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Megan Biango-Daniels

Megan Daniels

335 Plant Science
(607) 255-5652

Education

  • Fall 2013-present, PhD student, Fungal and Oomycete Biology, Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University
  • 2011-2013, BS Biology, concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  SUNY Binghamton.  Vestal, New York.
  • 2011-2012, Undergraduate Student, Wells College. Aurora, New York.
  • 2008-2010, AS Math and Science, and AS General Studies, Tompkins Cortland Community College. Dryden, New York.

Graduate Advisor: Kathie Hodge
Link to the Hodge lab: www.plantpath.cornell.edu/labs/hodge/index.html

Research Focus

My work is focused on the diversity and abundance of fungi in the human environment and fungi associated with food.  I am particularly interested in fungal communities of food spoilage, as well as fungi that survive in extreme environments such as preserved foods and in our homes.  The implications of contact with and consumption of these organisms and their associated secondary metabolites intrigue me.  My research is currently focused on thermotolerant fungi, which survive conventional food processing, and cause spoilage. I am interested in the diversity of these organisms as well as the variation in physiological traits among isolates that allow them to cause problems.

Professional Experience

  • August 2013-Present Doctoral Student in the laboratory of Dr. Kathie Hodge, Department of Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology, Cornell University.
  • June-August 2012 Summer Research Scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Christine Smart, Cornell University Department of Plant Pathology and Plant Microbe Biology, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva.
  • May 2012 Research Aid in the Wetlands Ecology Laboratory of Dr. John Titus, SUNY Binghamton. 
  • June 2012-August 2012 Integrated Biological Sciences Summer Research Program (IBS-SRP) Student in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Rouse, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
  • January-December 2011 Temporary Service Technician at the Guterman Bioclimatic Research Greenhouses, Cornell University.
  • October 2009-August 2010 Math and Science Tutor at the Lucille S. Baker Center for Learning, Tompkins Cortland Community College.

Awards and Honors

  • 2014 Homola Student Scholarship to the Northeast Mycological Federation’s 38th Annual Northeastern Mycological Foray
  • 2010  Recipient of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Scholarship to Wells College; $15,000 annually
  • 2009 Spring semester recipient of Tompkins Cortland Community College President’s Citation Award
  • 2009 Spring semester recipient of TC3 Foundation’s Book Awards Scholarship

Elected Offices and Activities

  • 2015-2016 Member of PPPMB Graduate Student Association Committees on: Prospective Students, Fundraising, New Students, and Social Activities.
  • 2014-2015 Cornell Graduate and Professional Student Association Communications Committee chair
  • 2011-2012 Member of the undergraduate Geology Club, SUNY Binghamton.
  • 2010- 2011 Member of Campus Greens-Environmental Club, Wells College.
  • 2010- 2011 Member of Society of Physics Students, Wells College.
  • 2010 Student Member of the Sustainability Council, Tompkins Cortland Community College.
  • Fall 2010 Vice President of Students Acting for a Greener Earth-Environmental Club, Tompkins Cortland Community College.
  • Fall 2010 Co-President of Alpha Gamma Nu Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Tompkins Cortland Community College.

Professional Societies and Working Groups

Mycological Soc. of America (MSA), North American Mycological Assoc.(NAMA), American Phytopathological Soc. (APS), International Assoc. for Food Protection (IAFP), Soc. for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Susquehanna Valley Mycological Soc. (SVMS)

Publications and Abstracts

  • Proceedings of the 2012 Summer Scholars Program, undergraduate research poster session, July 31, 2012, Geneva, New York.  “Phytophthora capsici, an oomycete pathogen in New York surface irrigation water: biological threshold and results of ultraviolet treatment.” http://www.scholars.pppmb.cals.cornell.edu/
  • Proceedings for the 2011 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference San Jose, California. “Sulfur’s potential to decrease the disease severity of alfalfa root rot caused by Aphanomyces euteiches.”
  • Integrated Biological Sciences 2011 Summer Research Program Journal “Sulfur’s potential to decrease the disease severity of alfalfa root rot caused by Aphanomyces euteiches.” Daniels, Seitz, and Rouse.

Presentations

  • Cornell University’s Summer Scholars Program, undergraduate research poster session.  July 31, 2012, Geneva, New York.  “Phytophthora capsici, an oomycete pathogen in New York surface irrigation water: biological threshold and results of ultraviolet treatment.”
  • Committee on Institutional Cooperation Summer Research Opportunity Program Conference, July 15-17, 2011, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. “Sulfur’s potential to decrease the disease severity of alfalfa root rot caused by Aphanomyces euteiches.”
  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) National Conference, October 27-31, 2011, San Jose, California. “Sulfur’s potential to decrease the disease severity of alfalfa root rot caused by Aphanomyces euteiches.”

Outreach and Extension Activities

  • 2016 Co-instructor for the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers’ Fermented foods workshop
  • 2015 The Graduate Students School Outreach Program plant science facilitator
  • 2014 Expanding Your Horizons “Somebody call the plant doctor!” workshop leader
  • 2014 Author of two popular science articles, “Ladybug Fungi” and “Hope for Impatiens”, on the Cornell Mushroom blog