My name is Megan Nickerson and I’m a senior majoring in microbiology with a biochemistry minor at the University of Arizona. I’ve been working with Dr. Jana U’Ren’s lab at the BIO5 Institute since 2018, and this is my second summer working with the Undergraduate Biology Research Program. At the U’Ren lab, we study the biodiversity, biogeography, evolutionary origins, and ecological roles of plant-associated microorganisms. We utilize traditional culture based techniques in combination with next-generation ‘omics tools to get a more accurate picture of the intricacies of ecosystems. My project focuses on how elements of leaf chemistry influence the structure of foliar endophytic communities in oak leaves.
Outside of the lab, I enjoy tap dancing (both performing and teaching), reading novels, and spending time with my pet bearded dragon.