JasonDr. Jason Hoeksema, Associate Professor

Jason's research, and research in the Hoeksema Lab, addresses questions regarding the ecological and evolutionary consequences of species interactions (such as mutualism, parasitism and competition) on populations and communities, with a focus on interactions between plants and mycorrhizal fungi. A list of publications that represent Jason's work can be found here. Jason teaches courses in ecology, evolution, statistics (BISC 504), microbiology (BISC 210), mycology (BISC 502), and Ornithology (BISC 334). He also occasionally leads mushroom field trips for the public--check out this video from a foray at the nearby Strawberry Plains Audubon Center: link.


Research and Post-doctoral Associates

TiffanyTiffany Bensen, Ph.D.

Tiffany is interested in multi-trophic interactions involving plants and below- and above-ground organisms, especially within the context of sustainable agricultural systems.  Publications of Tiffany's work can be found here. Additionally, Tiffany teaches human biology (BISC 102) and ecology and the environment (BISC 104) for non-biology majors at Ole Miss.

MeganMegan Rua, Ph.D.

Megan is broadly interested in host responses to the interaction of multiple microbes. In particular, she primarily investigates the interaction of plants with a suite of microbes in both natural and agricultural settings. As plants often host multiple microbes at the same time, interactions between these microbes are important in determining plant performance.  In turn, these interactions are also altered by climate changes. Therefore, predicting the effects of climate change on ecosystems may require that we understand how changes to the existing climate alter the strength and nature of multiple, co-occurring species interactions. For more information, go to Megan's website.


Graduate Students

[Chase photo]Chase Bailey (Master's)

Chase is investigating the contribution of common mycorrhizal networks to spatial patterns of oak seedling recruitment in upland hardwood forests. Chase is co-advised by Dr. Stephen Brewer.



KrisMariah Meachum (Master's)

Mariah is investigating variation in ectomycorrhizal interactions at multiple scales: the factors that drive variation in nutrient exchange rates (C:N, C:P) between Monterey pines and particular mycorrhizal fungi, as well as the environmental factors that drive variation in community composition of ectomycorrhizal and other fungi associated with roots of longleaf pine. Watch Mariah's award-winning 3-minute thesis (3MT) summary here: link.


BridgetBridget Piculell (PhD)

Bridget is using experiments with loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) to explore the structure and consequences of genetic correlations among complex plant traits, including mycorrhizal and disease resistance traits. Her undergraduate honors thesis from John Thompson's lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was published in BMC Biology in 2008 (link). Watch Bridget's award-winning 3-minute thesis (3MT) summary here: link. For more information, see Bridget's CV.


AnnAnn Rasmussen (PhD)

Ann is a fellow in our USDA-funded graduate training program in forest restoration ecology (link). She is investigating influences of forest management practices on community composition and function of mycorrhizal fungi, including the interplay between ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions on oak seedlings.


Undergraduate Students

Michelle Ha (2013- ), John Culbertson (2014- ), Ashley Parker (2014- ), Sarah Steele (2013- ), and Barbara Van (2014- )


Lab Alumni

Buki Alabi (undergraduate, 2008-2011)

Amber Arrington (undergraduate, 2008, McNair Summer Research Program)

Becky Brasher (undergraduate, 2010-2011, Honors thesis)

Anjel Craig (MS, 2010, USDA Forest Restoration graduate training program)

Shakaree Hale (undergraduate, 2011, McNair Summer Research Program)

Kristopher Hennig (MS, 2011)

Anna Herd (undergraudate, 2012-2013)

Nicole Hergott (MS, 2013)

Vanesha Jaiswal (undergraduate, 2011)

Justine Karst (post-doctoral scholar, 2007-2009, now a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Alberta; publication list)

Eugene Lukienko (undergraduate, 2009-2011, Honors thesis)

Ana Michaelis (undergraduate, 2013-2014)

Justin Murphy (undergraduate, 2009-2010)

Terry Nguyen (undergraduate, 2010)

Darjai Paine (undergraduate, 2010, McNair Summer Research Program)

Chigozie Udemgba (undergraduate, 2008, Summer Research Institute for Undergraduates)

T.C. Unigwe (undergraduate, 2009-2010, NIH Summer Undergraduate Intern in 2009).

Lily Van (undergraduate, 2013)

Shannis Woods (undergraduate, 2011, Summer Research Institute for Undergraduates)

BridgetMichael G. Booth

Michael was a great friend and an inspiring and brilliant collaborator. Our collaborations included testing the influence of mycorrhizal networks on plant-plant interactions in forests (Booth & Hoeksema 2010), elucidating the importance for plants of functional diversity among ectomycorrhizal fungal species (NSF award # 1119865), and characterizing soil fungal communities using a meta-genomics approach. Michael taught at Principia College and was also a research scientist at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. In September, 2011, Michael left this world far too early, and we miss him greatly.