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Current Lab People
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Here you can learn about current technicians and postdoctoral researchers working in the lab. 

Technicians

Molly Dieterich Mabin (2018 - present)

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During my undergraduate studies I developed a strong interest in ecology and the interactions between plants and animals. At OSU my thesis research focused on biological control of cucumber beetles within cucurbit crops. I examined how different farm and field management techniques affect the community of predatory arthropods within those crops, and if differences within that community affects predation on cucumber beetles. Currently, I am helping with a variety of projects in the lab that focus on how pollinator behavior affects gene flow between genetically engineered and conventional alfalfa. When not at work, I like to go hiking and camping with my family!

  1. Dieterich Mabin, M.E., J. Brunet, H. Riday and L. Lehmann. 2021. Self-fertilization, inbreeding and yield in alfalfa seed production. Frontiers in Plant Science 12:700708. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2021.700708 
  2. Boyer, K.J., Fragoso, F.P., Dieterich Mabin, M.E. and Brunet, J. 2020. Netting and pan traps fail to identify the pollinator guild of an agricultural crop. Scientific Reports 10:13819.
  3. Dieterich Mabin, M.E., Fragoso, F.P. and Brunet, J. 2019. A modified seedling phenotypic assay to identify glyphosate resistance in different alfalfa varieties. Proceedings. 2019 Winter Seed School Conf., Western Alfalfa Seed Growers Association pps. 34-45.
  4. Dieterich Mabin, M., Welty, C., Gardiner, M.M. 2020. Predator richness predicts pest suppression within organic and conventional summer squash (Cucurbita pepo L. Cucurbitales: Cucurbitaceae). Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 287:106689.

Amy-Mei Lynch (2021 - present)

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As an undergraduate at UMass Amherst, I worked for Dr. Lynn Adler and studied bee-flower interactions and their effects on bee health via disease transmission and diet. Since graduating and joining the Brunet Lab in June 2021, I have been working on a variety of research projects which focus on the effect of bee behavior on gene flow between conventional and genetically modified alfalfa plants. Outside of work, I can usually be found crafting (sewing, knitting, or making pottery) or exploring local shops and restaurants!

Garrett Keating (2021 - present)

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During my time at Davis I worked in the Vannette lab studying the microbiome of the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria. I examined how the bacterial and fungal composition of the larvae and provision changes over time. In the Brunet Lab I work on projects that focus on gene flow between conventional and genetically modified alfalfa plants and studies involving bee behavior. Outside of the lab I love to explore nature and read sci-fi. 

 

Postdoctoral Trainees

Fabiana Palmieri Fragoso (2017 - present)

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I have a B.S. and teaching degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. As an undergraduate, I investigated the reinstatement of litter decomposition in areas of Atlantic Forest undergoing restoration. Subsequently, I earned a M.S. and Ph.D. in Entomology studying how pollinator communities, mainly bees, respond to forest restoration. Currently, I am assessing how how pollinator behavior affects gene flow of genetically engineered crops at the landscape level. Using alfalfa and bumblebees as the study system, I am analyzing the decision making process used to move between patches in various landscapes. I am also obtaining empirical evidence of gene flow from genetically engineered to conventional patches of alfalfa. These results will contribute to improved management strategies and enhanced coexistence among genetically engineered, organic, and export crop markets.

  1. Fragoso, F.P., Jiang, Q., Clayton, M.K. and Brunet, J. 2021. Patch selection by bumble bees navigating discontinuous landscapes. Scientific Reports 11:8986 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88394-2.

  2. Boyer, K.J., Fragoso, F.P., Dieterich Mabin, M.E. and Brunet, J. 2020. Netting and pan traps fail to identify the pollinator guild of an agricultural crop. Scientific Reports 10:13819.

  3. Dieterich Mabin, M.E., Fragoso, F.P. and Brunet, J. 2019. A modified seedling phenotypic assay to identify glyphosate resistance in different alfalfa varieties. Proceedings. 2019 Winter Seed School Conf., Western Alfalfa Seed Growers Association pps. 34-45.

Jess Gambel (2021 - present)

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I am primarily interested in researching pollination in agricultural systems and how environmental change alters the relationships between cultivated plants and their pollinators. For my PhD thesis, I investigated how drought and warming affect pollination and reproduction in squash. Currently, I am interested in studying how abiotic stress impacts bee pollination in the alfalfa system. I also enjoy teaching students of all ages about ecology and photographing bees in the field. You can find me on Twitter: @jessgbee. 

Brendan Scherer (2021 - present)

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My interest in natural systems led me to pursue an undergraduate degree in botany at UW - Madison where I studied traditional knowledge of rhododendron use as part of my senior thesis. From there I worked on a hops farm and as a tutor until going to graduate school at Florida State University. In graduate school I developed several projects exploring variation in the bacterial microbiome of mangrove trees which are currently in preparation for publication. During graduate school I also developed my passion for teaching which I put to use while lecturing at UW - Madison prior to joining the Brunet lab. In the Brunet lab I am involved in several projects including one looking at gene flow between populations of alfalfa, and another looking at how the floral microbiome of alfalfa influences bee foraging behavior. When not at work, I enjoy music, nature, gardening, and reading!

Scherer, B., and Mast, A. (2022). Red Mangrove Propagule Bacterial Communities Vary With Geographic, But Not Genetic Distance. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. In review.

Scherer, B., Mason, O., and Mast, A. (2022). Bacterial communities vary across populations and tissue type in red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Rhizophoraceae) along an expanding front. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. In review.

Bates, George. Edited by Scherer, B.P. (2020) BSC 1005 Plants and People, Third Edition. MacMillan Learning Curriculum Solutions. Plymouth, MI.

Pastore, A. I., & Scherer, B. P. (2016). Changes in community phylogenetic structure in a North American forest chronosequence. Ecosphere, 7(12).

Undergraduates

Connor Slawin (2020 - present)

Luna Johnson (2021 - present)