Scientists & Staff
Michelle A. Jusino
My research uncovers the secret lives of animals and fungi to address a broad range of basic and applied research goals including the ecology and evolution of symbioses and the conservation of imperiled and endangered species. I have expertise in mycology, bioinformatics and molecular techniques, molecular ecology, ornithology, and conservation & wildlife ecology. My work has been particularly valuable in plant pathogen vector systems where I have characterized entire communities of fungi vectored into living trees by wood-boring beetles and cavity-excavating birds. My dietary ecology work has elucidated the ecosystem services we are losing with the decline of little-brown bats from white-nose syndrome (WNS), an important fungal disease of bats that was first detected in North America in 2006.
My current projects include:
- Studying fungal community structure and dynamics in decaying wood
- Describing novel fungal symbionts of ambrosia beetles
- Developing positive sequencing controls ("mock communities") for high-throughput amplicon sequencing of environmental DNA
- Investigating the relationships between birds and fungi
- Describing symbioses between cavity excavating birds and decay fungi
- Exploring avian dispersal of fungi
- Using DNA-based molecular techniques to describe the diets of bats, birds, and other animals from fecal samples
Why This Research is Important
Although generally underappreciated, fungi serve many vital ecosystem roles. Fungi are the primary recyclers of dead biomass, releasing carbon and other nutrients. For instance, the release of carbon from dead wood depends on decay fungi, thus, a better understanding of fungal community dynamics is necessary for predicting forest ecosystem function and stability in a changing world. Many wood-dwelling animals, including woodpeckers and wood-boring beetles, facilitate the dispersal and establishment of fungi in forest systems. Consequently, a complete understanding of how fungi maintain ecosystem processes requires that we understand the relationships between fungi and their animal vectors.
- Florida State Univeristy, B.S. Biology,
- Virginia Tech, Ph. D. Biological Sciences,
- Mycological Society of America
Featured Publications & Products
- Jusino, Michelle A.; Banik, Mark T.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Wray, Amy K.; Xiao, Lei ; Pelton, Emma ; Barber, Jesse R.; Kawahara, Akito Y.; Gratton, Claudio ; Peery, M. Zachariah; Lindner, Daniel L. 2019. An improved method for utilizing high‐throughput amplicon sequencing to determine the diets of insectivorous animals. Molecular Ecology Resources
- Palmer, Jonathan M.; Jusino, Michelle A.; Banik, Mark T.; Lindner, Daniel L. 2018. Non-biological synthetic spike-in controls and the AMPtk software pipeline improve mycobiome data. PeerJ
- Jusino, Michelle A.; Lindner, Daniel L.; Banik, Mark T.; Rose, Kevin R.; Walters, Jeffrey R. 2016. Experimental evidence of a symbiosis between red-cockaded woodpeckers and fungi. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
- Jusino, Michelle A.; Lindner, Daniel L.; Banik, Mark T.; Walters, Jeffrey R. 2015. Heart rot hotel: fungal communities in red-cockaded woodpecker excavations. Fungal Ecology
- Skelton, James ; Jusino, Michelle A.; Carlson, Paige S.; Smith, Katherine; Banik, Mark T.; Lindner, Daniel L.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Hulcr, Jiri. 2019. Relationships among wood‐boring beetles, fungi, and the decomposition of forest biomass. Molecular Ecology
Publications & Products
- Wang, Weiwei ; Lindner, Daniel L.; Jusino, Michelle A.; Page-Dumroese, Deborah ; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Banik, Mark T.; Jurgensen, Martin ; Draeger, Kymberly ; Liu, Yong. 2020. Wood-colonizing fungal community response to forest restoration thinnings in a Pinus tabuliformis plantation in northern China. Forest Ecology and Management. 476: 118459.
