Christine Hawkes confirmed as plenary speaker.  Hawkes, Associate Professor of Integrative Biology in the College of Natural Resources at The University of Texas at Austin will speak to conference attendees on Saturday morning.  Hawkes current research focuses on basic and applied aspects of plant-microbe interactions and their role in communities and ecosystems.  One of her main areas of study is in examining how soil and microbial legacies affect the success of efforts to restore native plant communities and basic ecological functions such as nutrient cycling.  She also works to understand how microbial communities can be used as a mechanism for enhancing ecosystem resilience and as a tool for restoration.