WELCOME TO THE PEAY LAB @ STanford
Our lab studies the ecological processes that structure natural communities and the links between community structure and the cycling of nutrients and energy through ecosystems. We focus primarily on fungi, as these organisms are incredibly diverse and are the primary agents of carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems.
Much of our research focuses on plant-fungal root associations, better known as mycorrhizas, which constitute one of the most pervasive mutualisms in terrestrial ecosystems. We work on questions at three scales of this symbiosis, (1) how does environmental variation and functional variation in mycorrhizal fungi affect the symbiosis at the root tip scale, (2) how does dispersal contribute to the predictability of community assembly patterns at the landscape scale, and (3) how does biogeography affect mycorrhizal community structure and ecosystem function? By integrating these three levels of research we hope to build a 'roots-to-biomes' understanding of plant-microbe symbiosis.
Sponge bob sighted in borneo
Spongiforma squarepantsii has been sighted in the rainforest of Borneo! The sponge shaped mushroom I found with Tom Bruns (UC Berkeley) while in Borneo was recently described as a new species by Dennis Desjardin (SFSU), myself and Tom in an upcoming issue of Mycologia. The name is silly, but the fungus draws attention to the vast, unexplored diversity of fungi in tropical rainforests and the need for a better understanding of the role these organisms play in the ecology of these forests. SF Chronicle story can be found here. In addition S. squarepantsii has been included on the list of TOP 10 SPECIES OF 2012.
Lab joke of the moment
Jenny's idea of a carbon joke. Source HTML
For info on JOINING THE LAB go here
New Paper! Roles of ECM & SAPs in organic matter decomposition
First paper from our Dimensions of Biodiversity grant! We use NGS to look at the structure of mycorrhizal and saprotrophic fungal communities and show that they have different effects on a variety of extracellular enzymes. Published in SBB
New paper! Rat invasion alters fungal community structure
Our latest paper analyzing the effects of rat invasion across a series of small islands off the coast of New Zealand shows the potential for indirect effects of invasive predators on the fungal subsystem is online in Oikos.
New Paper! - Measuring ECM fungal dispersal
Our newest paper measuring fungal dispersal with qPCR & 454 pyrosequencing has just been published in Molecular Ecology
Paper reviewed in F1000 Biology
Our paper on the use of phylogenetic relatedness to predict the strength of priority effects was reviewed in the Faculty of 1000 Biology.
Follow news from our lab and my thoughts on ecology and mycology on my Twitter feed @mykophile