Lab Members

M.S. Students

Nicole Nordell

Nicole Nordell grew up in Lincoln, NE as a the youngest of four siblings. Throughout her childhood, she loved spending her days exploring the outdoors with her beloved dog Cody, cheering on Husker sports with her family, and visiting the Henry Doorly Zoo. From a young age, she developed a deep appreciation for nature, science, and animal health. With these passions, paired with her undying loyalty for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, it was an obvious choice to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for her undergraduate career. In 2017 Nicole began her first semester at UNL with a major in Veterinary Science. During her time as an undergraduate she worked as an animal care technician at the Nebraska Gnotobiotic Mouse Program where she gained many unique husbandry skills caring for germ-free mice. While with the NGMP group, Nicole assisted with many graduate projects that solidified her aspirations for graduate school and a future career in the lab. So after a few changes and additions along her academic path, Nicole ended up graduating in August of 2021 with two Bachelors of Science degrees in Fisheries & Wildlife and Biological Sciences. Since her graduation, Nicole has had her hands full with her cat, Lola, and a new puppy, Jasper. She enjoys exercising, reading, cooking, and spending her afternoons at the dog park. After such a relaxing semester break from school, Nicole is very excited to be returning to UNL as the first Master’s student in the Desaulniers lab!


Undergraduate Students

Steven Faltas - FYRE (First Year Research Experience) Student

Steven Faltas spent the majority of his early childhood in Clear Lake, Iowa. Some of his favorite things to do in his early years were to participate in youth sports and spend time with friends. He moved to Elkhorn, Nebraska after his freshman year of high school, and graduated from Elkhorn High School in May 2021. Steven developed an interest in biology and health sciences through high school sciences courses such as AP Biology and Anatomy and Physiology, which is why he chose to pursue a Biology degree on the pre-med track. When it came time to choose a place to go to college, UNL seemed like the right fit for him because it was close to home, and he would get to experience college life while continuing to be a motivated student in the classroom and through involvement. Steven began working with Dr. Desaulniers in the Fall 2021 semester, and he is excited to continue research through his undergraduate career!

Carlene Nguyen - FYRE (First Year Research Experience) Student

My name is Carlene Nguyen and I was born in Lincoln, NE. I'm also the oldest child in my family and am a first-generation student. In my free time, my hobbies consist of listening to music and trying out new foods. I chose to attend the University of Nebraska in Lincoln because I'm already familiar with the campus and I wanted to continue my education near my family. My favorite subject has always been science so I took AP Biology and AP Chemistry at North Star high school as a senior. However, I chose to major in Biological Sciences/Biology while being on the pre-med track because I've also always enjoyed learning about the complexities of the human body and helping others. I even took a Medical Terminology course in the past and had the opportunity to tour hospitals as well as health careers which furthered my interest in the medical field. I'm currently in the FYRE (First Year Research Experience) program under Dr. Desaulniers because I want to develop skills that can only be obtained outside of the classroom. Through working in an actual lab, I am able to get more hands-on experience which I can apply in the future.

Rebecca Metcalf

Rebecca Metcalf grew up on an acreage in Norfolk, Nebraska. She is the seventh child out of nine and was homeschooled by her parents throughout the entirety of her pre-college education. Life at Metcalf Acres afforded her the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of pets, including cats, dogs, horses, chickens, budgies, gerbils, geckos, and snakes. During her high school years, Rebecca adopted and trained a wild mustang and operated her own dog kenneling business, which was prompted by watching her entrepreneurial older brother. Her love of medicine, which she acquired from her father, combined with her enjoyment of animals has led into the veterinary field. Before arriving at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Rebecca attended Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska and Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the fall 2022, Rebecca will begin her first year in veterinary school through the PPVM program at UNL. Along with reading and rollerblading, Rebecca enjoys growing succulents and spending time with her family.



Lab Alumni

Morgan Burns

McNair Scholar (Fall 2020 - Fall 2021)

Effects of corncob bedding on testis development and function in CD-1 mice

Morgan got into vet school at Oklahoma State!

Lauryn Clifton

Undergraduate Student Researcher (Spring 2021)

Impact of early weaning on fertility of CD-1 male mice

Lauryn is currently a vet student at K-State.

Amber Petty

McNair Scholar (Fall 2019 - Spring 2021)

Isolation of ZsGreen1-labeled exosomes within seminal plasma of the boar.

Amber is currently working at Marquette University studying sex differentiation in geckos.

Megan Ebrecht

McNair Scholar (Spring 2019 – Spring 2020)

Effect of gonadotropin releasing hormone-II (GnRH-II) on spermatogenic function of boars

Megan is currently a graduate student at K-State.