- Wray, Amy K.; Peery, M. Zachariah; Jusino, Michelle A.; Kochanski, Jade M.; Banik, Mark T.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Lindner, Daniel L.; Gratton, Claudio. 2020. Predator preferences shape the diets of arthropodivorous bats more than quantitative local prey abundance. Molecular Ecology
- Yi, Xueling ; Donner, Deahn M.; Marquardt, Paula E.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Jusino, Michelle A.; Frair, Jacqueline ; Lindner, Daniel L.; Latch, Emily K. 2020. Major histocompatibility complex variation is similar in little brown bats before and after white‐nose syndrome outbreak. Ecology and Evolution
- Skelton, James ; Jusino, Michelle A.; Li, You ; Bateman, Craig ; Thai, Pham Hong; Wu, Chengxu ; Lindner, Daniel L.; Hulcr, Jiri. 2018. Detecting Symbioses in Complex Communities: the Fungal Symbionts of Bark and Ambrosia Beetles Within Asian Pines. Microbial Ecology
- Wray, Amy K; Jusino, Michelle A; Banik, Mark T; Palmer, Jonathan M; Kaarakka, Heather; White, J Paul; Lindner, Daniel L; Gratton, Claudio; Peery, M Zachariah. 2018. Incidence and taxonomic richness of mosquitoes in the diets of little brown and big brown bats. Journal of Mammalogy
- Kirker, Grant T.; Bishell, Amy B.; Jusino, Michelle A.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Hickey, William J.; Lindner, Daniel L. 2017. Amplicon-based sequencing of soil fungi from wood preservative test sites. Frontiers in Microbiology. 8: 1-16
- Kirker, Grant T.; Bishell, Amy B.; Jusino, Michelle A.; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Hickey, William J.; Lindner, Daniel L. 2017. Amplicon-Based Sequencing of Soil Fungi from Wood Preservative Test Sites. Frontiers in Microbiology
- Li, You; Bateman, Craig Christopher; Skelton, James; Jusino, Michelle Alice; Nolen, Zachary John; Simmons, David Rabern; Hulcr, Jiri. 2017. Wood decay fungus Flavodon ambrosius (Basidiomycota: Polyporales) is widely farmed by two genera of ambrosia beetles. Fungal Biology
- Jusino, Michelle A.; Lindner, Daniel; Cianchetti, John K.; Grisé, Adam T.; Brazee, Nicholas J.; Walters, Jeffrey R. 2014. A Minimally Invasive Method for Sampling Nest and Roost Cavities for Fungi: a Novel Approach to Identify the Fungi Associated with Cavity-Nesting Birds. Acta Ornithologica
Jusino, M.A., J. Skelton, CC Chen, J. Hulcr, and M.E. Smith. 2020. Sexual reproduction and saprotrophic dominance by the ambrosial fungus Flavodon subulatus (= Flavodon ambrosius). Fungal Ecology.
Vaziri, G.J., M.A. Jusino, J.M. Palmer, M.T. Brewer, and J.S. Adelman. 2021. Anthelmintic drugs modulate the acute phase immune response but not the microbiome in wild song sparrows. Ornithology (formerly known as The Auk).
Grupe, A.C., M.A. Jusino, A.B. Mujic, B. Spakes-Richter, G. Bonito, T. Brenneman, and M.E. Smith. 2021. Effects of field fumigation and inoculation with the pecan truffle (Tuber lyonii) on the fungal community of pecan (Carya illinoinensis) seedlings over five years. Frontiers in Microbiology.
Hulcr, J., D.F. Gomez, J. Skelton, A.J. Johnson, S. Adams, Y. Li, M.A. Jusino, M.E. Smith. 2021. Invasion of an inconspicuous ambrosia beetle and fungus may affect wood decay in Southeastern North America. Biological Invasions.
Corrales, A., H. Xu, R. Garibay-Orijel, C. Alfonso-Corrado, G. Williams-Linera, C. Chu, C. Truong, M.A. Jusino, R. Clark-Tapia, J.W. Dalling, Y. Liu, and M.E. Smith. 2021. Fungal communities associated with roots of two closely related Juglandaceae species with a disjunct distribution in the tropics. Fungal Ecology.
O'Rourke, D.R., N.A. Bokulich, M.A. Jusino, M.D. MacManes, J.T Foster. 2020. A total crapshoot? Evaluating bioinformatic decisions in animal diet metabarcoding analyses. Ecology and Evolution.
Hulcr, J., I. Barnes, W. de Beer, T. Duong, R. Gazis-Seregina, A.J. Johnson, M.A. Jusino, M.T. Kasson, Y. Li, S. Lynch, C. Mayers, T. Musvuugwa, F. Roets, K. Seltmann, D. Six, D. Vanderpool, C. Villari. 2020. Bark beetle mycobiome: collaboratively defined research priorities on a widespread insect-fungus symbiosis. Symbiosis.
Elliott, T.F., M.A. Jusino, J.M. Trappe, H. Lepp, G.A. Ballard, J.J. Bruhl, and K. Vernes. 2019. The ecological significance of symbiotic interactions between birds and fungi. Fungal Diversity.
Skelton, J., A.J. Johnson, M.A. Jusino, C.C. Bateman, and J. Hulcr. 2019. A selective fungal transport organ (mycangium) maintains coarse phylogenetic congruence between fungus-farming ambrosia beetles and their symbionts. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Loyd, A.L., B.S. Richter, M.A. Jusino, C. Truong, M.E. Smith, R.A. Blanchette, and J.A. Smith. 2018. Identifying the "mushroom of immortality": assessing the Ganoderma species composition in commercial reishi products. Frontiers in Microbiology.