Devin Leopold is a community ecologist who currently studies the ecological and evolutionary processes that affect the assembly and function of plant-associated microbial communities. His PhD research with Tadashi Fukami at Stanford University focused on fungi associated with the roots of a single ericaceous plant across a 4.1 million year soil chronosequence in the Hawaiian Islands. Using a combination of field surveys and laboratory experiments, he investigated how soil substrate age and shared evolutionary history affect the composition and structure of fungi co-occurring within a root system. As a postdoctoral research in the Busby Lab, Devin will be studying endophyte-pathogen interactions and the role of host genetics as a driver of fungal community assembly in the Populus Trichocarpa leaf microbiome.







Maggie Wagner is a plant biologist and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow working on interactions between plant genes, microbiome composition, and disease resistance in maize breeding populations (a collaborative project with Peter Balint-Kurti). As a Ph.D. student in the lab of Tom Mitchell-Olds at Duke University, she studied the evolutionary ecology of complex trait plasticity and host genetic control over leaf and root microbiomes in the wild perennial mustard Boechera stricta.






shawnShawn Brown is a cross-domain microbial ecologist working on understanding the mechanisms of community assembly.  Shawn did his PhD with Ari Jumpponen at Kansas State University working on microbial primary successional dynamics of a recently deglaciated forefront and the ecology of snow algae and associated fungi and bacteria. He also has worked as a postdoc at the University of Illinois (Jim Dalling and Katy Heath) investigating aquatic wood decomposition succession across salinity gradients in the Tropics. Currently he is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Busby lab working on host-genetic mechanisms of endophytic community assembly in the model tree Populus Trichocarpa


Graduate students

edphotoEd Barge has broad interests in fungal evolution, ecology, systematics, biogeography, and plant pathology. His Master’s research at Montana State University under Dr. Cathy Cripps focused on filling some gaps in this knowledge through an investigation of systematics, biogeography and ecology of arctic-alpine members of the ectomycorrhizal genus Lactarius. His Ph.D. research in the Busby lab will focus on studying the evolution and ecology of plant-fungal interactions in the Populus trichocarpa system. He uses molecular techniques to explore foliar fungal community ecology, population genomics/phylogenomics, and plant-pathogen-endophyte interactions. This research will lead to a better understanding of the evolutionary and ecological roles fungi play in forest and agricultural ecosystems.

Undergraduate students

Gillian Bergmann is an OSU Honors College student studying bioresources and sustainable ecosystems. For her NSF REU project she is investigating seed endophytes of Populus trichocarpa and Pseudotsuga menziesii.