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Research Interests
Cannabis' Little Helpers  
Dr. Siobhan "Siv" Watkins is an environmental microbiologist/geneticist, and is the project's go-to expert
for characterizing soil microbes. Mutually beneficial plant-microbe symbioses play a key role in sustainable
crop production, and, for many plants, we understand something about how these relationships are
developed, maintained, and how they may contribute to crop health and productivity. However, for
Cannabis sp., little is understood with regard to how these interactions are formed and how they progress
over the natural life of the plant. Headed by Dr. Siv Watkins, a research program is under development to
comprehensively examine the bacterial, viral and fungal communities associated with a range of Cannabis
cultivars grown under varied controlled conditions. In collaboration with a local organic marijuana farm
and several other scientists at NMT, our aim is to examine the microbial processes which are of
undeniable importance to sustainable production. In addition, through education and discussion, we hope
that our research will contribute to global discussion regarding the benefits of medical marijuana, and
become an asset to our community at large. This work is supported by a pilot grant from the National
Center for Genome Resources.