We are investigating why saltmarshes in the Northeastern U.S. are collapsing after long-term exposure to elevated nutrients (Photo credit: Caitlyn Bauer).
We are identifying the genes that are involved in the function of orchid mycorrhizas so we can better understand how plants and fungi interact to form functional mycorrhizal associations.
We are following the genetic trail left by invading Phragmites australis to understand what factors have promoted invasion by this non-native wetland plant.
Since the 1960s, a non-native lineage of the common reed, Phragmites australis (commonly called Phragmites), has been taking over wetlands across North America.
Non-native Phragmites australis is now a dominant species in much of the Chesapeake Bay. We are determining how land use has affected its spread.
Non-native earthworms dominate the soil of many mid-Atlantic forests. We are investigating how they affect they mycorrhizal associations that plants depend on.
We are investigating how the identity of the mycorrhizal fungi associated with the orchid Corallorhiza odontorhiza affect its ability to tolerate climate variation.
We are working to identify bacteria that live within orchid mycorrhizal fungi and to determine how they affect mycorrhizal function.
In North America, more than 60% of the approximately 210 known species are threatened or endangered in some part of their range of distribution and a number of species have been extirpated in some states.
We are working to determine the effect of prescribed burns on Helonias bullata (swamp pink).
Protecting orchids means also protecting the mycorrhizal fungi they need to grow. We are working to understand the role mycorrhizal fungi play in orchid conservation.