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.
Coccidioides spherule growing in human lung tissue. Image from library.med.utah.edu
Mortierella elongata growing in a microfluidic chamber
Dicymbe corymbosa root tip colonized by ECM fungi, fungal tissue in red
Biogeographic & phylogenetic diversity patterns of Clavulina A. An ultrametric phylogenetic tree produced from ITS sequences. Branches 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.