I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in plant-microbe interactions. I am currently working with Dr. Maren Friesen at Washington State University (WSU). We are developing synthetic rhizosphere microbiomes to enhance biological nitrogen fixation and consequently plant growth of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). We have identified putative nitrogen fixers, isolated from the switchgrass rhizosphere, that we will experimentally validate through single and multi-strain inoculation tests.
For my PhD, I worked with Dr. Monica Geber exploring how microbes-mediate plant adaptation to limestone barrens in Jefferson Co., NY. I found that microbes affect patterns of local adaptation and the plants from the more marginal habitats benefited more from microbes than plants from surrounding former agricultural fields.
If you have any questions about my research or want to collaborate please contact me via email reneedotpetipasatwsu.edu or find me on twitter @ReneeHPetipas.