My name is Brett Younginger, Ph.D. candidate investigating endophytic fungi in temperate ferns in Daniel Ballhorn’s laboratory at Portland State University. As an avid lover of ferns and fungi, I am devoting this passion into a research and teaching career where I can advance our knowledge of fern microbial communities, while assisting students in advancing their scientific careers. As a former high school science teacher, I leverage my education expertise to develop curriculum for small group learning activities in introductory biology courses at Portland State. In addition, I serve as the assistant lecture instructor in these large courses, and deliver lessons nested in my research while covering a broad range of biological content.
My research focuses on microfungi that associate with ferns and I also pursue other community ecology projects in different host plants. Check out my current projects here. Ferns are a fascinating group of plants with a rich evolutionary history and I have come to appreciate the fungi that colonize them as equally fascinating.