Our research focus is on plant and soil ecology, with most people in the lab working on fungi. We work with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, other root colonizing fungi ranging in functioning (including parasites), and also saprobic fungi.
Some examples of research themes we currently pursue:
- ecological synthesis (e.g., using meta-analytical techniques)
- the biodiversity of soil aggregation, particularly the role of mycorrhizal and saprobic fungi and their interactions with other soil biota
- biodiversity and community ecology of of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, using methods of molecular ecology, for example as part of the DFG Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Monitoring and Research in South Ecuador on a megadiverse mountain ecosystem in Ecuador, the Biodiversity Exploratories, or as part of the BMBF initiative BoNaRes examining communities of AM fungi in agroecosystems
- soil biota effects on plants and plant communities, including pathogenic fungi and mycorrhizal fungi
- trait-based approaches in fungi, for example using saprobic fungi as model systems to test ecological principles; including participation in the collaborative research center (SFB 973) “Priming and memory of organismic responses to stress”
- global change biology (see ERC Advanced Grant), including work on microplastic in soil