I aim to elucidate the biology and ecology of fungi and use this information to bring to light the many hidden ways in which fungi structure of the world around us. My primary interest is in plant-fungal root associations, better known as mycorrhizas, which constitute one of the most pervasive mutualisms in terrestrial ecosystems.
My questions span a range of scales: (1) how does local environmental variation affect the composition and function of mycorrhizal fungi; (2) how does composition and diversity of mycorrhizal fungi affect coexistence of plant species; (3) how does dispersal affect mycorrhizal community assembly across landscapes, and; (4) how do large-scale differences in climate couple the biogeography of mycorrhizal fungi and plant hosts across biomes?
By integrating these scales of research we hope to build a ‘roots-to-biomes’ understanding that will allow us to predict the fate of fungi in a changing world and promote sustainable ecosystems.
- Early Career Fellow, Ecological Society of America 2016-2021
- Terman Fellow, Stanford University, 2017-2020
- LInC Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment
- Buller Medal for Early Career Research, International Mycological Association, 2018
- Alexopolous Prize for Early Career Research, Mycological Society of America, 2017
- Steidinger BS, Crowther TW, Liang J, Van Nuland ME, Werner GDA, Reich PB, Nabuurs G, De Miguel S, Zhou M, Picard N, Herault B, Zhao X, Zhang C, Routh D, GFBi Team, & Peay KG. (2019) Climatic controls over decomposition drive the global biogeography of forest tree symbioses. Nature 569: 404–408.
- Talbot JM, Bruns TD, Taylor JW, Smith DP, Branco S, Glassman SI, Erlandson S, Vilgalys R, Liao HL, Smith ME, & Peay KG. (2014) Endemism and functional convergence across the North American soil mycobiome. PNAS 111:6341-6346
- Peay KG, Schubert MG, Nguyen NH & Bruns TD. (2012) Measuring ectomycorrhizal fungal dispersal: macroecological patterns driven by microscopic propagules. Molecular Ecolology 16:4122-4136
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.