I am a forest fungal ecologist with research interests in the role of mycorrhizal fungi in forests, and metals in the environment. I have research projects investigating metals in edible wild mushrooms, and the role of mycorrhizal fungi in promoting survival of conifer seedlings in harsh sites, including field studies of the Elwha dam removal revegetation effort and Mt St Helens successional processes. I also use DNA sequencing to identify market substitution of farmed Atlantic salmon for Pacific salmon in stores and restaurants. Currently my main focus is on inclusive excellence and broadening participation in STEM, and I am the Director of the ACCESS in STEM program and lead a research project examining self-efficacy, sense of belonging, and motivation in STEM.
Before coming to UW Tacoma I was a post-doctoral researcher in the Systematic Botany and Mycology Lab of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. There I worked on nomenclature and taxonomy of invasive plant pathogens and helped to develop a database covering all published fungal species, searchable at http://nt.ars-grin.gov/fungaldatabases/index.cfm. I did my Ph.D. research at UW Seattle in the College of Forest Resources. I studied the effects of forest harvesting on ectomycorrhizal fungi of Douglas-fir seedlings and trees, in the Cedar River and Green River, the watersheds of Seattle and Tacoma, respectively.
I teach Introductory Biology (primarily Bio 3, TBIOL 140), Forest Ecology Field Studies (TBIOL432), Junior Research Seminars, and the Environmental Research Experience (TESC495).
I enjoy hiking, climbing, sea kayaking, and biking.