Research and Education in Plant-Microbial Ecology

I am looking for research and teaching positions exploring the interface of plant and microbial ecology. My long-term goal is to build a research program in plant-microbial interactions with a focus on how dispersal and assembly of leaf microbial communities affect plant-plant interactions.

I am a currently a postdoctoral associate in the Evans lab at the Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University and a graduate of the Rudgers lab at the University of New Mexico. I am fascinated by the factors that drive plant and microbial community composition within the context of climate change.  To explore these broad topics I use field and greenhouse experiments, laboratory techniques, and next-generation sequencing. My past work has primarily focused on the effects of an above-ground fungal mutualist (EpichloĆ« amarillans) on the response of its host plant American beachgrass (Ammophila breviligulata) to climate change and how this mutualist alters plant species interactions, nutrient cycling, and soil microbial communities in the Great Lakes dunes. I am currently exploring the microbial community of leaves of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and how rain drives leaf community assembly.

Lukas Bell-Dereske

Outside of science, I enjoy disc golfing and hiking with my dog Bas (short for Basidiomycota)

Great Lake Dune Plant Communities

I have studied plant communities in Sleeping Bear Dunes and Leelanau State Park

Bioenergy Crops

I am currently working with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center on the microbiome of Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Sociably Scientific

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Visit Kellogg Biological Station

3700 E. Gull Lake Drive
Hickory Corners, MI 49060

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