Our lab's broad interests are in plant-environment interactions, with the goals of understanding the mechanisms shaping plant and microbial community composition and diversity, ecosystem functioning, and system responses to abiotic and biotic environmental changes. Within these broad areas, we are especially interested in the importance of plant-soil and plant-microbe relationships and the role of environmental heterogeneity. We work primarily with herbaceous systems (e.g. prairie, old-field, forest floor) using a combination of experimental and observational approaches.

Research areas:

  • Ecology
  • Microbial Interactions and Pathogenesis

We study plant-environment interactions, seeking to understand the mechanisms shaping vegetation diversity, ecosystem functioning, and community and ecosystem responses to environmental change, and to apply this knowledge to ecological restoration and sustainable agriculture.

My research interests center on plant-environment interactions and their applications to sustainable and resilient cities, prairie and woodland restoration, and sustainable agriculture.


  • Endophytic fungi of switchgrass
  • Reconnecting with place: conserving urban forest habitat
  • Microbial synergies and plant community productivity and diversity
  • Brownfield remediation with prairie plants
  • Soil resource heterogeneity and plant community diversity

Keywords: Plant Community Ecology; Ecology of Plant-Soil-Microbe Interac  

Research Interests:

  • ecology; microbial interactions and pathogenesis

Research Interests:

  • ecology; microbial interactions and pathogenesis
Past Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Indiana University Bloomington

Adjunct Faculty, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, College of Natural Science, Michigan State University (past)

Biological Science
PhD, University of California, Berkeley, Integrative Biology, 1995
MS, University of Connecticut, Plant Ecology, 1990
BS, University of Connecticut, Biology, 1988