MA – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (thesis

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MICHELLE E. AFKHAMI
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
2320 Storer Hall
Davis, CA 95616
Population Biology Graduate Group
University of California, Davis
michelleafkhami.wordpress.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 530-752-8416 (lab)
713-417-4102 (mobile)
Education
Ph.D. – Population Biology, completed March 2013.
University of California, Davis, CA (GPA: 4.0/4.0)
PhD Committee: Sharon Strauss (advisor), Kevin Rice, Jennifer Rudgers, and John Stachowicz
M.A. – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (thesis-based), completed July 2007, conferred Jan 2008.
Rice University, Houston, TX. (GPA: 4.0/4.0)
Thesis Committee: Jennifer Rudgers (advisor), Kenneth Whitney, and Julian N. Holland
B.S. – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, May 2006.
Rice University, Houston, TX. (GPA: 3.973/4.0, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa)
Honors Thesis advisors: Joan Strassmann and David Queller
Publications and Completed Manuscripts
*indicates undergraduate coauthor
(A) Published and In Press
Gorischek, A.M.*, M.E. Afkhami, E.K. Seifert, and J.A. Rudgers. (2013) Fungal symbionts as
manipulators of reproductive biology. The American Naturalist. 181.
**Science News article on this paper: Pennisi, E. (March 2013) available at
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2013/03/fungus-get-off-my-lawn.html
Afkhami, M. E. (2012) Fungal endophyte-grass symbioses are rare in the California floristic province and
other regions with Mediterranean-influenced climates. Fungal Ecology special issue. 5: 345-352.
Afkhami, M. E. and J. A Rudgers. (2009) Endophyte-mediated resistance to herbivores depends on
herbivore identity in the wild grass, Festuca subverticillata. Environ. Entomology. 38: 1086-1095.
Rudgers, J.A., M. E. Afkhami, M. A. Rúa, A. J. Davitt, S. Hammer, and V. M. Huguet. (2009) A fungus
among us: broad patterns of endophyte distribution in the grasses. Ecology. 90(6): 1531-1539.
Afkhami, M. E. and J. A. Rudgers. (2008) Symbiosis Lost: Imperfect vertical transmission of fungal
endophytes in grasses. The American Naturalist. 172(3): 405-416.
Afkhami, M. E. and J. E. Strassmann. (2007) Adult Yellow-crowned Night-herons face in opposite
directions at the nest. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 119(4):747–749.
(B) In Revision, Review, and Completed
Charlton, N.D., K.D. Craven, M.E. Afkhami, G.A. Swoboda, B.A. Hall, S.R. Ghimire, and C.A. Young. (In
revision) Genetic diversity in epichloid endophytes of Bromus laevipes provides evidence for
independent hybridization events. Molecular Ecology.
Afkhami, M.E., P.J. McIntyre., S.Y. Strauss (Submitted) Biotic interactions expand species range limits
across large geographic scales. Science.
Afkhami, M.E., J.A. Rudgers, and J.J. Stachowicz. (Submitted) Multiple Mutualist Effects:
The importance of mutualist diversity in ecology. Ecology. Concepts and Synthesis Section.
Manuscripts In Prep
*indicates undergraduate coauthor
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss. (In prep) Wild grass-endophyte symbiosis increases plant community
diversity by suppressing invasive species. Ecology.
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss. (In prep) Experimental test of mutualist-mediated effects on the niche in
a grass-fungal endophyte symbiosis at a large spatial scale.
Afkhami, M.E., M. Mateo* and S.Y. Strauss. (In prep) Reduced diversity of arthropod community caused
by native grass-endophyte symbiosis.
Mahler, D.L.**, M.E. Afkhami**, J.H. Burns, M.F., Wojciechowski, and S.Y. Strauss. (In prep) Impact of
nodulation with N-fixing bacteria on diversification of legumes.
