Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 12:00pm
Senior Scientist and Ambizione Scholar, ETH Zürich, Switzerland
Forests and their fungi:
Molecular interactions at macro scale
Soils are alive. Incredibly diverse forest microbial communities have profound impacts on our world that we are just beginning to grasp. How does massive microbial biodiversity affect which trees are in a forest, forest carbon sequestration and climate change forecasts? Can we engineer forest microbial communities to affect the carbon cycle? To improve restoration outcomes? I focus on the ecology of mycorrhizal fungi - fungi that form a symbiosis with the roots of most plants on Earth – as an example of how microbiology shapes the macro-ecological world.
Colin Averill is a microbial, mycorrhizal and ecosystem ecologist, investigating how the soil microbiome influences which trees are in a forest, forest carbon sequestration and forest restoration outcomes. Colin did his PhD at UT Austin, and then held a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship, hosted at Boston University. He currently leads a small team at ETH Zürich, working to link molecular scale observations of soil fungal communities to macro-scale forest function.
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