Busby lab

Busby lab spring 2022

Busby Lab

Busby Lab – February 2020

BUsby Lab - October 2018

Busby Lab – October 2018


Graduate students

Melissa Vergara is a PhD student. As an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz, she studied fungal pathogens in the Redwood forests of Santa Cruz and the tropical rainforests of Panama. At OSU she hopes to focus on the ecology of seed, leaf and flower microbes in both natural and man-made environments. 









Maria-Jose Romero-Jimenez is a PhD student. She is interested in the plasticity of fungi, plant-fungal interactions and their role on agriculture and evolving ecosystems. Maria is from Costa Rica where she studied Biotechnology Engineering at Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica for her undergrad. She later studied Biology for her master’s degree at Western Illinois University. Maria’s research at WIU was on the description of a novel fungal dark septate endophyte. She also worked on the characterization of the role and biogeography of species within the Darksidea genus on the Great Plains in the US.


Abbey Neat is a PhD student working with both Andy Jones and Posy Busby. She engaged in research studying agricultural plant pathogens and tropical forest ecosystems as an undergraduate at UC Davis. Through these experiences, she developed an interest in plant-fungal interactions of all types, with a particular interest in mycorrhizal symbioses. Abbey plans to focus her research on understanding the degree to which trees in forest ecosystems rely on their fungal symbionts for growth and survival.

Kyle Gervers

Kyle Gervers

Kyle Gervers is a PhD student working with Posy and Joey Spatafora on fungal symbionts of Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas fir. He is using a variety of molecular and analytical approaches to describe genetic and ecological factors that contribute to the maintenance of symbioses and fungal community structure across the range of Douglas fir. Kyle studied the systematics and biogeography of Jatropha as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sabrina Heitmann

Sabrina Heitmann

Sabrina Heitmann is a Botany and Plant Pathology Master’s student in the Busby lab. Her research focuses on GxE effects on the leaf microbiome of Populus trichocarpa.

Jessie Zimmerman is a BPP MS student. In collaboration with Achala KC, his research investigates the grapevine microbiome and grapevine trunk disease.

Undergraduate students

  • Michael Getz
  • Abbey Coday
  • Forrest Walker 

Former members


  • Maggie Wagner, Assistant Professor, University of Kansas
  • Natalie Christian, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville
  • Shawn Brown, Assistant Professor, University of Memphis
  • Devin Leopold, Bioinformaticist / Research Scientist, Jonah Ventures
  • Lucas Nebert, Postdoctoral Researcher, OSU

Graduate students

  • Ed Barge, PhD
  • Kayla Delventhal, MS

Undergraduate students:

  • Elizabeth Juarez (REU)
  • Sydney Turner (REU)
  • Jacob Buckner
  • Gillian Bergmann
  • Shikhar Hatwal
  • Mrinal Thapliyal
  • Abigail Kretschmar