I was able to make my first trip to central Mexico in August 2014, in part due to assistance from the CIE Development Grant, in order to conduct research and develop a collaborative network with agricultural scientists in Mexico. The main purpose of the travel was to initiate a new line of research focused on the evolution of plant-associated microbes with a specific focus on documenting the effect plant domestication has on the associated microbiome of a particular species the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). Central Mexico is an ideal place to study this phenomenon as it is the center of origin of bean, maize, and pepper, which are now grown extensively in the United States and globally. Interestingly enough, a species native to the northeastern U.S., blackberry, is now grown extensively in the central Mexican state of Michoacán to satisfy U.S. markets during the winter months. The main focus of this trip was to sample research plots that had been established by collaborators earlier in the year,as well as cultivate new contacts with Mexican scientists and students who I may collaborate with in the future.

Publication Date

Fall 2014


University of New Hampshire

Document Type