Research

My long term research interests are to understand how selective pressures affect  symbiotic microbial genome content and how population diversity reflects natural history of these processes. This innate curiosity has driven my scientific exploration of plant associated fungi, bacterial-fungal interactions, and human pathogenic fungal interactions. I use genomics in these systems to probe how fungal symbioses are established and maintained over time.

Fungal-Bacterial Interactions

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Mortierella elongata growing in a microfluidic chamber

¬†Coccidioidomycosis aka “Valley Fever”¬†

Tropical Plant-Fungal Interactions

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Dicymbe corymbosa root tip colonized by ECM fungi, fungal tissue in red

Fungal Diversity & Biogeography

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Biogeographic & phylogenetic diversity patterns of Clavulina A. An ultrametric phylogenetic tree produced from ITS sequencesBranches reconstructed under parsimony as tropical or temperate are green or blue respectively, arrow denotes an elevated (~ 3x) diversification rate temperate clade B. Clavulina morphological diversity with taxa framed by origin in C. the tropics (green) or temperate regions (blue). Reconstructed form Kennedy et al. 2012.