Élan Alford

Biologist

Overview

Élan Alford is a Biologist with WRA, Inc. She works in plant ecology and holds a Ph.D. in ecology with an emphasis in plant root-soil interactions. As a doctoral graduate student she investigated legumes and trace element hyper-accumulation. Élan has several scientific publications on the role of belowground interactions between plants and microorganisms.

Prior to her start at WRA, Élan worked as a plant ecologist at the management level with another consulting firm and she has extensive experience with biological resources and permitting in the South Bay Area. She conducts and manages special-status species surveys, habitat assessments, wetland delineations, wetlands and waters permit applications, and associated technical reports. With WRA, Élan works on these types of projects over a broad segment of the San Francisco Bay region.

Publications

Journal Articles

DeTar RA, ÉR Alford, and EA Pilon-Smits. (2015). Molybdenum accumulation, tolerance and molybdenum-selenium-sulfur interactions in Astragalus selenium hyperaccumulator and nonaccumulator species. Journal of Plant Physiology 183:32-40.

Alford, ÉR, SD Lindblom, M. Pittarello, JL Freeman, SC Fakra, MA Marcus, C Broeckling, EAH Pilon-Smits, and MW Paschke. (2014). Roles of rhizobial symbionts in selenium hyperaccumulation in Astragalus (Fabaceae). American Journal of Botany 101(11):1895-1905.

Alford, ÉR, EAH Pilon-Smits, and MW Paschke. (2012). Selenium hyperaccumulation by Astragalus (Fabaceae) does not inhibit root nodule symbiosis. American Journal of Botany 99:1930-1941.

Valdez Barillas, JR, CF Quinn, JL Freeman, SD Lindblom, SC Fakra, MA Marcus, TM Gilligan, ÉR Alford, AL Wangeline, and EAH Pilon-Smits. (2012). Selenium distribution and speciation in the hyperaccumulators Astragalus bisulcatus and associated ecological partners. Plant Physiology 159(4):1834-1844.

Alford, ÉR, EAH Pilon-Smits, and MW Paschke. (2010). Metallophytes – a view from the rhizosphere. Plant and Soil. 337:33–50.

Alford, ÉR, JM Vivanco and MW Paschke. (2009). The effects of flavonoid allelochemicals from knapweeds on legume – rhizobia candidates for restoration. Restoration Ecology 17:506-514.

Alford, ÉR, LG Perry, B Qin, JM Vivanco, and MW Paschke. (2007). A putative allelopathic agent of Russian knapweed occurs in invaded soils. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 39:1812-1815.

Perry, LG, C Johnson, ÉR Alford, JM Vivanco, and MW Paschke. (2005). Screening of grassland plants for restoration after spotted knapweed invasion. Restoration Ecology 13(4): 725-735.

Books

Perry, LG, ÉR Alford, J Horiuchi, MW Paschke, and JM Vivanco. Chemical signals in the rhizosphere: Root-root and root-microbe communication. In The Rhizosphere: Biochemistry and Organic Substances at the Soil-Plant Interface, Second edition, ed. by R Pinton, Z Varanini, and P Nannipieri. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2007.

Oral Presentations

Alford, ÉR. February 2018. Digging Into Our Data: Rare Plant Hotspots in the CNPS Santa Clara Valley Chapter. Oral presentation for California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Alford, ÉR. November 2017. Digging Into Our Data: Rare Plant Hotspots of the Santa Clara Valley Chapter. Oral presentation for the Brenda Butner Memorial Lecture, California Native Plant Society-Santa Clara Valley Chapter Annual Meeting, Los Altos, CA.

Poster Presentations

Alford, ÉR. 2018. Rare plant hotspots in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Poster presentation for California Native Plant Society Conservation Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Projects

Runnymede Storm Drain Phase II Project and Repair of the O’Connor Pump Station Outfall Structure, San Mateo County, California

Gaver Ranch Permitting Project, Monterey County, California

Mission Bay Park P3 Project, San Francisco, California

Zeiss Graphite Development Project, Dublin, Alameda County, California

Simmons Slough Water Management Project, Novato, California

Bolsa Road Fish Passage Improvements Project, Santa Clara County, California

Holy Names University, Oakland, Alameda County, California

Zeiss Graphite Development Project, Dublin, Alameda County, California

Education

Ph.D., Ecology, Colorado State University

M.S., Ecology, Colorado State University

B.S., Ecology & Evolution, University of Pittsburgh

Other

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Scientific Collectors Permit Plant Collection Permit