Welcome to Sarah Emery's Lab!
I am broadly interested in biodiversity and the dynamics of terrestrial plant communities. My current work focuses on plant-fungus interactions in Great Lakes sand dunes and row-crop agronomic systems. Other related interests include the role of community evenness in ecosystem function, relationships between diversity and compositional stability in grasslands, prairie and savanna restoration, and the management and population dynamics of exotic invasive species.
Soil Ecology and Sustainable Agriculture
Description: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are widespread symbionts of plant roots, and have been shown to help with nutrient uptake in plants. AMF can also improve soil conditions through deposition of glomalin, a protein linked to soil carbon storage. Despite the proven benefits of AMF to plant performance and soil health in natural systems, conventional agronomic practices do not work to take advantage of the many potential benefits provided by AMF. Organic agriculture, however, might make use of the potential benefits of AMF to improve plant performance and soil health under lower nutrient conditions. The REU student will develop a project to compare glomalin concentrations in conventional and organically managed agronomic fields at the Kellogg Biological Station Long Term Ecological Research site. This research will involve intensive lab work, and will be conducted at the University of Louisville, though a trip to the Kellogg Biological Station to present results of research will be required. A $6000 stipend will be provided to cover travel and living expenses. An additional $1000 can be used for research supplies.
Requirements: The REU student should have completed/be in enrolled in courses in biology and ecology, and have a strong interest in pursuing independent research in ecology. To apply, please send a resume/CV, list of relevant classes and grades, and a brief essay explaining your interest in this project and career goals to Dr. Sarah Emery: email@example.com by March 15, 2013. A decision will be made by the end of March. Students in underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.