About me

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.


Thoughts on plants, their fungal symbionts and more