As part of my NSF and STRI postdoctoral fellowships I conducted research in the Fortuna Forests Reserve in the Chiriqui Provence of Western Panama. Collaborators on this research include: Ben Turner, Jim Dalling, Leho Tedersoo, and Kelly Andersen.
In these unique and extremely wet lower montane rainforest I have been pursuing several research objectives:
- Describe aspects of these unique and understudied ectomycorrhizal tree species.
- Examine variability of soil nutrients on differing soil types and relate this to nitrogen isotope patterns among co-ocurring trees with different root symbiont types.
- Use isotopically labeled nitrogen experiments to test if tree species with differing root symbionts specialize on distinct nitrogen forms.
I also had the opportunity to co-teach a field course to students from the University of Chiriqui (UNACHI), Panama. This was a humbling and rewarding teaching experience that promoted my capacity for field-based short course organization.