Sunshine Van Bael

Dr. Sunshine Van Bael’s laboratory studies community ecology with emphases on symbioses and plant-animal interactions. Broadly, we are interested in how plants, animals and fungi become involved in symbioses with other organisms to feed themselves and defend themselves from enemies. We are involved in projects in Panama and in the southeastern US that include microbial ecology, chemical ecology, biodiversity conservation, coastal restoration and agroecology.

Peter Tellez

Peter Tellez is a visiting professor who studies interactions between leaf characteristics and endophyte communities in tropical forest plants. His research interests also include insect-plant-fungal interactions, chemical ecology, and bacterial symbionts of Spartina alterniflora in Louisiana.

Stephen Formel

Steve Formel is a Ph.D. student who studies bacterial and fungal endophytes of coastal plants. His research interests include plant-endophyte interactions, coastal wetlands and restoration, microscopy, RNA regulation, and a little bit of everything else.

Mareli Sanchez

Mareli Sanchez is a Ph.D. student interested in how fungal endophytes and root mycorrhizal fungi help non-halophytic plants deal with salinity stress, as well as the role of mycorrhizal fungi in forest restoration. Broadly, her research interests are tropical ecology, wetland ecology, mycology, biogeography, and soil biochemistry.

Bolívar Aponte-Rolón

Bolívar Aponte-Rolón is a Ph.D. student interested in studying bacterial and fungal endophytic communities in tropical forests and mangrove ecosystems. His research interests are, broadly, tropical ecology, agroecology, mycology and myrmecology.

Bek Markel

Bek Markel is a 4+1 master's student whose research interests include conservation biology, wetlands ecology, entomology, and marine ecology

Undergraduates 2019

Lucy Murray (left), Molly Duncan (right)

Undergraduates 2017

From left to right; Julia Simon, Steven Medina, Rebecca Wang, Brittany Maldonado, Meg Maurer, Rachel Froehlich, Clare Lister, Trey Hendrix, Sunshine Van Bael. (Not pictured: Callie Oliver, Max Berdik, Caroline Faircloth).

Lab alumni

Gone but not forgotten! Much gratitude to our lab alumni! Demetra Kandalepas, Stephen Suchy, Jordan Hoffman, Taryn Farber, Ryan Wolfe, Matthew Moore, George Washburn, Casy Gu, Joshua Lerner, Kathalina Tran, James Sebes, Elaine Broussard, Ivana Levy, Keiana Cave, Mallory Kiefer, Rebecca Flournoy, Aurora Duncan, Alison Harrington, Kaylee Arnold, Brittany Bernik, Alexander Freeman, Jennifer Janowsky, Amelia Lormand, Emma Darr, Miranda Hendrix, Emma Tower, Kimberly Mighell, Erin Chapman, Candice Lumibao, Lorena Torres-Martinez, Trey Hendrix, Rebecca Wang, Rachel Froehlich, Alexandra Greengrass, Jacklyn Drewry, Max Berdik, Carolyn Babendreier, Brittany Maldonado, Julia Simon, Clare Lister, Meg Maurer, Steven Medina, Callie Oliver, Elizabeth Kimbrough