**First two authors contributed equally to paper; order decided by coin toss.
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
Total Raised ≈ $540,000
2013 – National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Plant Genome Init. ($207,000, Declined)
Ecology and Evol. Biology Departmental Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto ($80,000)
2012 -- Mrs. George F. Jewett, Jr. Scholar, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Award ($10,000)
Dean’s Mentorship Award, College of Biological Sciences ($5,000)
Hardman Foundation Research Award ($2,100)
Max Planck Institute Integral Projection Modeling Course Accommodations Scholarship
American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship Alternate
2011 -- ARCS Scholar, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Award ($10,000)
Hardman Foundation Research Award ($2,500)
Center for Population Biology Travel Grant ($500)
2010 -- National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant ($14,991)
Center for Population Biology Research Grant ($2,100)
Center for Population Biology Travel Grant ($800)
2009 -- Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant ($1,729)
Center for Population Biology Research Grant ($1,500)
2008 -- Center for Population Biology Research Grant ($1,700)
Golden Key International Honour Society
2007 -- National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship ($121,500)
UC Davis Graduate Student Match Fellowship ($40,500)
Bodega Marine Laboratory Travel Grant Award ($975)
2006 -- Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Endowed Fellowship ($35,033)
The Julian Huxley Best Thesis Award, Dept. of Ecology and Evol. Biology, Rice University ($100)
Teaching and Mentoring Experience
(A) Teaching
2011-2
2007
2004-5
Introduction to Biology: Principles of Ecology and Evolution
Insect Biology
Organic Chemistry (Readership)
UC Davis
Rice University
Rice University
(B) Mentoring
Dean’s Mentorship Award for outstanding mentor of UC Davis College of Bio Sciences undergrads
Total Mentored = 33 Undergraduate Students and 2 High School Students
*indicates student went on to hold a research job (Total = 9)
**indicates student went on to graduate school in ecology, evolution, or related field (Total = 4)
UC Davis Undergraduates: Sharleen Agvateesiri, Aaron Alokozai, Mitchell Bamford*, Audrey
Duong, Desalegn Ejigu*, Dai Fukumoto, Naisha Gaines*, Kyle Garrone (SUREE Intern), Lindsey
Hack*, Sergei Horowitz, Michael Hower, Caprice Lee* (Awarded: Center for Biophotonics Science
and Technology Symposium’s Best Oral Presentation, 2011), Christopher Liao, Kristina Mardinian,
Megan Mateo*, Kristin Matsumoto, Melissa Moore**, Dayna Napolillo, Scott Peacock, Achille
Peiris, Tran Phan, Grant Reed*, Nicholas Sou, Thuy Tran**, Kathryn Weldon, Travis Winter
Rice University Undergraduates: Olivia Bartlett**, Carina Baskett**, John Land*, William
Valencia, (Awarded: Paul Wheeler and Joy Gooch Undergraduate Research Award, $200).
Howard University Undergraduate: Brittany Stallworth* (EEGAP Intern)
Young Scholars High School Students: Nicholas Meyer, Jorge Vargas
Service, Professional Societies, and Workshops
(A) Service
Population Biology Graduate Group Admissions Committee (2011-2012) The graduate student
representative on committee that determines admittance to the Population Biology Graduate Group.
Quail Ridge Reserve Advisory Committee (2009-2011) The graduate student representative on
committee that oversees the maintenance and future direction of Quail Ridge Reserve.
Kids into Discovering Science (KiDS) Modules for McLaughlin Reserve Field Trip (2011, 2012)
Co-designed/ran ecology learning modules for annual field trip to a research reserve for 5th graders
from a low income, rural school. 2011 module: Disturbance and Diversity; 2012 module: PredatorPrey Interactions in Serpentine vs. Non-Serpentine Communities. Planned participation in 2013.
Picnic Day Community Outreach: Native Grass and Wildflower Booth (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Organized/ran a booth each year that provides information, seeds, and plants to teach the general
public about native plants and native gardening. Planned participation in 2013.
Reviewer for: African J. of Agriculture, Ecol. Entomology, Ecol. Research, Ecology (2), Evolution,
Fungal Ecology (2), J. of Ecology (2), J. of Medicinal Plant Research, Oecologica, Plant and Soil
Additional Service:
2012 -Evolution and Ecology Faculty Search Graduate Student Panel Member
Center for Population Biology Postdoc Search Graduate Student Panel Member
Picnic Day Community Outreach Organizational Committee
Graduate Student Recruitment Field Trip to Quail Ridge Reserve Organizer
Evol. and Ecology Seminar Speaker Nominator/Host for Jennifer Rudgers
2011 --
Chancellor’s Ambassador for University of California, Davis
Center Population Biology Workshop on Hierarchical Models Co-organizer
Graduate Student Recruitment Field Trip to Quail Ridge Reserve Co-Organizer
2010 --
Evolution of Mutualism Seminar Class Co-Organizer
Evol. and Ecology Seminar Speaker Nominator/Host for Judith Bronstein
2009 --
Symbiosis Discussion Group Co-organizer
(B) Professional Societies (within last 5 years)
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Botanical Society of America (BSA),
Ecological Society of America (ESA), Center for Population Biology (CPB), Mycological Society of
America (MSA), Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) International
(C) Workshops and Working Groups
NCEAS Working Group on Cheating in Mutualisms (2012-13), AMF Methods Workshop (2013), Max
Planck Institute’s Integral Projection Modeling Course (2012), Ecological Society of America’s Integral
Projection Modeling Workshop (2012), Center for Population Biology Workshops on: Phylogenetics
Methods (2013), Hierarchical Models (2011), R Tools (2008), and Coevolution (2008)
Select Presentations
Total = 19 presentations
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss (2013) Mutualistic interaction expands species range limits across large
geographic scales. Center for Population Biology, Davis, CA. (Invited Seminar)
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss (2012) Mutualism’s effects on niche theory and community ecology in a
grass-fungal endophyte symbiosis. Dept. of Plant Pathology. Davis, CA. (Invited Seminar)
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss (2012) Mutualist-mediated niche expansion and differentiation in a
grass-fungal endophyte symbiosis: Linking an experimental test of drought tolerance to rangewide
patterns of mutualist-mediated niche effects. Ecological Society of America. Portland, OR.
Young, C.A., N.D. Charlton, J.E. Takach, G.A. Swoboda, B. Hall, J. Pan, C.L. Schardl, K.D. Craven and
M.E. Afkhami (2012) Genotypic and chemotypic diversity of epichloid endophytes. 7th International
Symposium on the Molecular Breeding of Forage and Turf. Salt Lake City, UT. (Invited).
Afkhami, M.E. (2012) Mutualist-mediated niche expansion and differentiation in a newly discovered
grass-fungal endophyte symbiosis. Mathias Symposium. Bodega Bay, CA. (Invited)
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss (2012) Mutualist-mediated niche expansion and differentiation in a wild
grass-fungal endophyte symbiosis at a rangewide scale. Symbiosis. Yosemite National Park, CA.
Afkhami, M.E. and S.Y. Strauss (2011) Mutualistic endophye may confer resistance to enemies resulting
in niche expansion of its grass host. Ecological Society of America. Austin, TX.
Afkhami, M.E. and P.J. McIntyre (2010) Niche expansion and partitioning mediated by mutualism in a
native grass-fungal endophyte symbiosis. Ecological Society of America. Pittsburgh, PA.
Afkhami, M.E. and P.J. McIntyre (2010) Mutualist-mediated niche expansion and partitioning in a newlydiscovered native grass fungal endophyte symbiosis. International Symposium on Fungal Endophyte
of Grasses (ISFEG) – Mycological Society of America (MSA) Joint Meeting. Lexington, KY.
Afkhami, M.E. and J.A. Rudgers (2010) Symbiosis Lost: Imperfect vertical transmission of fungal
endophytes in native grasses. ISFEG – MSA Joint Meeting. Lexington, KY.
Afkhami, M. E. and J. A. Rudgers (2009) Context-dependency of a symbiotic mutualism: Benefits of
fungal endophytes to the native, wild grass Festuca subverticillata depend on herbivore identity.
Ecological Society of America. Albuquerque, NM.
Afkhami, M. E. and J. A. Rudgers (2007) Impact of herbivory and drought on imperfect vertical
transmission of fungal endophytes in native grass species. Gordon Conference. Ventura, CA
Afkhami, M. E. and J. A. Rudgers (2007) Imperfect vertical transmission of fungal endophytes in native
grass species. Ecological Society of America – Society for Ecological Restoration Joint
Conference. San Jose, CA.
Afkhami, M. E. and J. A. Rudgers (2006) Imperfect Vertical Transmission in Grass-Endophyte
Symbioses. Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY. (Invited)
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