I am an Associate Professor Biology at the University of Richmond in Virginia. I study soil ecology in diverse habitats, from agro-ecosystems to hot deserts.
My research focuses specifically on soil nematodes, which are microscopic roundworms found in soils everywhere. Species of nematodes can feed on bacteria, fungi, plants, or other nematodes. One long-standing issue in ecology is determining how species that share the same resources can co-exist. Bacterial-feeding nematode communities are perfect for exploring this issue because many species can be found in the same habitat, particularly in desert soil. However, little is known about their feeding preferences with respect to different types of bacteria. My research explores these issues using methodology that combines collection and experimentation at field sites, classic and cutting-edge microscopy (including electron microscopy and fluorescent confocal laser scanning techniques), and molecular biology.
Address: Department of Biology, University of Richmond, 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173, Phone: (804) 287-6493, Email: atreonis at richmond.edu
1999 Ph.D., Ecology, Colorado State University
1993 B.A., Biology, Dominican University
TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE
2012 Fulbright Teacher:Scholar, Kathmandu University, Nepal
2011 – present Associate Professor, University of Richmond (Courses: Astrobiology, Microbiology, Microbial Ecology)
2005 – 2011 Assistant Professor, University of Richmond
2001-2005 Assistant Professor, Creighton University
1999-2001 Postdoctoral Research Scientist, The Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen, UK
1995-1999 Graduate Research Assistant, Natural Resource Ecology Lab, Colorado State University
1993-1995 Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago
Treonis A, Sutton K, Kavanaugh B, Narla A, McLlarky T, Felder J, O’Leary C, Riley M, Pikus A, Thomas S. 2012. Soil nematodes and their prokaryotic prey along an elevation gradient in the Mojave Desert (Death Valley National Park, California, USA). Diversity. 4:363-374.
Landesman WJ, Treonis AM, Dighton J. 2011. Effects of a one-year rainfall manipulation on soil nematodes, microbial communities and nitrogen mineralization. Pedobiologia. 54: 87-91.
Treonis AM, Michelle EH, O’Leary CA, Austin EE, Marks CB. 2010. Identification and localization of food source microbial nucleic acids inside soil nematodes. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 42:2005-2011.
Treonis AM, Austin EE, Buyer JS, Maul JE, Spicer L, Zasada IA. 2010. Effects of organic amendments and tillage on soil microorganisms and microfauna. Applied Soil Ecology. 46:103-110.
Austin E, Semmens K, Parsons C, Treonis AM. 2009. Granite rock outcrops: An extreme environment for soil nematodes? Journal of Nematology. 41:84-91.
Treonis A, Hill M, Dolson T, McGinnis S, Miles E. 2008. What do students have to say about ecology and evolution? Using podcasting to apply integrative biology themes across the Tree of Life. American Society for Microbiology’s MicrobeLibrary (http://www.MicrobeLibrary.org/)
Hunt HW, Treonis AM, Wall DH, Virginia RA. 2007. A mathematical model for variation in water-retention curves among sandy soils. Antarctic Science. 19: 427-436.
Treonis AM, Cook R, Grayston SJ, Dawson LA, Mizen T. 2007. Effects of the plant parasitic nematode (Heterodera trifolii) on clover roots and soil microbial communities. Biology & Fertility of Soils. 43:541-548.
Murray PJ, Cook R, Currie AF, Dawson LA, Gange AC, Grayston SJ, Treonis AM. 2006. Interactions between fertilizer addition, plants and the soil environment: Implications for soil faunal structure and diversity. Applied Soil Ecology 33:199-207.
Treonis AM, Wall DH. 2005. Soil nematodes and desiccation survival in the extreme arid environment of the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 45:741-750.
VanHecke MM, Treonis AM, Kaufman JR. 2005. How does the fungal endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum affect tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) rhizodeposition and soil microorganisms? Plant and Soil. 275: 99-107.
Treonis AM, Grayston SJ, Murray PJ, Dawson L. 2005. Effects of root feeding, cranefly larvae on soil microorganisms and the composition of rhizosphere solutions collected from grassland plants. Applied Soil Ecology. 28:203-215.
Treonis AM, Wall DH, Virginia RA. 2005. Invertebrate diversity in Taylor Valley soils and sediments. Antarctic Journal of the United States. 33:13-16.
