Interested in joining the lab? Please email

Current members

Justine Karst - Associate Professor

Justine is a mycorrhizal ecologist who does much of her research in the boreal forest. Her interests include mycorrhizal ecology,  disturbance, and restoration ecology. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Ecology and Vice President of the International Mycorrhiza Society

ALES Teacher of the Year 2019, ENCS Professor of the Year 2020



Ana I. Bermúdez-Contreras - PhD student

Ana is interested in restoration ecology and plant-fungal interactions, and particularly keen in the fungal ecology of finding out who is who and what is it doing. Ana completed her BSc in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City and then spent some time as an environmental impact intern. She moved back to her hometown in La Paz, Mexico and participated in some NGOs dedicated to environmental education and natural resource management of the area, and with that in mind, went to the University of Melbourne in Australia to do a MSc in environmental sciences. Ana was supervised by Dr. Cristina Aponte to research mycorrhizal fungi in the context of riparian ecosystem conservation through revegetation.  After that she returned to UNAM to do a research stay at the lab of Dr. Camille Truong where she did field work looking for root-associated fungi in neotropical plants and looked into the fungal communities of an AM plant species and an ECM plant species along a disturbance gradient.


Nicole Lau - MSc student

Nicole is a MSc student interested in mycorrhizal ecology in forest ecosystems. Originally from Vancouver, she completed her BSc through the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Her research will take place in boreal forests across west-central Alberta, where she will be looking at how mountain pine beetle disturbances that shift mycorrhizal communities impact soil carbon stocks.


Ferf Brownoff - MSc student

Ferf received a BA in Japanese and East Asian Studies from the University of Alberta in 2013. After living in Hokkaido for a few years and developing a passion for nature, he decided to return to the U of A and completed a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Sciences (Conservation Biology) in 2023. Ferf’s master’s research will take place in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, where he’ll investigate how ectomycorrhizal fungi access soil water in drought-prone forests.

Laura Newstead - MSc student