Mary Jane Carmichael

Mary Jane Carmichael

I am a Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at Hollins University. As a microbial ecologist turned biogeochemist, I am broadly interested in the direct and indirect links between above- and below-ground processes. Understanding the connectivity between these two systems is a critical component of our ability to predict the response of ecosystems to global climate change.

As a master’s student, my research was in the broader fields of microbial ecology and geomicrobiology. In my dissertation work, I maintained this connection to below-ground systems and processes by pursuing questions that lay at the intersection of the fields of biogeochemistry, microbial ecology, and physiological ecology. My research at Hollins will continue to address unanswered questions that stem from my dissertation work, and I also plan to launch a new line of investigation that seeks to understand the linkage between rhizosphere and phyllosphere microbial communities and physiological plant ecology. This approach seeks to understand the intricacies of the connections between the earth’s only two groups of primary producers: plants and microbes.

Curriculum Vitae PDF

Areas of Expertise

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Physiological Plant Ecology
  • Global Climate Change

Courses Taught

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Human Physiology


  • (2017) Ph.D. in Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
  • (2012) M.S. in Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
  • (2005) NC Licensure in Biology and General Science, Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC
  • (2003) B.S. in Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC