Microbial Ecology Researcher and Bioinformatics Analyst
Lorinda Bullington comes from three generations of small-scale Montana loggers, or as her grandfather put it, "the first environmentalists.” Not wanting to leave this beautiful state, Lorinda attended the University of Montana, earning a B.S. in Microbiology in 2010. Family traditions inspired a love of forests and nature, and during her junior year of college, Lorinda began working at MPG North, studying microbial communities associated with Western white pine trees and how those microbes can influence tree health and deer browse in forest ecosystems.
After college, Lorinda continued this line of research, working full time at MPG Ranch. She experimentally inoculated plants with microbes, in the field, and in the greenhouse, to enhance ongoing restoration projects and learn more about plant-microbe interactions. This lead to follow up studies exploring microbial communities associated with five-needle pines in relation to tree physiology, genetics, and disease resistance. Through this research, Lorinda recently earned an M.I.S. degree at the University of Montana, focusing on plant molecular ecology. At MPG Ranch she is involved in both original research and bioinformatics, combining biology and computer science to better interpret molecular data. When not working, Lorinda enjoys going to the gym, gardening and getting outside.
Soils, Plants and Invasion
Lorinda S. Bullington, Ylva Lekberg, Beau G. Larkin (2021). Insufficient sampling constrains our characterization of plant microbiomes. Scientific Reports 11, 364 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83153-9.
Ylva Lekberg, Carlos A. Arnillas, Elizabeth T. Borer, Lorinda S. Bullington, Noah Fierer, Peter G. Kennedy, Jonathan W. Leff, Angela D. Luis, Eric W. Seabloom, Jeremiah A. Henning (2021). Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization consistently favor pathogenic over mutualistic fungi in grassland soils. Nature Communications 12, 3484 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23605-y.
Bunn, R. A., Simpson, D. T., Bullington, L. S., Lekberg, Y., & Janos, D. P. (2019). Revisiting the ‘direct mineral cycling’ hypothesis: arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi colonize leaf litter, but why? The ISME Journal 13, 1891-1898. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41396-019-0403-2.