Science is a human endeavor, which should ideally incorporate a diversity of voices and benefit all. There remains much work to do to reach that ideal. The Turner lab is committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our pursuit of scientific discovery. We encourage an environment of collaboration, open communication, and trust. These principles allow us to innovate and lead to scientific success.

You are welcome here.

Kathryn Turner

Photo by sylvestrephotography.

Dr. Kathryn G. Turner

Principal Investigator

turnkat2[at] / (208) 282-4918

Faculty page

I am a new faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences at Idaho State University. I typically teach BIOL 1100 Concepts of Biology ('Plants and People') in the Fall and BIOL 4417/5517 Organic Evolution in the Spring. In Spring 2022, I will co-teach an honors seminar HONS 3391 The Entangled World of Humans and Plants with Dr. Georgia Hart-Fredeluces. In the future I will teach/co-teach various graduate seminars and bioinformatics short courses. I also lead a Vertically Integrated Project research experience course related to the GEM3 research program (BIOL 2280/4480/5580). See homepage for more information.

For a taste of my sparkling personality, check out the feature on me at Sully Asks A Scientist.

Therese Balkenbush

Image by Therese Balkenbush.

Therese Balkenbush

PhD student


Therese began her PhD work during the fall of 2020. She received her Master's degree from Central Washington University, where she worked on resolving deep relationships in the genus Juniperus, producing a phylogeny using complete and nearly complete chloroplast genomes. She has joined the Turner Lab and GEM3 research program to investigate the adaptive capacity of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) in the context of climate change, altered fire regimes, and human-altered landscapes.

Carson Kantack

Image by Kathryn Turner.

Carson Kantack

MS student


Carson was the very first student to join the lab as a CPI undergraduate in Spring 2020. He is now working on a Masters project addressing how competition from invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) impacts big sagebrush seedlings using a large greenhouse common garden experiment. Carson is interested in pursuing a career with a land agency in the northwest.

Treyton Harris

Treyton joined the lab as an REU undergraduate Summer 2021, and is working on a method to non-destructively estimate the age of big sagebrush, and how this method may vary between environments, as part of the Barton RAPID project. Treyton has also been part of the VIP course.

Andrew Wehausen

Andrew is an undergraduate at the University of Idaho and joined the lab as a GEM3 SARE student during Summer 2021. Andrew is working with Carson Kantack to understand the impact of invasive cheatgrass competition on big sagebrush seedlings.

Lab Alumni

Image by Kathryn Turner.

Miriam Weeks

Miriam graduated with a BS in Biology in Spring 2020. She joined the lab as a CPI student, and was also part of the VIP course. Miriam worked on an experiment to understand the effects of recent fire on the seedbank of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem at Barton Road Ecological Research Area, and produced and incredibly helpful key to identify plants from Barton at the seedling stage. Miriam is interested incorporating native plants into horticulture and is now working for a plant breeder.

Header image: Lupinus texensis, Texas. Image by Kathryn Turner.