Title: Research Faculty
Building: HPR 156
Ph.D. - May 2011 Organismal Biology & Ecology, University of Montana,
M.S. - May 2005 Biology, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
B.S. - Dec 2002 Biology, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
Postdoctoral TrainingPostdoctoral - Jan – Dec 2013 UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Postdoctoral - Jul 2011– Dec 2012 USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Miles City, MT
As an Ecosystem Ecologist, I am interested in the continuum of pathogenic - mutualistic relationships between plants and microbial symbionts. Using an interdisciplinary approach integrating plant-microbial ecology and physiology with bioinformatics, I am using microbiome - focused research to understand disturbances and disruptions to plant productivity. I am currently applying this knowledge to investigate a variety of ecological disturbances, including plant invasions, microbiological approaches to plant disease management, impacts of land use change associated with urbanization and/or agricultural practices on plant community interactions, and threats to food security in the context of global climate shifts. Currently funded projects include: 1) USDA-NIFA-AFRI research on threats to crop biosecurity-uncovering the molecular mechanisms utilized by the microbiome to regulate nutrient acquisition, invasive performance, and disease susceptibility/resistance in Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), with emphasis on impacts to crop relatives; 2) K-12 teacher professional development and curriculum implementation to monitor water, soil, and plant communities within the Cypress River Basin and Caddo Lake Watershed.