I recently completed my Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Dr. Eric Seabloom and Dr. Georgiana May. My dissertation research focused on the microbiome of invasive beachgrass along the USA Pacific Northwest coast. I investigated the ecological factors behind community assembly of a particular component of the microbiome – the fungal endophytes that reside within all plant tissues – and the contribution of these endophytes to invasion. I also completed a Ph.D. minor in Risk Analysis of Invasive Species through the UMN Invasive Species and Genotypes IGERT program. As part of this program, my collaborators and I developed a framework for identifying potential adverse effects caused by release of genetically engineered organisms.