The Hegarty Lab in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Case Western Reserve University draws individuals from many different disciplinary backgrounds who are united by an interest in understanding and engineering microbiomes. If you’d be interested in joining the lab or collaborating, email Prof. Bridget Hegarty for more information about current projects. 

Bridget Hegarty

Dr. Bridget Hegarty is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests encompass the microbiology of engineered systems, ranging from homes and drinking water pipes to constructed wetlands. She is particularly driven to understand the viral and fungal communities of environments that have been previously overlooked. Before starting at Case Western Reserve, she was a postdoc at the University of Michigan studying the viral ecology of drinking water distribution systems. She earned her PhD at Yale University, where her dissertation focused on the fungi of homes with mold damage, including designing a machine learning tool capable of using the fungal signature of homes to distinguish whether or not a home has mold damage. Beyond the lab, she loves skiing (both downhill and cross-country), photography, traveling and reading.

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Abigail Leslie

Abigail is a second-year student at Case Western Reserve University, double majoring in biochemistry and environmental studies. She is interested in marine biology, and the intersection of events between the two biospheres interacting; she is hoping to explore this relationship through the lens of biochemistry. During her free time, she enjoys fencing, writing, and listening to music. 

Christopher Thomas

Christopher Thomas is a fifth-year student at Case Western Reserve University double majoring in mechanical engineering and environmental studies. He is interested in green stormwater infrastructure, constructed wetlands, and the moral and philosophical examination of how human societies view and interact with the natural world. He is also the vice president of Service of the Western Reserve Chapter of Delta Upsilon, President of the CWRU Role Playing Games Club, and a member of Student Sustainability Council, The Conservation Project, and Precious Plastics. In his free time, he enjoys reading, fencing and tabletop role playing games.

Delphine Clatanoff

Delphine Clatanoff is a fourth-year student at Case Western Reserve University double majoring in biology and international studies. She is interested in the intersection of STEM and humanities fields, and hopes to use her bioinformatics knowledge to guide her work in the non-profit public health sphere. She is a part of the Discussions Undergraduate Research Journal, Sigma Iota Rho, and volunteers as a Study Abroad Ambassador to encourage CWRU students to spend time abroad. During her downtime, she loves reading literary fiction and sci-fi novels, listening to Bad Bunny, bringing up the fact that she’s from Chicago, and bothering her roommate’s cat.

Emily Rego

Emily is a part-time lab technician in the Hegarty lab and a recent graduate of Emory University, receiving her B.S. in Biology in 2021. She is interested in microbial community dynamics, specifically the indoor microbiome and how built structures can contribute to public health concerns. She has previously investigated tradeoffs to antimicrobial resistance in fungal pathogens at Emory University and epigenetic modifications related to tumor formation in colon cancer patients at Case Western Reserve University. Out of the lab, she is a Science Olympiad mentor, trail runner, and devoted bearded dragon owner.

Joshua Eagle

Josh Eagle is a first year civil and environmental engineering student at Case Western Reserve University. He is interested in sustainable building, biological ocean systems, and how the changes humans have made to our environment in turn affect us. He is a member of the glee club and the Delta Upsilon fraternity. In his free time he enjoys singing, mountain biking and petting his cats.

Mary Harten

Mary Harten is a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at Case Western Reserve University. She is interested in renewable energy sources and sustainable design. She hopes to use her knowledge as an engineer to help companies become more environmentally conscious. She is excited to learn about the correlations between inorganic material and organic microorganisms in different environments. On campus, she is a member of the Humanitarian Design Club, helping to provide a solar powered charging station to a remote community in Africa. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, taking her cat on walks, propagating her plants, and attending the occasional Cleveland Monsters games with her friends.

Songchen (Lee) Li

Songchen (Lee) Li is a fourth-year student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he is concentrating on the environment. He is interested in sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy and environmental restoration. He is also interested in alien culture and traveling and he is able to speak three different languages. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer.