Lab Members

Kelly S Ramirez, Principal Investigator, (she/her)

I am a microbial ecologist interested in characterizing the diversity and biogeographical patterns of soil microbes across the globe. My love for soils and microbes started in Boulder, CO and has taken me around the world. In addition to my scientific research I am committed to making science more inclusive for women and other marginalized people. In November 2016, together with my friend and colleague Dr. Jane Zelikova, we founded 500 Women Scientists, an organization with a mission to make science open, inclusive and accessible. Learn more at

Interests: running, rock climbing, cooking, and eating avocados. 

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Parikrama Sapkota (Pari), PhD Student (she/her)

Pari hails from Nepal. She will be working on soil microbial community in relation to Global change with the help of molecular techniques and some coding. She did her undergraduate from Kathmandu University in Biotechnology. Before moving to El Paso for her PhD, she was in Arkansas doing Master’s on understanding the process Nitrogen Resorption in Poplar Tree.

She loves hiking, kayaking, birding and reading novel. During Global Pandemic 2020 she rescued a cat named ‘Jethro’. She is looking forward to learning Spanish. Her favorite book is by Yuval Noah Harari ‘A brief History of Mankind’.

Selini, Lab Mascot

Perhaps the most traveled cat in the world. Born in Greece, moved to the Netherlands, traveled through Colorado, California, and much of the Southwest in a van.

Also known by: Bad, Monster, Kitten Cat, Salami, Angry Owl

Interests: Food, Escape, Travel.

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