Rebecca Hewitt recently finished her PhD with Drs. Terry Chapin and Teresa Hollingsworth at University of Alaska Fairbanks. Her dissertation investigated whether plant-fungal interactions after wildfire influenced seedling establishment at and beyond current treeline. She explored the effects of post-fire mycorrhizal community structure on the physiological performance of treeline seedlings and collaborated with the Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning to investigate the landscape implications of her plot-level studies by implementing a mycorrhizal-submodel in simulations of tree migration using the fire-vegetation-climate model ALFRESCO. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Mack Lab at Northern Arizona University she will investigate the belowground plant traits and plant-fungal interactions that confer access to nitrogen released from thawed permafrost.
Mélanie Jean is currently visiting the Mack Lab to process moss samples for isotope analysis that she collected near Fairbanks, Alaska. Mélanie is a Ph.D. student in Jill Johnstone’s Northern Plant Ecology Lab at the University of Saskatchewan. She is studying the functional role of mosses in driving successional dynamics of boreal forests.
We have been fortunate to find a great group of undergrads to work in the new lab at NAU. They have been working diligently on processing foliar samples collected in Alaska during Summer 2014.
Picture below: Nell Smith and Vincent Ramirez work on grinding foliar samples.