A series of projects investigating the potential biotic and abiotic drivers of microbiome assembly in seagrass beds including observing (1) differences across locations within a seagrass patch, (2) differences related to proximity to a marina and (3) succession during ammonification.
Not a lot is known about the diversity of marine fungi or what role fungi might play in associations with marine plants. This project seeks to survey the taxonomic and functional diversity of seagrass associated fungi and to determine the evolutionary and ecological importance of these associations.
I am collaborating with PhD candidate Marina LaForgia in Susan Harrison and Andrew Latimer's labs at UC Davis, to study below-ground plant-microbe feedback loops during competition between native wildflowers and invasive grass species in California grasslands across varying precipitation regimes.
I am collaborating with PhD candidate Victoria Morgan in Rick Grosberg's lab at UC Davis, to study the gut microbiomes of crabs across a gradient of terrestriality. We are interested in looking for patterns of co-evolution and convergent evolution in the gut microbiomes of land crabs.
Phoronids are a tiny (~12 species) phyla of marine invertebrates that live inside protective chitinous tubes in the sediment. We sampled phoronids found inside and outside of seagrass beds to investigate their microbiome.
Our recent science communication article, "Even Superheroes Need Help Sometimes: Three Incredible Tales of Microbial Symbiosis", is now available. Frontiers for Young Minds is an awesome journal for kids, reviewed by kids.
In our paper, "Microbiome succession during ammonification in eelgrass bed sediments", we observed microbial community succession related to sulfur cycling, but could find no correlation between the community and rates of ammonification.