It is just me right now. Let me know if you are interested in joining the team at Penn State!

 Liana is evolutionary ecologist broadly interested in how the environment shapes the evolution of organisms (primarily plants and microbes). In February of 2020, I’ll be starting my lab in the Plant Sciences Department at Penn State University! Currently, I am a postdoc at the University of Minnesota in the lab of Peter Tiffin.  Formerly, I was a graduate student at Duke University in the lab of Kathleen Donohue and a postbac in Johanna Schmitt’s lab. While in Minnesota, I’ve become an avid mountain biker and cross-country skier, participating in the 29K Korteloppet race in WI each year. Outside of work I also like to garden. If you would like more information or are interested in collaborating, feel free to contact me at: liana.burghardt at psu dot edu

This is me, with my brilliant identical twin sister Karin. She is not actually in the lab. She is a assistant professor in the Entomology Department at the University of Maryland (check out herĀ website!). This can be confusing at conferences. She studies plant-insect interactions in natural and human-influenced systems. While not technically part of the lab, there will be joint the lab outings since her lab is only 3 hours away!


I made this cake to celebrate the defense of my fellow Donohue Lab mate Dr. Charlie Willis who studied reproductive isolation in Cakile genus. Some of which grow on dunes and are dispersed via water as I attempted to depict here.


I made this cake to celebrate the defense of the formidable Dr. Lindsay Leverett who is has now found her calling as an academic editor. She studied the shift from facilitation to competition across ontogeny in Arabidopsis in the field (note the different sized rosettes).