PhD Candidate

School of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Georgia Institute of Technology


B.S. Chemistry, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

I graduated from Florida State University with dual honors and a B.S. in chemistry. For my undergraduate Honors Thesis Project I worked in Dr. M. Elizabeth Stroupe’s lab where I investigated the role of second shell iron-sulfur cluster ligands in the hemoprotein subunit of an assimilatory sulfite reductase. I started my graduate studies and joined the Kubanek Lab in the fall of 2017.

Research Interests

My research focuses on identifying molecules that mediate interactions between marine organisms and can be divided into two main projects:

  1. Natural Products to Protect Algal Biofuel Ponds from Pests (hyperlink this title to research page)
  2. Chemical Cues that Induce Anti-Predatory Defenses in Oysters (hyperlink this title to research page)


Emily R. Brown, Marisa Cepeda, Samantha J. Mascuch, Kelsey L. Poulson-Ellestad, and Julia Kubanek. “Chemical ecology of the marine plankton.” Nat. Prod. Rep. 2019. 36 (8), 1093-1116.

Marisa Cepeda, Lauren McGarry, Joseph Pennington, Jurek Krzystek, and M. Elizabeth Stroupe. “The role of extended Fe4S4 cluster ligands in mediating sulfite reductase hemoprotein activity.” Biochim. Biophys. Acta, Proteins Proteomics. 2018. 1866 (9), 933-940.

Ryan Groom, Allison Jacobs, Marisa Cepeda, Rachel Drummey, and Susan Latturner. “Structural and Optical Properties of Sb-substituted BiSI Grown from Sulfur/Iodine Flux.” Inorg. Chem. 2017. 56 (20), 12362-12368.

Ryan Groom, Allison Jacobs, Marisa Cepeda, Rachel Drummey, and Susan Latturner. “Bi13S18I2: (Re)discovery of a subvalent bismuth compound featuring [Bi2]4+ dimers grown in sulfur/iodine flux mixtures.” Chem. Mat. 2017. 29 (7), 3314-3323.