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 carry out, 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.
Sarah tweets (sometimes)
May 2018: WELCOME to Holly (new lab manager/MMPRNT coordinator), and a clan of great summer undergrads! See People or photos from our summer kickoff BBQ to meet these folks!
MMPRNT kicked off the field season and have so far endured near-freezing temps, thunderstorms, and 95 degree days. See MMPRNT website for updates.
Congrats to Robert on his MSU Hensley Fellowship!
Mar 2018: Lots of updates!
Jan 2018: Happy new year! This month, we had to say goodbye to Kevin, a charter member of the Evans Lab and just a great person to have around. Thank you, and you will be missed. With Kevin's departure we have been brushing up on lab organization and everyone has been great at contributing to this.
Congrats and good luck to Steve as he interviews for grad schools this season, and congratulations to both Steve and Heather on paper submissions
Belated congrats to Robert Logan, PhD Candidate, for passing his comps in December (and presenting at AGU immediately after).
Nov 2017: Sarah heads to University of Michigan for a seminar in their EEB department.
Oct 2017: Welcome to Corinn Rutkoski who started this month as a new lab technician on the MMPRNT project (after surviving her first day of taking soil cores in the rain). Shannon Carvey and YJ Su have also been making amazing progress on MMPRNT samples this fall. Thanks
Sarah gives a talk at the local (Chief Noonday) chapter of the North Country Trail Association
Sept 2017: Sarah and Robert tag-team for a talk on their Namib Desert work at the African Studies Center seminar series. Great questions from a diversity audience and good to see old friends and previous lab members!
June 2017: Summer projects and fieldwork kickoff! Check out new People. Sarah heads to Soil Ecology Society meeting/Soil Health Summit.
We are working with Bethany Bohlen (KBS) this summer to create a video about the MMPRNT switchgrass-N project. Stay tuned for a box office hit!
Julia Ferguson graciously designed a beautiful lab logo for us! We will soon cover the website (and ALL things) with it.
May 2017: Farewell to Will West - Thank you for all your hard work and help in building the lab. We wish you well on next steps doing much-needed work on science ed and diversity!
Two new members are joining in early May: postdoc Lukas Bell-Dereske (from the Rudgers lab at University of New Mexico) and lab technician Daniela Herrera (recent grad of Loyola Univ in Chicago). Gearing up for REU and URA arrivals May 21.
April 2017: Robert and Heather travel to the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies to talk fog biology with Kathleen Weathers, Eli Dueker, and Barbara Han.
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.