Dr. Laura Aldrich-Wolfe
I am interested in questions of coexistence in community ecology. A single plant’s root system may be occupied by hundreds of species. What roles do these species play? To what extent is a community a product of chance rather than the outcome of species interactions? To what extent do closely related species play equivalent or divergent roles within the rhizosphere. Do abiotic and biotics factors differ in importance in structuring communities across biomes? I enjoy asking questions of broad importance to community ecology within the context of the rhizosphere fungal community, using landscape-scale studies, molecular biology, and manipulative experiments. While I seek to deepen our knowledge of the largely invisible world beneath our feet, I also hope to inform decision-making about land use by policy-makers, ranchers and farmers.