Biography and MS Research Topic: Ryan Stumbaugh is a dedicated master’s student at the University of New Mexico, with a keen interest in microbiology and the exploration of unique environments. His research focuses on microbial life in lava caves, where he investigates their community diversity and interactions with the lava cave environment regarding nitrogen cycling. His research also aims to identify nitrogen sources for microbial life within these systems. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ryan’s passion for science began at a young age. As a child, he was ever curious and drawn to exploring the natural world around him, fascinated by the intricate workings of the living organisms he encountered. As he grew older, he pursued his interest in the natural world academically, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. After completing his undergraduate studies, Ryan was introduced to the fascinating world of microbiology within cave systems by Diana E. Northup. He went on to explore these systems through graduate studies at the University of New Mexico.