Kevin Amses

(1 Interns)

Kevin Is a student at Humboldt State University , studying Botany , and is expecting to graduate in 2014 .

About Me:
I'm a undergraduate botany student at Humboldt State University in Arcata, a town way up in northern California. I fell in love with the study of plants and fungi when I moved away from the desert and found myself living and studying in the coastal redwood forests of the Pacific northwest. In my spare time I enjoy most of the normal botanist activities: hiking, camping, kayaking, beach-going and identifying plants and mushrooms. My career goal is research and continued academia; after I've earned my undergraduate degree, I would like to start work on a PhD somewhere outside of California. I love interacting with other people inside and outside the research world, so look for me in the CBG Genetics lab this summer! I am interested in tropical canopy trees and their fungal symbionts. This summer specifically, I am looking at the extent to which large canopy trees utilize the water in underground cave systems on the Yucatan Peninsula. Their access is evidenced by the presence of root systems in these caves, but there has been no molecular work done to identify which species of these trees make it into the caves and which do not. Collection of genetic material from these individuals will also allow us to begin a molecular characterization of these tree species that have so long been defined on their morphological traits. I am also interested in whether or not mycorrhizal symbionts are present in the cave portions of these root systems. Since the soil layer in these caves is nearly non-existent and the potential for nutrient uptake is so low, the prevailing thought is that symbionts are not associating with these roots. Another one of our goals this summer is to see if we can find evidence to support that theory.

My Projects
Morphological and molecular identification of mycorrhizal plants and fungi from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. (2013)

In this project, an REU intern will have the opportunity to explore the community ecology of mycorrhizae (plant-fungal symbioses) in the seasonally dry tropical forests of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The laboratory component of this project will provide experience identifying fungal spores using microscopy, as well as identifying plants and fungi using the direct sequencing of DNA "barcode