Erica Cline, Ph.D.

QuESSt Division Chair and Associate Professor ; Graduate Faculty

Specialty: Forest soil microbiology

Cline, Erica

Contact information

Dept: Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Room: SCI 222
Phone: 253-692-4556
Schedule: Autumn 2013 office hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 2:00-3:00 p.m.


  • Ph.D., Forest Resources, University of Washington, Seattle, 2004.
  • M.S., Cell Biology, University of Leiden, the Netherlands, 1994.
  • B.S., Biology, University of Puget Sound, 1992.


Before coming to UW Tacoma I was a post-doctoral researcher in the Systematic Botany and Mycology Lab of the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland. There I worked on nomenclature and taxonomy of invasive plant pathogens and helped to develop a database covering all published fungal species, searchable at I did my Ph.D. research at UW Seattle in the College of Forest Resources. I studied the effects of forest harvesting on ectomycorrhizal fungi of Douglas-fir seedlings and trees, in the Cedar River and Green River, the watersheds of Seattle and Tacoma, respectively.


I am a soil ecologist with research interests in the role of mycorrhizal fungi in forests and agricultural systems. Currently, I am investigating the impacts of biosolids applications on local forests by looking at soil metals, mycorrhizal fungus communities, and tree responses. I also use DNA sequencing to identify market substitution of farmed Atlantic salmon for Pacific salmon in stores and restaurants.


  • TESC 120 Introductory Biology I: Ecology, Evolution, Genetics
  • TESC 130 Introductory Biology II: Cell and Molecular Biology
  • TESC 140 Introductory Biology III: Plant and Animal Physiology
  • TESC 200 Environmental Seminar
  • TESC 236 Sustainable Agriculture
  • TESC 378 Environmental Microbiology
  • TESC 340 Ecology and its Applications
  • TESC 404 Neotropical Field Studies. Has been taught in Costa Rica and Peru.
  • TESC 432 Forest Ecology Field Studies
  • TESC 495 Environmental Research Experience

Selected Publications

  • Cline, E.T. 2012. Marketplace substitution of Atlantic salmon for Pacific salmon in Washington State detected by DNA barcoding. Food Research International 45: 388-393.
  • Cline, E.T., Elliott, M. 2012. Community service learning√≥The Phytophthora ramorum (sudden oak death) stream monitoring project. American Biology Teacher 74(3), 191-192.
  • Cline, E.T., Nguyen, Q.T.N., Rollins, L., and Gawel, J.E., 2012. Metal stress and decreased tree growth in response to biosolids application in greenhouse seedlings and in situ Douglas-fir stands. Environmental Pollution 160: 139-144.
  • Cline, E.T., Gogarten, J. 2012. Using phylogenetic analysis to detect market substitution of Atlantic salmon for Pacific salmon: an introductory biology laboratory experiment. American Biology Teacher 74 (4):244-249.
  • Banks, J.E., Cline, E.T., Castro, S., Urena, N., Nichols, K., Hannon, L., Singer, R., and Chandler, M. 2011. Effects of synthetic fertilizer on coffee yields and ecosystem services: soil glomalin and parasitoids in a Costa Rican coffee agroecosystem. The Journal of Crop Improvement 25: 650-663.


  • Puget Sound Mycological Society
  • The Mountaineers

Professional Service

  • Curriculum for the Bioregion steering committee