Biologist Grubisha shares $60,000 USDA grant for crop-fungus research

Lisa Grubisha, who joined the Natural and Applied Sciences faculty this fall as an assistant professor of biology, has been awarded a $60,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s research division. Her project is titled “Population Structure of Aspergillus flavus communities in Wisconsin.” The three-year project in collaboration with researcher Peter Cotty of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Tucson, Ariz., has two components. The first targets fungal communities of corn, while the second will compare microbial communities of organic and non-organic crops and vegetables. Aspergillus flavus is a soil fungus known to affect cereal grains, legumes and nuts; it often remains dormant until harvest, storage and transit. Some strains produce toxic compounds called mycotoxins. Grubisha is a Milwaukee native who earned her Ph.D. in plant and microbial biology at the University of California, Berkeley, held post-doc appointments in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Tuscon, and spent three years with Centre College (Ky.) as a post-doctoral researcher and instructor before joining the UW-Green Bay faculty. She has numerous research publications to her credit regarding the ecology and evolution of certain fungi species.

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Grubisha seeks to enlist farmers, gardeners in project — Assistant Prof. Lisa Grubisha is looking for local help in documenting the population of the Aspergillus flavus fungus in Wisconsin. Anyone interested in participating in the study, especially farmers and gardeners, should contact Dr. Grubisha by email at or by phone at (920) 465-2812.

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