The last SEFS Seminar of Spring Quarter 2021 will be on carbon cycling in forest soils.

Peter Kennedy, a mycologist and associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Plant and Microbial Biology” will present, “Do interactions among different fungal guilds control carbon cycling in forest soils?” at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, May 26 via Zoom: https://washington.zoom.us/s/91222833965.

Here’s an abstract for the seminar:

“Organic matter (OM) decomposition is a critical nexus in the global cycling of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), and a process with cascading effects on a range of important ecosystem services, including nutrient availability and C storage. In forest ecosystems, fungi play an essential role in soil OM turnover because of their enzymatic capacity to degrade both simple and complex biopolymers, and thus recycle both C and nutrients. The potential inhibition of growth of free-living saprotrophic (SAP) fungi by ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungi, the latter of which play a major role in host productivity, has significant implications for OM decomposition. Despite growing interest in EM-SAP fungal interactions, how EM fungal suppression of OM decomposition varies across different litter types remains largely understudied. In this seminar, I will discuss some of our recent work examining how EM-SAP fungal interactions affect decomposition in a variety of different litter types: leaves, roots, and fungal mycelium. Additionally, I will discuss some of the experiments we have recently begun to further understand how variation in biotic and abiotic conditions may also influence the outcome of EM-SAP fungal interactions.”

Kennedy is a mycologist broadly interested plant-microbe interactions.  He has worked most extensively on the ectomycorrhizal fungal symbiosis, focusing on how the structure of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities is influenced by factors such as interspecific competition, host specificity, and biogeography.

Kennedy received his bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College and his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.  He was a post-doctoral research fellow at Point Reyes National Seashore before joining Lewis and Clark College as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology in 2007.

In 2013, Kennedy moved to the University of Minnesota as an associate professor in the Department of Plant and Microbial biology. He has been a recipient of outstanding young investigator awards from both the Mycological Society of America and International Mycological Association and has also been a Fulbright scholar in both Mexico and Colombia.

You can view the full SEFS Seminar lineup here. The SEFS Seminar Series is made possible with support from the Corkery Family Environmental and Forest Sciences Director’s Endowed Chair fund.

Full Meeting Information

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