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Current Members

Ko-Hsuan Chen

Postdoctoral associate

E-mail:; Lab phone: 850-875-7197

Ko-Hsuan completed her M.S. program in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at National Taiwan University. She started to work with fungal endophyte as her PhD program in Dr. Francois Lutzoni's lab at Duke University, NC. She is a mycologist interested in how fungi interact with their hosts and environments, and how these interactions shape the evolutionary history, diversity and functional ecology of fungi. Her PhD thesis focused on the evolution of fungal endophytes and their functional transitions using the perennial moss - Dicranum scoparium as the model. To approach these questions, she integrated methods including phylogenetics, metatranscriptomics, amplicon sequencing, and culture-based plant-fungal bioassay. Prior to her PhD, she studied the taxonomy of Diatrypaceae (Ascomycota) in Taiwan based on morphological characters. Her current projects focus on understanding how plant-associated fungi can alter ecosystem nutrient transition underlying pine and moss systems.

Kaile Zhang

Graduate student

E-mail:; Lab phone: 352-328-2419

Kaile has obtained his M.S. degree of Soil Science at Zhejiang University. His master’s thesis focused on the interaction between soil pH and carbon (C), nitrogen (N) mineralization in acid soil. His research interests focus on how the microbial communities are shaped by nutritional [e.g. C and N] and environmental variables, and how microbial-environmental interactions affect soil nutrient cycling and ecosystem function. He joined our lab from Fall 2018 for his Ph.D. program. Here, his research focuses on understanding the dynamics of soil microorganisms and their functionality in associated with sod-based rotation (SBR). In particular his study aim at understanding how the long-term SBR impacts on microbial triggered soil nutrient cycling.

Xiaobo (Albert) Wang

Postdoctoral visit scholar

E-mail: ; Lab phone: 850-875-7197

Albert is an assistant professor of Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Science. He is a grassland ecologist. His main interests include soil microbial ecology, microbial biogeography, functional genomics, grassland community ecology and global change biology. Many of his works focus on understanding the dynamics of microbial biodiversity and their ecosystem function of grassland in response to global changes. He is currently studying the generalists and specialists of soil microbes across forage and cover cropping agroecosystem. He will also pursue research on uncovering the genetic drivers of ectomycorrhizal fungi that are involved in co-adaption of their local pine hosts

Victor Guerra

Graduate student

E-mail:; Lab phone: 850-875-7197

Victor is a junior Ph.D student working with Dr. Cheryl Mackowiak. Apart of his PhD projects focus on understanding the community and functional shifts of soil and root microbiomes across different depth and water level using perennial peanuts as the system.

Jimmy Hsu

Research Scientist

E-mail:; Lab phone: 850-875-7197

Jimmy is involved in diverse projects running in the lab. His major is Entomology. Besides a bug lover, he is very good at next generation sequencing (NGS) technology, including DNA/RNA co-extraction, library preparation for NGS. Currently he trains the new joined lab members to preform NGS. He also maintains hundreds of cultures and performs soil bioassay for different lab projects. Apart of his main interests is to share the knowledge and skill of oyster mushroom cultivation to the community in state of Florida through workshop leading.

Jennifer Trevis

M.S. Student

Jennifer is a school teacher. She joined SWSD department's M.S. program. She is interested in conducting her research projects to explore the communication between beneficial fungi and bees. She is also interested in uncover the hidden microbes that can enhance mulch quality.