Principle Investigator

Version 2
Emily Farrer

Google Scholar Profile

Email: efarrer[at]
Tel: (504) 862-8288
Office: 308 Israel
Lab: 345 Israel


                                                 Christina Birnbaum
Email: cbirnbaum[at]

Christina is a plant ecologist interested in a wide range of topics related to plants, including their biology and interactions with below-ground micro organisms in native and novel environments. She uses field observations, combined with experimental manipulations and molecular tools to explore questions pertaining plant-microbe
interactions in natural ecosystems.

                                                 Pawel Waryszak
Email: pwaryszak[at]

Pawel is an ecologist with experience in plant ecophysiology, plant invasion, and restoration ecology. He is currently involved in a project that examines the susceptibility of local wetlands to invasion by large aquatic macrophytes, such as Phragmites australis, but also understanding how local plant communities respond to                                                               changing climatic and edaphic conditions. Prior to this,                                                               Pawel completed his PhD dissertation on restoring                                                                       threatened ecological community using topsoil transfer at                                                           Murdoch University (Western Australia).

Graduate Students

Carolyn Schroeder, PhD student
Email: cschroeder[at]

Carolyn is interested in a broad spectrum of plant ecology subjects. At Tulane, Carolyn will be studying plant-microbial interactions in saline, brackish, and fresh water marshes in the Mississippi Delta. She is also interested in using GIS and remote sensing methods to investigate how native and invasive plants respond to                                                                 disturbance.

William Wilber, PhD student
Email: wwilber[at]

William is interested in how plant communities organize themselves in space and time in response to community interactions and abiotic inputs. His research will investigate these topics in systems throughout coastal Louisiana, especially as they relate to questions relevant to the conservation and restoration of wetlands. He is                                                                  looking forward to spending the next five years living in                                                              and learning about our local ecosystems.

Caitlin Bumby, Thesis masters student
Email: cbumby[at]

Caitlin is a thesis masters student exploring the relationship between endophyte communities in Phragmites australis and the success of a recently discovered scale insect in the Mississippi Delta region. Additional interests include invasive plant ecology and fungal systematics.


Leanne Norden, 4+1 masters student
Email: lnorden[at]

Leanne is a in the 4+1 Undergraduate and Master’s program with the Tulane Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. She is passionate about ecology and conservation as well as all living things! While working with the Farrer Lab, she will investigate the effects of microbial endophytes on various growth parameters for local marsh species.



Nelle Kulick
Email: dkulick1[at]

Nelle is an Environmental Biology major interested in symbioses, plant ecology, community dynamics, and microbiology. Her research investigates the effects of environmental stressors on plant-microbe interactions in brackish and fresh water marshes with implications for predicting future invasive spread in the Gulf region.


Isabella Donnel
Email: idonnell[at]

Isabella is a senior majoring in Environmental Biology. Her interests include plant ecology, microbial communities, endophytes, and fungi.


img_7384Claire Willis
Email: cwillis2[at]

Claire is a sophomore majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. Her interests are plant ecology, forestry, marine microbiology, and conservation biology.



Alison Cunningham
Email: acunnin3[at]

Alison is a junior majoring in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology. She is doing an independent study in the lab using culture-based methods to assess microbial diversity and composition in Phragmites australis.

Lab Alumni

Henry Adams (Independent Study, 2017)
Elizabeth Holland (Independent Study, 2017)
Elliot Hill (Independent Study, 2017)