Specialty: Plant and soil genetics
My research program focuses on plant genomics and agricultural microbiomes. We use next-generation DNA sequencing technologies to characterize germplasm and to identify genes involved in plant stress response/other important agricultural traits. Emerging projects involve drought-tolerance in peanuts and native grass species.
Microbiological projects are diverse, and include 1) efforts to characterize and mitigate environmental impacts from high intensity agricultural production on soil/water microbiomes and the resistome, 2) microbial source tracking in marine and fresh waters, 3) niche microbial community dynamics in response to altered agricultural practices (e.g., cropping systems, amendments, herbicides).
Interactions between plants/microbes is also a focus, with projects focused on isolating beneficial endophytes and characterizing their impacts on germination, persistence, and stress resistance of native and cultivated plants.