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Associate ProfessorAssociate Curator of Fungi
Office Location(s): 1147 Kraus Natural Science Building
Phone: 734.615.7753Lab Phone: 734.763.8161
View Curriculum Vitae
I received my Ph.D. degree from Duke University in biology in 2003. I was a postdoctoral fellow in biology at Duke University from 2003-2006, in evolutionary biology at Uppsala University from 2006-2007, and in biology at McMaster University 2008.
Much of the obvious adaptive evolution in Fungi is observed in their diversification of mating systems and dispersal mechanisms. I study the evolution of sex and reproductive traits of Fungi and attempt to link these traits with phylogeny and population genetics. I am particularly interested in the intriguing phenomenon of heterokaryosis in Fungi. The heterokaryon is an alternative to diploidy in which multiple genetically different nuclei inhabit the same cell after mating occurs. I am studying genomic conflict in this system by measuring the degree to which the nuclei of a heterokaryon compete or cooperate with each other. Understanding this behavior includes investigating the role of pheromone signaling in the communication between nuclei.
In addition, our lab is interested in the evolution of the ancient aquatic fungi known as the chytrids. Our methodology includes molecular biology, phylogenetics, and fungal cultivation. Currently I am focusing on the following three projects:
1. Evolution of mating systems and nuclear behavior in mushroom fungi (Agaricomycetes)
2. Molecular systematics of ancient fungal lineages
3. Evolutionary genomics and population genetics of the chytrid fungal disease of amphibians
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
2019 Kraus Nat. Sci. Bldg.830 North University
Ann Arbor, MI