Tyler Heist, '15

Biology and Computer Science

Honors Thesis
Investigating Intracellular Symbiont Dynamics in Sponge:Symbiodinium Relationships

Beckman Mentor
Dr. Malcolm Hill

Post-Graduate Activity
Attending Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB) graduate program at Princeton University.


2015: Phi Beta Kappa

2014 – 2015: Arnold and Mabel Beckman Fellowship

2014: Barry M Goldwater Scholarship

2014: Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Junior in Biology

2014: Richmond Alumni Association Scholarship

2013: Omicron Delta Kappa

2013: Cole Memorial Scholarship

2013: School of Arts and Sciences Summer Research Fellowship

2013: Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society

2012: Certificate of Commendation - Phi Beta Kappa

2012: HHMI Summer Research Fellowship

2012: Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society

2011 – 2015: Dean’s List


Lawson B, Hill M, Hill A, Heist T, Hughes C. An Agent-Based Simulation Model Of Sponge:Algae Symbiotic Relationships. Proceedings of the 2015 Winter Simulation Conference, Huntington Beach, CA, December 2015.

Riesgo A, Peterson K, Richardson C, Heist T, Strehlow B, McCauley M, Cotman C, Hill M, Hill A. Transcriptomic analysis of differential host gene expression upon uptake of symbionts: a case study with Symbiodinium and the major bioeroding sponge Cliona varians. BMC Genomics 2014, 15:376

Scientific Presentations as a Beckman Scholar

Heist T, Hughes C, Hill A, Lawson B, Hill M (2015) Investigating intracellular symbiont dynamics in sponge:Symbiodinium relationships. Beckman Scholars Symposium, Irvine, CA.

Heist T, Hughes C, Hill A, Lawson B, Hill M (2014) Modeling establishment of intracellular symbiont populations: a case study informed by sponge:Symbiodinium relationships. 2nd International Symposium on Sponge Microbiology, Baltimore, MD.

Heist T, Hughes C, Hill A, Lawson B, Hill M (2014) Developing a model of establishment and maintenance of intracellular symbiont populations. HHMI Undergraduate Research Symposium, Richmond, VA.

Hughes C, Heist T, Hill A, Hill M (2014) Differential gene expression across distinct symbiont states of the marine sponge Cliona varians. HHMI Undergraduate Research Symposium, Richmond, VA.