Kayla Bonilla

What brought you to UGA? I heard great things about the plant-related research that UGA does which is what excited me about coming. I was also really interested in living in Georgia since I was raised in the south! 

What are your research/study interests? I am interested in mycorrhizal fungi and how they influence the movement of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in forest soils. Specifically, I study ericoid mycorrhizae and their fungal partners that have melanin. Melanin slows the decomposition of soil organic matter, so I aim to understand how this group of fungi affects soil C and N in relation to their melanin content.

What has been a benefit of being part of IPS?/How did it help you select your program? A benefit of being a part of IPS was getting the opportunity to rotate labs. This allowed me to meet different people across departments and work on a variety of cool projects!

What are your career goals? My current career goal is to work for the US Forest Service. I hope to hold a research position that also allows me to interact closely with students as a mentor.

Who is your major professor? My major professor is Dr. Nina Wurzburger in the Odum School of Ecology.