The Evans Lab studies how microscopic organisms - bacteria, fungi, and archaea - function and respond to their environment. We are interested in how microbes respond to disturbances and stress, and what factors alter the diversity of microbial communities, as well as the ecosystem functions that microbes carryout, like cycling nutrients and facilitating plant growth. We assess these processes using a combination of ecosystem and theoretical modeling, field manipulations, and biogeochemical and molecular methods in the laboratory. Since microbes are essentially everywhere, knowledge of how these tiny organisms operate can help us better predict ecosystem responses to global change, optimize ecosystem services, and understand the importance of microbes for the many larger organisms they are associated with.
January 2017: Lots of winter travel to warmer places - Heather heads to Rice University to learn synthetic biology techniques in the Silberg and Masiello labs (see pictures). And Robert is fog chasing and checking on his UV-shelters in the Namib until mid-February.
December 2016: We are moving the molecular side of labwork into the new Molecular Ecology and Genomics Laboratory at KBS (2nd floor stack). The Evans lab is committed to getting Fitbit steps in.
November 2016: Kathryn and Will head to Qatar to for the World Congress on Undergraduate Research to present their summer work on exudate chemistry and N cycling.
October 2016: MMPRNT all-project retreat, held at KBS's Spruce Lodge, was a great success. And congratulations to Tayler Chicoine for being featured on IBIO website for her fellowship!
September 2016: check out grad student Robert Logan's blog post about our fieldwork in Namibia this summer -
August 2016: Kelechi and Kathryn present their posters at the KBS undergraduate research symposium- Wednesday August 3rd, 3:30-5:30
June 2016: Sarah and Robert join collaborators Kathy and Peter Jacobson for fieldwork in the Namib Desert, Namibia. Photos coming soon, check out Robert's website for a few.
Will West presents an invited talk at the ASLO (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography) conference about his work on methane emissions.
May 2016: a belated welcome to the awesome undergrads working in the Evans Lab this summer: Kathryn Bloodworth, Kalechi Ukachukwu, Ellen James, and
Ben Dougherty. All have jumped right in to the lab fray!
Also, we are excited to finally have Robert and Heather at KBS!
April 2016: Congrats to Tayler Chicoine for her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to study plant-microbe interactions, and to Robert Logan for being awarded a Lauff and Porter research scholarship for his summer field work in Namibia!
Our new DOE-funded project on nitrogen cycling and plant and microbial dynamics in marginal lands has a website. Check it out (and great job, Steve).
March 2016: Tayler Chicoine and Steve Gougherty join the lab! see People for the full gang
February 2016: Sarah gives a seminar at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in early February, and another later that month at Western Michigan University - and met a lot of really great people.