Jessica LaBella

Research Specialist

Evolutionary Ecology


  • B.S. | 2020 | West Virginia Wesleyan College, Molecular Biology

Research Interests

I am a research specialist working with Dr. Na Wei on the evolutionary ecology of plant adaptation to environmental change in wild apples and wild strawberries. My past research focused on the ecophysiology of the endangered species, running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum). At the Wei Lab, my research will integrate manipulative experiments, field collections, microbe culturing, and microbiome sequencing.

Select Publications

  • Wei N, LaBella J and Kaufman E. 2021. Leaf fungal microbiome in crabapples: A preliminary study at Holden Arboretum, Ohio. Malus: International Ornamental Crabapple Society Bulletin
  • LaBella J and Kovar C. 2021. Recognizing current threats to the biology and habitat of the California tiger salamander, Ambystoma californiense, and summarizing conservation efforts. Appalachian Journal of Student Scholarship.
  • LaBella J. 2021. Resistant vs. susceptible leaf microbiomes in crabapples. The Garden Club of America, Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture ($3000). 


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