I wear several hats as the Faculty Associate within the Department, which include: purchasing, Chemical Hygiene and Safety Officer, Emergency Management Officer and managing the Departmental website. In addition, I am the Laboratory Coordinator for the Introductory Biology Labs (I and II).
I am also a plant and soil community ecologist. More specifically, I am interested in the impacts of plant species diversity on soil microbial communities and the subsequent effects on ecosystem processing mediated by soil bacteria and fungi. Various components of global change are decreasing biodiversity and altering processes such as nutrient and water cycling. However, most biodiversity studies only include aboveground aspects and very little is known about how soil microbial communities change due to direct (e.g. land-use change) and indirect causes (e.g. decreases in plant diversity).
Murphy CA and BL Foster. 2014. Soil properties and spatial processes influence bacterial metacommunities within a grassland restoration experiment. Restoration Ecology 22(5): 685-691.
Foster BL, Questad EJ, Collins CD, Murphy CA, Dickson TL and Smith VH. 2011. Seed availability constrains plant species sorting along a soil fertility gradient. Journal of Ecology 99: 473-481.
Foster BL, Khavin IS, Murphy CA, Smith VH, Ramspott ME, Price KP and Kindscher K. 2010. Integrated responses of grassland biodiversity and ecosystem properties to hay management: A field experiment. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Sciences 113: 103-119.
Foster BL, Kindscher K, Houseman GR and Murphy CA. 2009. Effects of hay management and native species sowing on grassland community structure, biomass and restoration. Ecological Applications 19(7): 1884-1896.