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Elizabeth Feliciano

Graduate Student

Elizabeth Feliciano






In Fall 2020, I started my PhD program in Dr. Matthew Smith’s mycology lab. At Indiana University Bloomington, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures with a concentration in Accelerated Mandarin Chinese. During my senior year, I lived in Kunming, China and worked as a research assistant at an environmental and health research organization. I enjoyed working with the team, trying local cuisine, and exploring in and around Kunming. I backpacked throughout China and Southeast Asia, traveled across the United States, and gained work experience before going back to school for my master’s.

I completed my Master of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I am passionate about teaching and inclusivity within STEM and am a student representative on the Mycological Society of America’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Outside of the lab, I enjoy traveling, hiking, rock climbing, reading, and hanging out with my pup, Kahlo.

  • Education

    MS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2020

    BS Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2013

    BA East Asian Languages and Cultures, Concentration: Accelerated Mandarin Chinese, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2013

  • Research

    My broad research interests include fungal evolution, host-parasite interactions, biogeography, and systematics. Previously, I worked on the fungal genera Russula, Hypomyces, and Allomyces. I use a combination of molecular and morphological methods in my research.

    Currently, I am working on the molecular systematics and taxonomy of Genea, hypogeous ectomycorrhizal truffle fungi. The objectives of this research are to revisit the diversity and systematics of North American Genea to determine the number of species, describe their morphologies and distributions, and determine the relationships between North American taxa and those from other world regions.

  • Publications

    Poster presentation at the Mycological Society of America 2019 Meeting. Development of a molecular phylogeny of Hypomyces to investigate the specificity of the Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum and Russula brevipes). Minneapolis, MN: August 2019