Who We Are

Jen Schweitzer

My research program focuses on the eco-evolutionary linkages between plants, soils, soil communities and ecosystem processes. I focus on the complex interactions and feedbacks between above- and belowground processes in a variety of global change contexts, most recently fire, urbanization and climate change.
Email: Jen.Schweitzer@utk.edu

 Kendall Beals

I am interested in bridging mechanistic dynamics of above- and below-ground trait linkages in plant-soil feedbacks to better understand variation in plant functional responses on the landscape. I currently work with Solidago spp. (Goldenrod) to investigate the role of soil microbial communities on mediating plant trait variation. Outside of the lab, I’m often hiking in the Appalachians or on the tennis court.
Email: kbeals2@utk.vols.edu
Webpage: http://kendallbeals.com/ecoevo 

Sarah-Jayne Love

I am interested in using island-like systems to examine species range shifts, genetic drift and phenological changes, as well as aboveground-belowground interactions between tree host and microbes. I currently work with Populus angustifolia in the western United States in the Madrean sky islands. When not in the lab, I am outside climbing, hiking with my partner & poodle, or plein air painting in a beautiful location!
Email: sarah.j.brawner@gmail.com
Webpage: http://sarahjbrawner.wixsite.com 

Ashlynn Hord

I am interested in examining how fire and urbanization alter plant functional traits, soil microbial communities, and plant soil feedbacks. I’m also interested in thinking about how these changes might impact ecological resilience. When I’m not working I enjoy hiking with my partner and our two dogs or curling up with a good book.
Email: ahord1@utk.vols.edu

Sophia Turner

I am interested in dissecting the mechanistic change and effect that various global change scenarios have on multitrophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. I will be using an experimental context to examine the top down effects of pollinator removal, as well as the bottom up effects of a biological invasion on a Solidago (Goldenrod) dominated community. Beyond my primary research focus, I am also interested in science communication and finding creative ways to make science accessible to all audiences. When I am not working, I’ll likely be cycling, hiking or snapping photos, generally in the mountains.
Email: sturne62@utk.vols.edu

Former lab members

Liam Mueller

PhD 2019
Current Position: Assistant Teaching Professor, Univ. CA-San Diego
Email: lomueller@ucsd.edu

Rachel Wooliver

PhD 2018
Current position: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Jagadamma and Kivlin Labs, University of Tennessee
Email: rwoolive@icloud.com
Webpage: http://rwoolive.wix.com/rachelwooliver

Alix Pfennigwerth

MS 2017
Current position: U.S. National Park Service
Email: alix.pfennigwerth@nps.gov

Michael Van Nuland

PhD 2017
Current position: Post-doctoral researcher, Peay Lab, Stanford University
Email: mvannula@stanford.edu
Webpage: http://michaelvannuland.com/

Mark Genung

PhD 2012, co-advised with Joe Bailey
Current position: Asst. Prof., University of Louisiana-Lafayette
Email: mark.a.genung@gmail.com
Webpage: http://markgenungecology.com/

Emmi Felker-Quinn

PhD 2012
Current position: National Park Service
Email: felkerquinn@gmail.com

Clara Pregitzer

MS 2010
Current position: Deputy Director of Conservation Science, Natural Areas Conservancy
Email: clara.pregitzer@gmail.com

Some of the many fantastic undergraduate researchers who have worked in the lab!

Katherine Reed (2020-present)
Emma Kruse (2020-present)
Alivia Nytko (2020-present)
Alexandra Scearce (2019-2021)
Alex Swystun (2018-2019)
Jordan Reed (2019-2020)
Kassie Hollobough (2018-2019)
Terrell Carter (2016-2018)
Ik-Han Noh (2016-2018)
Amber Odum (2015-2016)
Peter Meidl (2013-2015)
Caroline Daws (2013-2015)
Charles Witt (2015)
Hannah Long (2012-2013)
Kelli McLane (2012)
Danny Lusk (2011)
Naeko Omomo (2011)
John Senior (2011)
Devin Jones (2009-2010)
Brett Ashenfelter (2008-2011)
Nicole Hergott (2008-2010)
Derek Dawson (2008-2010)
Logan Elmore (2008-2009)
Emily Giles (2007)