November 2014

Our laboratory hosted a Girls in Science and Technology (GiST) workshop on Saturday Nov. 8; the girls isolated and took home some pet endophytes to watch them grow. We are also developing a symbiosis game for our high school presentations – we’re loving Kim’s name for the game – “I Can’t Live Without You!”

October 2014

More baldcypress endophyte collections! We have started our greenhouse experiments with live and sterile soil. Congrats to Josh Lerner and Lina Tran who have won a CELT award to fund their work in the spring semester.

September 2014

In September we have been sampling the leaves and roots of baldcypress trees! Lots of mud! We also took a lab camping trip at Tickfaw State Park (link). We had lots of fun times at the camp and on the Tickfaw River.

August 2014

We are pleased to welcome Liz Kimbrough to our lab as a new Ph.D. student! She has received a Louisiana Board of Regents Fellowship. She comes to us after receiving her B.A. from Humboldt University and working at You can read more about Liz here: (Liz bio)

We are also pleased that Casey Gu, who has formerly been a volunteer, is now in the lab as a 4+1 masters degree intern.

July 2014

Congratulations to Peter Tellez for completing his OTS course in Costa Rica and also for winning first place in this science communication video!! Besides working on the film’s production, Peter is featured as the ant excavator and “The Sugar Daddy.”

June 2014

In Panama, Peter was up in the canopy beginning his leaf traits study, while Kim was digging up dirt to begin her Jatropha curcas study in the Azuero peninsula. link

Back in Louisiana, we had a lot of fun cruising on airboats, trudging through the mud and sampling bald cypress trees! link

May 2014

A huge and enthusiastic CONGRATULATIONS to Kim Mighell, who was offered an EPA STAR Fellowship this month! We’re very happy for you Kim!

Congratulations to Jennifer Janowsky, who has won the Louisiana BOR SURE fellowship to conduct research in our laboratory this summer, on the endophytes of bald cypress trees.

Demetra, Mae & Sunshine joined our collaborator Gary Shaffer from Southeastern Louisiana University to locate cypress trees at his field site (photos).

This month Sunshine, Peter, Kim and Emma are off to Panama; while Mae, Demetra and Jennifer keep the Louisiana research going!

Congratulations to our graduates on May 17 (photo); Taryn Farber, Stephen Suchy and Jordan Hoffmann! Thank you for your contributions and best wishes in the future!

April 2014

Tulane undergraduate, Jennifer Janowsky was awarded funds from the Honor’s college to work in our lab this summer. She will help with our first collections of endophytes from bald cypress trees. Congrats!

Emma Tower and Taryn Farber are presenting a poster summarizing our lab’s research at the CELT Research Day on April 22.

Sunshine went to Costa Rica to teach a Tulane course; Tropical Agroecology, at CIAPA; see photos page.

Our endophyte research was mentioned in an article about the oil spill recovery in;

March 2014

A big welcome to Mae Berlow, our new laboratory manager!

Adrianne Kartachak joined the lab as a volunteer; welcome!

February 2014

New paper published from our work in Panama: Estrada, C., Rojas, E., Wcislo, W., and S. A. Van Bael. 2014. Fungal endophyte effects on leaf chemistry alter the in vitro growth rates of leaf-cutting ants’ fungal mutualist, Leucocoprinus gongylophorus. Fungal Ecology 8, 37-45. See our publications page for the pdf!

Two new undergraduate volunteers joined the lab: Welcome to Casey Gu and Ryan Wolfe.