Principle Investigator, Data Wrangler, Cruise Director, Grant Writer, Computer Programmer, Microbial Culture Technician, Cheerleader, Coffee Maker…
Jerry came to visit the laboratory for his Sabbatical from nearby Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he is a faculty member in the Biology Department. Jerry’s past research has been in the diversity of plant endophytes, which is still a research focus for him, but he spends more research time on understanding the role of microorganisms in honey bee colony health. He’s been an incredible addition to the lab and we’re so happy that he has continued to be involved in laboratory activities long after his Sabbatical year ended.
Graciela, an alumnus of the Plant Pathology Department at UNL, has long been active in various laboratories in the department. For many years she worked closely with Professor Jim Steadman. She is also affiliated with Amit Mitra’s laboratory where she continues dry bean research, and she has recently joined the Herr Lab as a research visiting scientist during the summer. She is currently studying the specificity and diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with dry beans and she addresses her research questions using amplicon and metatranscriptomic techniques. Her summer work in the lab is funded from a research grant from the Nebraska Dry Bean Growers Association. Most of the year she is a plant pathologist and researcher at the Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales in the Dominican Republic. Outside of the laboratory, she enjoys doing God’s work, taking care of animals and searching for shopping bargains. She keeps the laboratory stocked with quality coffee and chocolate.
Fungi interact with a myriad of organisms, including bacteria, birds, insects, and other fungi. Her research interests include using field studies and computational approaches to better understand the ecological mechanisms that govern these interspecific interactions in natural settings. Currently, she is studying fungal-associated bacterial communities, the ash bolete-ash aphid symbiosis and the mycoparasite Entoloma abortivum. Rachel joined the Herr lab as a postdoc in August of 2019. Before that, she was in the lab of Dr. M. Catherine Aime at Purdue University, where she studied a novel tropical dispersal mutualism involving fungi. Rachel has just vacated the laboratory to take a research position at the University of Connecticut. We’re still keeping her listed here because she has a few papers still in the works!
Emma is an undergraduate researchers who came to our lab with Jerry Bricker from Nebraska Wesleyan University. She’s taken on numerous projects! She presented on her work characterizing the soil microbial communities of a long-term grassland ecosystem at the end of summer 2019 and she has continued this work since then.
Ashley graduated from the University of Utah with a B.Sc. degree in Biology. Since starting the Complex Biosystems Graduate Degree program at UNL in Fall 2015 she has enjoyed exploring the jungle beneath our feet - investigating microbial diversity and function in soil environments in order to better understand the underlying processes that shape soil health in agroecosystems. In addition to her interests in studying microbial community ecology, Ashley also enjoys teaching and has developed skills as an instructional designer and educator. Her teaching goals are founded on empowering students to achieve tangible outcomes and promote student-driven learning in discipline specific areas by balancing traditional lecture with active learning approaches. Since summer 2018 Ashley has served on the CASNR strategic framework graduate student committee and has recently led the development of a digital badge for inclusive excellence. This effort aims to reach current students, faculty, and staff, as well as the broader community in order to provide opportunities for cultivating awareness, dialogue, and self-reflection about diversity, equity, and inclusion in personal and professional contexts. As a queer woman in science, participating in the mission to develop workshops and expand diversity and inclusion programming at UNL has been a powerful personal experience.
Carrie Brown - Graduate Student - Complex Biosystems
2015 - 2016
Subsequently: Carrie is now the Outreach and Training Specialist the Holland Computing Center
Alex Corrigan - Summer REU Student from Virginia Tech
2019 - 2019
Ann Buchmann, Ph.D. - Sabbatical Professor from Chadron State College
2019 - 2019
Shamira Gonzalez - Summer REU Student from The University of Miami
2018 - 2018
2018 - 2019
Subsequently: Undergraduate at Carlton College
2018 - 2019
Subsequently: Undergraduate at Duke University
2018 - 2018
Subsequently: Undergraduate at Harvard University