research focuses on ecological, evolutionary, and biogeographic
determinants of species distributions. We do this by measuring
physiological, morphological, and anatomical functional traits across
many species. We are located in the Department of Biological Sciences
at George Washington University.
spring the lab was busy working on papers and grants, prepping
microcosm experiments, writing pipelines, measuring wood chemistry,
monitoring fungal fruiting body production in the field while we got
ready for the summer field season. In addition some of the lab's past
work has recieved public recognition, like in the minute earth video
below. Lots of good news to share. Amy M passed her proposal defense,
Mariya received the NSF GRFP and Brad was lead on a lab group paper on
wood hardness. Congratulations to all! So far this summer, we have
visited field sites in MO, MD, and WI with further sites in NSW, QLD,
and NT, Australia to follow. We completed the major harvests of the Tyson rot plot experiments and added in new experiments with Tom Crowther and Kris Covey
from Yale. Lots of rot happened in 5 years! Go fungi, insects, and
whatever likes to take big bites out of logs. While in St. Louis, we
got to see old lab friends such as Kevin and Maranda and meet up with
won 1st prize in the Microbiology section in the Senior Division at the
DC STEM fair for her project "Species Differences in Leaf Decomposition
and Microbial Communities". Below is a video that Jordan made
about her project. Jordan will start her freshman year at the
University of Virginia this fall.
finished analyzing the first round of microbial community data and is
working on writing up the results before starting grad school at UMBC
Amy M got to catch up with old friends and re-visit
the North Woods in Wisconsin, and completed the fourth year harvest of
an experiment looking at the effects of forest management on wood
decomposition rates and fungal diversity. Surveys of fruiting fungi at
SERC are on-going, and she is looking forward to an exciting fall of
microcosms and teaching scientific writing skills to students enrolled
in Introductory Microbiology!
Brad lead a lab paper on
changes in wood hardness during decay that came out earlier this year
in Forest Ecology and Management. Papers on vessel length and
mycorrhizal associations are in the pipeline. Besides making sure
his publication list is as eclectic as possible, Brad is looking
forward to teaching Intro BIO at GWU this fall, and developing new
projects and collaborations.
Oyomoare published the first
chapter of her dissertation in the May 2014 issue of American Journal
of Botany! She looks forward to sharing interesting results from her
fourth chapter in ESA 2014, Sacramento, which show that turnover rates
in stem number and species composition are increasing in forests in
Kibale National Park, Uganda, regardless of logging history. She also
plans to have an exciting fall teaching General Biology lab at UMSL and
analyzing the anatomical trait dataset she has collected on 20 Panama
tree species to investigate how variation in anatomical traits
influence species growth, mortality, and decomposition rates.
spent much of the spring analyzing and writing about connections
between wood chemistry and microbial enzyme activity levels in samples
from the 2012 harvest of the Tyson Research Center rot plot experiment.
She is currently working at Tyson Research Center to wrap up
several decay experiments, but she is looking forward to returning to
GWU in July with a new crop of samples in hand.
will miss Jordan and Mariya when they leave us for undergraduate and
graduate school this fall but are excited to track their progress from
afar. Good luck! We look forward to Luke McCormack, Simon Uribe-Convers, and Nathan English spending time with the lab over the next few months. Welcome!