Beau, Lorinda and Philip’s research on fungal endophytes has been fruitful.Their recent publication in the journal Fungal Ecology describes the surprising diversity of fungi colonizing white pine needles, including 26 genera not previously found in this plant. They also showed that endophyte communities varied depending on foliar nutrient status.Current research is exploring the potential of foliar endophytes to improve the resistance of white pines to blister rust; a disease that is currently eradicating white pines in the mountainous West.
Ylva graduated from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences with a M.Sc. in Biology and Horticulture in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Penn State University in 2004. She received the Alumni Association Dissertation Award for her work in agroecology and subsistence farming in Sub-Saharan Africa. Post-doctoral positions at Montana State University and later at Copenhagen University as a Marie Curie Fellow allowed her to explore the role of arbuscular mycorrhiza, a root-fungus symbiosis, for geothermal plants in Yellowstone National Park and coastal grasslands in Denmark. Her research has been published in international journals such as Nature Communications, Ecology Letters, and New Phytologist.
Ylva joined MPG Ranch in 2010. Since then, she has explored how invasive plants common to western Montana, including spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe), leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) and cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), influence soil microbial community composition and function, and how this in turn may affect invasive success. A lot of her research also focuses on the AM symbiosis in terms of community ecology and physiology. A current project addresses how exchange ratios in this symbiosis may differ among co-occurring plants and depend on soil nutrient availabilities. She uses surveys, field and greenhouse experiments, and literature approaches such as meta-analyses to address questions. To learn more about research and publications from Ylva and her group, see CV below and the Soils, Plants and Invasion section.
In addition to her work at MPG Ranch, Ylva is an adjunct professor at University of Montana at the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences.