Congratulations to a UA SRP Trainee Linnea Honeker who successfully defended her PhD Thesis on February 2, 2017. Dr. Honeker’s research focused on analysis of the bacterial microbiome and its influence on plant health and metal stabilization in mine tailings undergoing revegetation. Her research took advantage of an ongoing compost-assisted phytostabilization field trial at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund (IKMHSS) field site. Honeker worked in UA SRP Director Raina Maier’s Environmental Microbiology Lab who remarked; “It has been a pleasure to work with a talented and independent student like Linnea. She is remarkable in that she consistently finds new and unique ways to use existing tools to analyze her data sets to gain new insights”.
As of February 27, 2017 Honeker will be a postdoctoral research associate in the Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center under the direction of Dr. Donata Vercelli at The University of Arizona. The research Linnea will be conducting is on the gut microbiome, both in humans and in mice, and she will be looking at how it relates to the development of asthma.
Regarding her experience as a UA SRP Trainee, Linnea said: “I not only learned valuable skills in relation to microbial community and diversity analysis of the plant rhizosphere as part of my dissertation research, but I also was exposed to research in the biomedical field, which I can apply to my new research endeavor of studying the gut microbiome in humans and mice and its relation to asthma. One of the most memorable benefits for me was being exposed to the interdisciplinary group of researchers from both the environmental and biomedical fields which broadened my view of the project I was working on from my microbial niche to the big picture relating to all the aspects of Superfund sites and the dangers they impose on the surrounding populations. This experience will be valuable to my future endeavors in my career”.
The UA SRP wishes you the best in your new position Linnea!