Dawson LA, Grayston SJ, Murray PJ, Ross JM, Reid EJ, Treonis AM. 2004. Impact of Tipula paludosa larvae on plant growth and the soil microbial community. Applied Soil Ecology. 25:51-61.
Treonis AM, Ostle NJ, Stott AW, Primrose R, Grayston SJ, Ineson P. 2004. Identification of metabolically-active rhizosphere microbes by stable isotope probing of PLFAs. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 36:533-537.
McDonnell SE, Treonis AM. 2004. A survey of antibiotic resistance among coliform bacteria isolated from the Missouri River. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences. 29:1-5.
Dawson LA, Grayston SJ, Murray PJ, Cook R, Gange AC, Ross J, Pratt S, Duff E, Treonis AM. 2003. Influence of pasture management (nitrogen and lime addition and insecticide treatment) on soil organisms and pasture root system dynamics in the field. Plant & Soil. 255:121-130.
Treonis AM, Wall DH, Virginia RA. 2002. Field and microcosm studies of decomposition and soil biota in a cold desert soil. Ecosystems 5:159-170.
Grayston SJ, Dawson LA, Treonis AM, Murray PJ, Ross J, Reid EJ, MacDougall R. 2001. Impact of root herbivory by insect larvae on soil microbial communities. European Journal of Soil Biology. 37:277-280.
Treonis AM, Wall DH, Virginia RA. 2000. The use of anhydrobiosis by soil nematodes in the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Functional Ecology. 14:460-467.
Treonis AM. 1999. Environmental controls of the diversity, activity, and function of soil nematodes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. Ph.D. Dissertation, Colorado State University, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology.
Treonis AM, Wall DH, Virginia RA. 1999. Invertebrate biodiversity in Antarctic Dry Valley soils and sediments. Ecosystems. 2:482-492.
Lussenhop J, Treonis AM, Curtis PS, Teeri JA, Vogel CS. 1998. Response of soil biota to elevated atmospheric CO2 in poplar model systems. Oecologia. 113:247-251.
Treonis AM, Lussenhop J. 1997. Rapid response of the bacterial-based soil food chain to elevated CO2. Biology and Fertility of Soils. 25:60-62.
RECENT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Zielinski B, Treonis A. 2011. Soil nematode feeding preferences among bacteria and the effect of dietary choice on population growth. Annual meeting of the Virginia Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Blacksburg, VA (poster)
Treonis AM. 2011. Soil quality and the structure of soil food webs in a hot desert. SEE11 Soil Entomology and Ecology Meeting, Plymouth, UK.
Treonis AM, Michelle EH, O’Leary CA, EE Austin, Marks CB. 2010. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization to visually identify nematode feeding choices. ONTA, Quito, Ecuador.
Treonis AM, Lussenhop JF. 2009. Soil biota in a changing environment: Micro- and mesofaunal responses to elevated atmospheric CO2. Joint Meeting of the International Soil Ecology Society & the Society of Nematologists. Burlington, VT.
O’Leary C, Treonis AM, Marks C, Zasada IA. 2009. Detecting microbial nucleic acids within nematode bodies: A photo essay. Joint Meeting of the International Soil Ecology Society & the Society of Nematologists. Burlington, VT.
Parsons C, Austin E, Semmens K, Treonis AM. July 2009. Granite rock outcrops: An extreme environment for soil nematodes? Joint Meeting of the International Soil Ecology Society & the Society of Nematologists. Burlington, VT.
Michelle EH, Austin E, Hill A, Marks C, Zasada IA, Treonis AM. 2007. Use of phylogenetic stains to determine the feeding preferences of microbivorous soil nematodes. Annual Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, Toronto, Canada.
Treonis AM, Michelle EH, Austin E, Hill A, Marks C, Zasada IA. 2007. Can phylogenetic staining be used to resolve the feeding preferences of soil nematodes? Biennial Meeting of the International Soil Ecology Society, Moab, UT.
Treonis AM, Zasada IA. 2005. Indirect effects of root herbivory by insect larvae on the structure of the soil food web. Society of Nematologists Annual Meeting, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Treonis AM, Wall DH. 2005. Soil nematodes and desiccation survival in the extreme arid environment of the Antarctic Dry Valleys. Annual Meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. San Diego, CA.