The Lindroth Lab welcomes a new member to the lab, Mark Zierden. Mark is joining the lab after completing a PhD in Bioinorganic chemistry at Temple University where he studied trafficking and function of iron and titanium in organisms. He was also the Department of Chemistry’s mass spectrometrist while at Temple.
Mark will be taking over lab manager duties as well as pursuing some of his own research interests. Mark is interested in how plant chemistry affects decomposition and nutrient cycling. In his free time he enjoys woodworking and kayaking.
Graduate Research Assistantships: Genetic and environmental effects on forest ecosystem function
The research groups of Dr. Eric Kruger, Dr. Erika Marin-Spiotta, and Dr. Rick Lindroth anticipate funding to support two Masters graduate research assistantships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, beginning fall 2019. The focus of our collaborative research is to assess the consequences of disturbance-mediated changes in aspen stand structure and genetic composition for forest ecosystem function. Ecosystem-level processes of interest include net primary productivity, litter decomposition, nitrogen cycling and soil organic matter dynamics.
See here for more details.
The Lindroth Lab is looking for someone excited about being part of a diverse research group that studies plant-insect interactions. The position would entail both lab and field work experiences. If you are interested in working with us, see the following job announcement for details on what the job entails and how to apply: Jobs at UW Posting
The Lindroth lab is happy to welcome two new researchers to the lab from Switzerland, Mike Eisenring and Noreen Giezendanner.
Here they are, already hard at work in the lab:
Noreen received a Bachelor’s degree from the Applied University of North-Western Switzerland. During her thesis she studied the anti-inflammatory potential of saffron corm extracts on human keratinocytes. In order to satisfy her interest in phytochemical assays and to get some more hands-on experience in laboratory work, Noreen conducts a variety of phytochemical and molecular biology analyses in the Lindroth lab. Noreen loves surfing the mountains and sushi.
Mike received a Ph.D. in Agroecology and Entomology from University of Bern, Switzerland in collaboration with Agroscope, the Swiss Federal Agricultural Research Institute. His dissertation focused on the impact of inherent and genetically engineered plant defense mechanisms for plant-herbivore interactions in cotton. In his post-doctoral work Mike studies the potential implications of polyploidy for trembling aspen affected by drought stress and herbivory. In his spare time Mike is interested in fishing, bugs and basketball.
Welcome to Madison Mike and Noreen!
Graduate students Amy Flansburg (MS) and Hilary Barker (PhD) both successfully defended their theses this past spring. We congratulate them on their impressive accomplishments as graduate students and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Amy and Hilary, you will be missed!
Amy’s thesis is entitled “Trembling aspen triploid advantage has a physiological basis with geographic caveats.” She is now working as a biologist at Stantec Consulting, Inc. using herscientific expertise to help create more sustainable infrastructure and facilities projects.
Hilary’s dissertation is entitled “Linking plant genetics and environment to associated insect species and community composition”. She is currently working as a Senior Research Analyst helping to create insight from data to inform education practices and decisions in the Wisconsin Technical College System
The Lindroth lab is excited to have not one, but two undergraduate fellowship proposals awarded for this upcoming academic year. Tommy Matoska and Sam Jaeger, have been awarded the Sophomore Research Fellowship and the Holstrom Environmental Scholarship respectively.
Tommy, a sophomore, is majoring in biology with certificates in Environmental Studies and Global Health. He will be working with Jenn Riehl (a postdoc fellow) on a project entitled: Uncovering the genetic architecture of chemical defense in Populus.
Sam, a senior, is majoring in environmental sciences. He will be working with Clay Morrow (graduate student) on a project entitled: A Test of Plant Allocation Theory: Implications for Plantation Forest Production.
Congratulations to both Sam and Tommy!
Our own Olivia Cope has been awarded second place in a graduate student paper presentation competition (Plant-Insect Interactions section) at the North Central Branch meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Madison, Wisconsin this week.
Her paper entitled “Clonal ramets of trembling aspen do not coordinate defense induction” shows that while clonal ramets of trembling aspen may share resources through vascular connections in their roots, they do not appear to coordinate defense induction through these connections.
Ned Rubert-Nason has successfully published the results from his Aspen Freeze Study in Plant, Cell and Environment. The study showed that vernal freeze damage to aspen alters phytochemistry and plant-insect interactions (indicated by faster reproduction of aphids on trees with prior damage).
These results suggest that even a single damaging vernal freeze event can have long term consequences for plant-insect interactions through effects on plant growth and chemistry. Additionally, variable responses among genotypes suggests that increases in the frequency of vernal freeze events, like those predicted to occur in temperate regions, could influence natural selection.
Much research has focused on immediate effects of climate change consequences for forest tree health, so this study helps fill a gap concerning cascading effects on trees and their associated communities as a result of a changing climate.
Our own Amy Flansburg has been selected as the recipient of the Forest and Wildlife Ecology Department’s George Kress Award for Outstanding Contribution of a Forestry Graduate Student (and she receives $1000!). The award is given to a graduate student who has gone above and beyond contributing to the department’s mission “to provide science-based research, instruction, and extension that supports forest management in an ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable fashion”. Amy took on the sole responsibility of teaching Forest Ecology last fall and has been an advocate for undergraduate students in the department.
Michael Falk, a recently graduated master’s student, won first place in the student 10 minute paper competition (General Ecology section) at the Entomological Society of America Meeting in November 2017. His paper was entitled, “Genetic variation in aspen (Populus tremuloides) phytochemical patterns structure windows of opportunity for gypsy moth larvae.”