My long-term goals are to understand the mechanisms of plant-fungal-bacterial interactions in order to develop novel strategies to mitigate abiotic stress in plants to improve agricultural yields and ecosystem resilience. I want to have a career researching and teaching about plant-fungal-microbial interactions.
Graduate Student, MSU – Dr. Gregory Bonito (Aug 2014 - Present)
I study plant-fungal-bacterial interactions between soil fungi in the family Mortierellaceae, their bacterial endosymbionts, and plants. The objective of my project is to improve characterization of the Mortierellaceae, the extent of their plant growth promotion, and establish Mortierella elongata as a model system for future research of beneficial plant-fungal interactions.
VPUE Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Intern, Stanford U - Dr. Sharon Long (Jun 2013 - Sep 2013)
Studied the roles of the extracytoplasmic function sigma factors in the symbiosis between Sinorhizobium meliloti and Medicago species.
Summer Undergraduate Intern, Carnegie Inst. for Science, Dept. of Global Ecology – Dr. Chris Field (Jun 2012 - Aug 2012)
Volunteered in a grass survey of a multi-factorial climate change simulation at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Promoted to paid internship to process plant matter for elemental analysis.
MMG302 - Introductory Lab for General and Allied Health Microbiology, Dr Terrence Marsh (Spring 2017)
Teaching Assistant. Presented in-lab lecture; manage lab materials; supervised student experiments; held weekly office hours; graded lab notebooks, final reports, and technical competencies.
PLP847 - Advanced Mycology, Dr. Gregory Bonito (Fall 2016)
Informal. Prepared materials for lab exercises and assisted with class assignments. Presented a lecture on endophytic fungi.
BS171 - Cell & Molecular Biology Lab, Dr. John Urbance (Fall 2015)
Teaching Assistant. Presented weekly lab lecture; supervised student experiments; created and graded quizzes; graded lab reports, course assignments, and exams; held weekly office hrs.
Undergraduate Student Mentorship
Abagail Bryson (MSU, Nov 2016 - Present) – semi-independent work for research credit (MMG 499).
Marian Rodriguez-Soto (MSU, May - Jul 2016) – REU Student in Plant Genomics. Isolation and characterization of bacterial endosymbionts in the fungus M. elongata.
Nils Benning (MSU, Feb 2014 - May 2016) – Characterized Mortierella fatty acid profiles.
* presenting author, † invited speaker
* presenting author
Explorations in Data Analysis for Metagenomic Advances in Microbial Ecology (EDAMAME) (Summer 2015)
A ten day workshop designed to: increase computing literacy, develop proficiency in cloud computing, analyze microbial amplicon and shotgun metagenome sequences, apply ecological statistics to analyze and interpret microbial sequencing data, and access resources provided by public sequence databases. Included tutorials in Python, R, QIIME, mothur, and working in a shell.
Graduate School Workshop: New TA Institute (Fall 2016)
These workshops covered the role and resources of TA's as mandatory reporters, strategies for teaching and engaging students, and emergency and active shooter training.
Pathways to Scientific Teaching Seminar (PLB 802, Fall 2017)
A 10 week seminar course on effective teaching practices and philosophies in undergraduate Biology education, including pedagogy, lesson design, and assessment design.
Integrating Effective Teaching and Assessment Practices in Biology Lab Courses through Case Studies Workshop
Center for Integrating Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network (Spring 2018)
A three week workshop covering Learner-Centered Teaching, the components and design of a lab lesson plan, and incorporating active learning strategies, effective formative and summative assessments. Instruction was based on collaborative and cooperative learning through case studies and exchanging feedback about lesson plans with peers.
Service & Outreach
University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (Apr 2018) – Poster Judge
Faculty Search Committee (Apr 2017 - Apr 2018) – Graduate student representative on the joint Plant Soil & Microbial Sciences/Microbiology and Molecular Genetics search committee for the Microbial Ecologist position. (Posting #454097)
Biomolecular Sciences Recruitment Weekend (Feb 2015, Jan & Feb 2016, Jan & Feb 2017) – Escorted recruits to interviews. In Feb 2016, also presentation moderator. In Feb 2017, also dinner host.
Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences (Jul 2016) – Graduate Student Poster Evaluator
MAMI: Wild Mushroom Foraging Certification Program (2014 - 2015) – Helped conduct training and exams.
Mycological Society of America (2015 - Present)
Genetics Society of America (2016 - Present)
Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (2017 - Present)
Frank M Peabody Travel Award (2017)
College of Natural Science Dissertation Continuation Fellowship (Summer 2017)