviors as feasible and empowering alternatives- or conservative supplements- to pharmaceutical interventions.


Shayda Azadmanesh

Post Baccalaureate Researcher

Undergraduate Researcher


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.


Kirk Gasper

Graduate Student Researcher

Kirk is a Biomedical Informatics Master's student. Some of his research interests include the gut microbiome, high performance scientific computing, biological interaction networks, algorithm development, machine learning, and natural language processing. Outside of academia, some of Kirk's hobbies include running, entertaining a Border Collie (a full time job), trying to keep plants alive, and traveling.


Osiris Marquez

Undergraduate Researcher

Osiris was born in Mexico and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. With the valued aid of the Susan Thompson Buffet scholarship, she is pursuing a Bachelor's of Science, majoring in Biology at UNO. She is committed to gaining valuable experience in a research setting and contributing as a member of the Clayton Lab. Her work will be closely tied to the Marmoset colony with the cohort of undergraduates. 


Missy Briardy

Undergraduate Researcher

Missy is an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska working towards her bachelors of science in Biology.  She minors in Anthropology and has interests ranging from Paleoanthropology and Evolutionary Biology to Theoretical Physics.  With the experience gained from her work in the Clayton lab her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in research.  She will be assisting in the Marmoset colony with the undergraduate cohort. Outside of academia, Missy enjoys painting, the great outdoors and working out. 


Mahmood Al-Haehm

Undergraduate Researcher

Mahmood is a pre-medicine student pursuing his BS in molecular and biomedical sciences at UNO. He is most passionate about finding and researching possible answers for basic and fundamental questions such as the origin of life, dynamics of living systems, consciousness, among other topics. He will be assisting in the marmoset colony with the undergraduate cohort. He spends spare time reading books, playing tennis, or cooking.