Lab Personnel

Dr. Catherine Gehring photo

Kitty Gehring

Professor
Department of Biological Sciences 
Northern Arizona University

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>> Department web page

Kitty is interested in how fungi and plants interact with one another and with other biotic (e.g., insects, vertebrates, neighboring plants) and abiotic forces in the environment (e.g., warming, drying climate). She pursues these interests using field experiments, including common gardens, greenhouse experiments, and a variety of laboratory methods including molecular approaches.

Courses

  • Honors Section of Introductory Biology for majors (BIO 181)
  • Mycology (BIO 411/511), including laboratory
  • Principles of Ecology (BIO 326)
  • Genes to Environment Graduate Course (team-taught)
  • Biology of Invasive Species (BIO 300)

Julia Brough Hull

Julia Brough Hull

Doctoral Student
Department of Biological Sciences

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Julia's research goals are to elucidate the interactions of fungal endophytes, arthropods, and their host plants. Specifically, she seeks to address the following question: Do fungal endophytes aid woody host plants in defending themselves from herbivores and pathogens?

Andrew Krohn photo

Andrew Kohn

Doctoral Student
Department of Biological Sciences

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Andy is interested in how the soil microbiome relates to the health of host plants. He is currently investigating the rhizosphere microbiome of genetically distinct pinyon pines under different moisture regimes within a common garden environment. The results of this work will help to establish the relative contributions of biotic or abiotic factors in recruitment of rhizosphere microbiome constituents among drought-stressed pinyon pines. In addition to microbiome work, Andy enjoys developing new strategies that employ molecular techniques to address ecological questions.

Christine Mitchell

Christine Mitchell

Graduate Student
Department of Biological Sciences

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Christine’s research focuses on the use of mycorrhizal fungi to restore ecosystems damaged by non-native plant species. Specifically, she is working within sagebrush ecosystems that have been invaded by cheatgrass, a rapidly growing annual grass that has led to ecosystem degradation and altered fire regimes in sagebrush habitat. These altered fire regimes combined with changes in soil microbial communities in invaded habitats make it difficult for native plants to re-establish and remain successful. Christine is working toward determining whether native sagebrush steppe plant communities can be successfully restored through the re-introduction of native mycorrhizal communities.

Adair Patterson

Adair Patterson

Technician

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Adair's research focuses on pinyon pine mycorrhizal fungal associations with an emphasis on mycorrhizal genetics. Most of her work is done at Sunset Crater, where a long-term drought brought on by climate change has affected several tree species, including pinyon pine. Adair is examining pinyon mycorrhizae in this extreme environment to assess the effects of mycorrhizal symbiosis and genetics on pinyon growth and success. Additionally, Adair also works on a variety of other projects involving cottonwoods, sagebrush, and ponderosa pine.