Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Jennifer Han is an Assistant Professor of Biology. Her background is in plant biology, molecular biology and genetics, mycology, and landscape architecture. Prior to joining the Marist family, she was faculty at Washington State University where she developed bee-safe pesticides based on fungi and taught undergraduate and graduate level classes. Her current research studies the interactions between plants, their pests, and beneficial organisms like fungi with the goal of improving agriculture, horticulture, and the environment.
Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, Plant Biology, May 2014
B.L.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, IL, Landscape Architecture, May 2003
Research Interests / Areas of Focus
All things plant and fungi, with an emphasis on beneficial fungi and their interactions with other organisms
Han, J. et al. (2021) Directed evolution of Metarhizium fungus improves its biocontrol efficacy against Varroa mites in honey bee colonies. Scientific Reports 11:10582
Liu, J., Han, J., Sharma, A. et al. (2021) Transcriptional regulation of dosage compensation in Carica papaya. Scientific Reports 11:5854
Stamets, P. E., Naeger, N. L., Evans, J. D., Han, J.O., Hopkins, B. K., et al. (2018) Extracts of Polypore Mushroom Mycelia Reduce Viruses in Honey Bees. Scientific Reports. 8(1): 13936
Zhang, J., Zhang, X., Tang, H., Zhang, Q., Hua, X., Ma, X., et al. (2018) Publisher Correction: Allele-defined genome of the autopolyploid sugarcane Saccharum spontaneum L. Nature Genetics. 50(12): 1754
VanBuren, R., Wai, CM., Zhang J., Han J.O., Arro, J., et al. (2016) Extremely low nucleotide diversity in the X-linked region of papaya caused by a strong selective sweep. Genome Biology. 17:230
VanBuren, R., Zeng F., Chen C., Zhang J., Wai, CM., Han J.O., et al. (2015) Origin and domestication of papaya Yh Chromosome. Genome Research. 25:524-533
Han, J.O., Murray, J. E., Yu, Q., Moore, P. H., & Ming, R. (2014) The Effects of Gibberellic Acid on Sex Expression and Secondary Sexual Characteristics in Papaya. HortScience, 49(3): 378-383
Han, J.O., & Ming, R. (2014) Molecular Genetic Mapping of Papaya. In Genetics and Genomics of Papaya. pp. 143-155. Springer New York.
Heath K.D., Bagley E., Berkey AJM., Birlenbach D., Carr-Markell MK., et al., (2014) Amplify the Signal: Graduate Training in Broader Impacts of Scientific Research. BioScience, 54(5): 517-523
Ming, R., VanBuren, R., Liu, Y., Yang, M., Han, et al., (2013) Genome of the long-living sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.). Genome Biology, 14(5), R41
Han, J.O. (8 November 2012) Men… They just won’t go away. Smilepolitely.com Web.
Gschwend, A.R., Yu, Q., Tong, E.J., Zeng, F., Han, J.O., VanBuren, R., Aryal, R., Charlesworth, D., Moore, P.H., Paterson, A.H., Ming, R. (2012) Rapid divergence and expansion of the X chromosome in papaya. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109:13716-13721
Wang, J., Na, J.-K., Yu, Q., Gschwend A.R., Han, J.O., et al. (2012) Sequencing papaya X and Yh chromosomes reveals molecular basis of incipient sex chromosome evolution. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 109(34): 13710-13715
Wai, C.M., Han, J.O., Sing, R., Aryal, R., Ming, R. (2012). Analyzing the Papaya Genome, in Nelson, K.E., and Jones-Nelson B., Ed., Genomics Applications for the Developing World, Advances in Microbial Ecology (Springer Science+Business Media, LLC) DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-2182-5_18
Selected Press and Documentary Interviews
IREO (Innovtion and Research Engagement Office) Podcast, Luke Walker, (2022) "Using Fungi to Save Bees"
Natur & Wissen, Dr. Agnes Przewozny, "Pilze gegen Varroa?" (2022) https://www.digitalmagazin.de/marken/bienennatur/hauptheft/2022-6/natur-wissen/030_pilze-gegen-varroa
The Daily Evergreen, Isabelle Busch, (2021) "Make a buzz to save the bees" https://dailyevergreen.com/119115/research-research-2/make-a-buzz-to-save-the-bees/
Weather or Not, Vivian Gonzalez, (2021)"Bees and Mosquitos" https://rss.com/podcasts/weatherornot/279091/
AAAS, Erik Stokstad, (2021) "Scientists evolve a fungus to battle deadly honey bee parasite" https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/06/scientists-evolve-fungus-battle-deadly-honey-bee-parasite
Two Bees in a Podcast, University of Florida, (2021) "Evolution of Metarhizium Fungus & Making Honey" https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/evolution-of-metarhizium-fungus-making-honey/id1494010558?i=1000538472803
Market to Market, Josh Buettner, Iowa Public Television. (2020) "Fungal extracts help honey bees."
Mushroom Revival Podcast, Alex Dorr and Lera Niemackl, (2020) "Saving the Bees with Jennifer Han & Nick Naeger"
Market to Market, Josh Buettner, Iowa Public Television. (2019) "The Bee Beat."
Good Fruit Grower, Kate Prengaman, (2019) "Researchers look to fungi to help keep honeybees healthy: New research explores two very different fungi that could knock out the varroa mite and boost bees’ immunity." https://www.goodfruit.com/researchers-look-to-fungi-to-help-honeybees/
Specialty Crop Block Grant ($250,000)
Washington State Department of Agriculture
"Comprehensive Honey Bee Health Tech Transfer Outreach Program: Education, Breeding, Nutrition, and Management"
FIRE grant ($11,000)
EARTH Executive Advising & ICE Internship Consultants for Entrepreneurs
“MycoEvo” – to create commercialization models for fungi/bee technology
Altman Foundation ($1,600,000)
Jonathan and Kathleen Altman Foundation·
Awarded for salary, staff and research
California Beekeepers Association ($19,400)
California Beekeepers Association
"Evaluation of fungal extracts for colony health parameters in commercial colonies"
Specialty Crop Block Grant ($249,751)
Washington State Department of Agriculture
"Ensuring the sustainability of pollination services to Washington specialty crops"
WWW Foundation ($570,000)
Whittier Trust Co.
"Development of novel strains of the fungus Metarhizium for Varroa mite control,"
Barrett foundation ($50,000)
The Richard W. & Elaine E. Barrett Foundation·
Awarded to set up qPCR capable space at WSU
Queen rearing workshop: (invited) 2022
"Varroa control and effects on queen breeding"
Gonzaga University: (invited) 2021
"Fungal pharmacy: Can fungi save the honey bee?"
New Mexico State Beekeepers Association: (invited) 2021
"Is Varroa control possible without chemical miticides?"
Washington State Beekeepers Association: (invited) 2020
"Spore, what is it good for? Killing Varroa with fungi"
Portland Urban Beekeepers: (invited) 2019
"Fungal pharmacy: Using fungi to control Varroa mites and honey bee viruses"
Centralia College: Rising Tide Science Seminar Series: (invited) 2018
"Using fungi to control parasitic mites and honey bee viruses"
Mycological Society of America Annual Meeting: 2017
"Fungal Pharmacy: Using Metarhizium and fungal extracts for honey bee health"