For more information about my research interests, visit my research page.


My research lab is equipped to conduct a variety of research projects dealing with plants, soils, and mycorrhizal fungi. The lab is equipped with microscopes, an incubator, a laminar flow hood, a fume hood, a drying oven, a pH/mV meter, etc.

Facilities to support molecular work on mycorrhizal communities are available through the Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Biology: Education, Research and Advancement (CIMERA). The lab also has computers with internet access and a variety of statistical analysis and graphics software.



akers headTaylor Akers – MS Degree Candidate
Taylor joined the lab in Fall 2021. She is studying in the role of prescribed fire on mycorrhizal diversity in a mixed coniferous forest in the western Sierra Nevada.



edwards smKalen Edwards – MS Degree Candidate
Kalen joined the lab in Fall 2021. He is studying the effect of fire and thinning on soil exoenzyme activity in a mixed coniferous forest in the western Sierra Nevada.




Dan Lenz – MS Degree: Fall 2020
Thesis: Propagation of anti-herbivore defense cues in a common mycorrhizal network

Ian Mounts – MS Degree: Spring 2019
Thesis: The role of common mycorrhizal networks in ameliorating drought stress in Pseudotsuga menziesii

Erika Teach – MS Degree: Fall 2014
Thesis: Effects of soil compaction on emergence and growth of Quercus douglasii: implications for seedling recruitment

Christian Commander – MS Degree: Fall 2013
Thesis: The influence of dams on the abundance of Arundo donax (giant reed) in riparian corridors

Carolina Fonseca – MS Degree: Spring 2013
Thesis: Patterns of population differentiation in early traits of development in Elymus glaucus.

Beth Lesar – MS Degree: Spring 2009
Thesis: Influence of historical fire frequency on forest cover and stand structure in northeastern California

Andrew Griffiths – MS Degree: Spring 2007
Thesis: Heavy metal accumulation in MacDonald’s rock cress (Arabis macdonaldiana) defends against herbivory: a field experiment

Pamela Conavay – MS Degree: Spring 2007
Thesis: Population age structure and recruitment of blue oak (Quercus douglasii) at Deer Creek Hills Preserve, Sacramento County, California.

Justin Cutler – MS Degree: Fall 2006
Thesis: Accuracy assessment of high resolution multispectral satellite imagery for remote sensing identification of wetlands and classification of vernal pools in eastern Sacramento County, California.


Makenzie Pierce – 2021
Makenzie examined whether propagation of anti-herbivore defense cues through a common mycorrhizal network can affect herbivore performance

Kathryn Mercier – 2021
Kathryn sought to examine whether plants receiving anti-herbivore defense cues through a common mycorrhizal network experience fitness costs

Chris Fernandez – 2005
Chris investigated whether there is a community-level association between the shrub Toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia) and several oak species near Sweetwater Creek, El Dorado County.

Eddy Morgan – 2004
Eddy compared the effect of stormwater effluent on algal species abundance and richness in the American River, Sacramento County.


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