Browse this site for information about my research or follow this link for my (fairly) current C.V.
I am an Assistant Professor of Mycology at Utah Valley University. My research program is just getting started, but my students and I are beginning to look at halotolerant and halophilic fungi along salinity gradients, as well as the effect of fire severity on forest soil fungal community recovery. Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher in the Amend lab at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, where we studied phyllosphere microbial communities with an aim to better understand the influence of genetic relatedness in fungal colonization outcomes and to aid in conservation efforts for the endangered plant, Phyllostegia kaalaensis, which is currently being attacked by non-native pathogens. I received my PhD in Biology at the University of Arkansas, where my research focused on the distributional and functional ecology of slime molds. My dissertation work demonstrated that the influence of amoebal predation on soil bacterial community structure and carbon cycling is interactive with soil type and temperature, and notably, that bacterial community responses to soil warming are likely mediated through protist predators! I received my B.S. in Biology at Missouri State University where I became interested in conservation. I am broadly interested in microbial ecology and biogeochemistry, but am particularly drawn to applied questions and manipulative experimentation.
When I am not playing with my microbes I enjoy hiking, brewing, kayaking for days at a time, and cooking. Also, I have the best dog ever, Dr. Indiana Jones.
AWARDS AND FUNDING
2018 Capitol Reef National Park – Development of methods to survey fungal endophytes in endangered cacti ($2,550)
2018 GREEN -Assessing the Implementation of Undergraduate Research Teams at an Open-Enrollment Institution ($29,398)
2017 GEL – Engaging Undergraduates in Research – Halophilic Fungi in The Great Salt Lake ($9,445)
2016 MSA – Translational Mycology Postdoctoral Award ($2,500)
2014 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Alumnus Travel Award ($1,500)
2014 Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Institute Travel Award ($3,200)
2013 JSPS Summer Research Fellowship ($12,450)
2013 NSF EAPSI Grant (OISE-1308856) ($5,070)
2013 Clean Air – Cool Planet Climate Fellowship ($5,000)
2011 Mycological Society of America Travel Award ($1,250)
2011 NSF GK-12 Fellowship (DGE-0139570) ($32,000)
International Society for Microbial Ecology
Mycological Society of America
International Society for Fungal Conservation
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Alumni Association