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.
Elizabeth Kimbrough is a Ph.D. student who studies bacterial and fungal endophytes of baldcypress throughout the southeastern US.
Her research interests also include tropical ecology, coastal restoration, botany, lichens, bryophytes and conservation biology. For more from Liz, check out her writing webpage.
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 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.
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).