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Current lab members

Kayla Clouse (M.S. student)

I’m a Master’s student who is interested in the relationship between plants and microorganisms, specifically how microorganisms can be utilized to grow stronger and more resilient crops. Outside of the lab I enjoy listening to music, DIYing, and vegetable gardening.

Ceyda Kural (Ph.D. aspirant)

I am a PhD student interested in plant microbe interactions, as well as phenotypic changes across environmental gradients. I’m originally from Houston Texas, and outside of the lab I enjoy thrifting and antique shopping, as well as reading and fostering orphaned kittens.

Tokee Tareq (Ph.D. aspirant)

Matt Kolp (Postdoctoral Researcher)

As a post doc in the Wagner Lab, I am investigating the effect of root endophytes – bacteria and fungi collected from agricultural and prairie soils across Kansas – on drought tolerance in maize. We are also reviewing literature to highlight what is currently known about the overlap in plant traits and genetics that determine quantitative disease resistance (QDR) and microbiome assembly. As a botanist, I am interested in the ecology and evolution of plant-microbe interactions. My dissertation at Michigan State University focused on fungal community dynamics of infected chestnut trees. In addition, I use biological collections to answer questions concerning conservation and evolutionary biology. I spent five years of graduate school collecting and identifying plants for the Beal-Darling Herbarium (MSC) at Michigan State, and I am currently a visiting scientist at Kansas State University’s herbarium (KSC).

Maggie R. Wagner (PI)

I’m a plant biologist who is interested in the genetics and evolution of complex traits, plant-microbiome interactions, and phenotypic plasticity. When I’m not doing science I love hiking, gardening, and playing + watching hockey.

A very cute sleeping Akita mix whose tongue is poking out of her mouth


Position: Lab security
Research interests: Allometry of canine
tongue size and mouth capacity

A very goofy lab-pit bull mix running joyfully toward the camera in a grassy field


Position: Lab lab (mix)
Research interests: Cuddles

A beautiful tortoiseshell cat with her paws on a laptop


Position: Lab typist
Research interests: X-chromosome inactivation; Patterns of attention-seeking behavior in adult tortoiseshell cats

Wagner lab alums

A crazy-looking Siamese mix cat curled up in a chair


Position: Social events co-coordinator
Research interests: Neuroscience of catnip response in male Siamese-mix felines

A white and brown English Pointer rolling in dirt and looking very pleased with himself

Bam Bam

Position: Social events co-coordinator
Research interests: Canine-soil interactions