Megan Louise Keller, MS
- Faculty Advisor:
- D. Lee Taylor
University of New Mexico, Ph.D., 2020-present, Dr. D. Lee Taylor
University of Alaska Anchorage, Master of Science, 2018-2020, Dr. Patrick Sullivan
Hamline University, Bachelor of Arts, 2004-2008
Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Global Change Biology, Microbial Ecology, Microbiology
Megan Louise Keller, M.S. is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico with Dr. Lee Taylor. Keller is assembling isolates of the most abundant saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungi within a boreal forest site in order to conduct novel and quality metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses. This will aid carbon cycling and sequestration assessments within boreal forests, whose carbon storage capacity has been repeatedly underestimated.
Keller completed her master’s degree in 2020 at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She researched the growth limitations at white spruce treeline in Northwestern Alaska. Conventional hypotheses argue that cold air temperatures directly limit growth and cell division; however, Keller and the Dr. Patrick Sullivan lab found that, at this site, cold soil temperatures could be indirectly limiting growth through decreased nutrient availability, potentially manifested by decreased microbial turnover or ectomycorrhizal nutrient acquisition efficiency.