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Research interests

My research centers on the evolution and ecology of fungi across their broad spectrum of roles in ecosystems and human lives. I primarily use genomics, and I currently have two main research thrusts:

  1. identify fungal communities in healthy, diseased, and changing environments
  2. determine the genomic pathways of fungal evolution in response to biotic and abiotic environmental variation

The first part of my research is essentially about measuring fungal biodiversity and inferring its role in larger communities. Genomics serves the dual purpose of allowing high-throughput identification via targeted sequencing while also allowing fine-scale partitioning of diversity via resequencing. The second part of my research is focused on how genomes evolve in response to environments. This research uses experiments to measure mutation types and rates in a variety of environmental conditions, and my research also uses natural populations to discover how recombination and spatial structure modify fungal evolution. With more genomes sequenced than any other eukaryotic group, fungi offer unique opportunities to study how these complex organisms respond to stressful or permissive environments.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

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