Most of work in my lab has been focused on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizal fungi. These fungi form symbiotic associations with plant roots, and this interaction represents one of the most widespread and important mutualisms in terrestrial ecosystems.
Our prior work on mycorrhizal fungi has focused on:
- 1) the development of molecular tools for the identification of fungi from environmental samples
- 2) the characterization of fungal community structure
- 3) the effect of plant host and disturbance on fungal community structure
- 4) the autecology and population structure of key fungal species
- 5) the ecology and evolution of non-photosynthetic, epiparasitic plants and their fungal hosts
- 6) landscape level patterns of spore dispersal and tree recruitment.
Current projects in the lab (as of June 2011) include:
The population genomics project is part of a larger survey of ectomycorrhizal fungi in pine forest across North America. This work is being done in collaboration with John Taylor (this department), Kabir Peay (University of Minnesota) and Rytas Vilgalys (Duke University). All three projects use high throughput sequence analysis and informatics approaches.
- 1) populations genomics of key ectomycorrhizal species associated with pine (NSF dimensions grant)
- 2) an investigation of sources and dynamics of fungal communities in the indoor environment (Sloan Foundation)
- 3) beta-diversity patterns of saprobic fungi associated with energy crops, Miscanthus and sugarcane (EBI)
The lab is also working to catalogue and voucher the macrofungi of Pt. Reyes National Seashore and Yosemite National park. This work is a collaborative project with trained members of the general public especially members of the Bay Area Mycological Society, the Mycological Society of San Francisco, the Sonoma Mycological Association, and Mycologists from San Francisco State, and UC Davis.
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