Ep. 132: Community Assembly, Plant-Fungal Associations and Mycorrhizal Ecologies (feat. Dr. Kabir Peay)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are host to the distinguished Dr. Kabir Peay – head of Stanford University’s Peay Lab. Dr. Peay completed a master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment Science (F&ES) in 2003 and obtained a PhD in 2008 from UC Berkeley’s Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) in Matteo Garbelotto's lab. He completed postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley in the Dept. of Plant & Microbial Biology with Tom Bruns, and at Stanford in the Dept. of Biology with Tadashi Fukami. He was an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota from 2011-2012 before coming to Stanford in 2012 to join the Dept. of Biology in his current position. The Peay lab studies the ecological processes that structure natural communities and the links between community structure and the cycling of nutrients and energy through ecosystems - focusing on fungi! Much of the research focuses on plant-fungal root associations, better known as mycorrhizas, which constitute one of the most pervasive mutualisms in terrestrial ecosystems. By integrating their lines of research, they hope to weave together a 'roots-to-biomes' understanding of plant-microbe symbiosis.   


  • A Love of Nature, Inspiration in the East   
  • From Environmental Consulting into Ecological Understanding   
  • Discovering Fungal Symbioses   
  • Defining Ecology & Community Assembly   
  • Understanding Scale in Community Ecology    
  • Embracing Fungi in All of Their Ecological Roles   
  • Facultative Capacities of Fungi   
  • Mycorrhizal Lessons in Community Ecology    
  • Broadening Ecological Perspectives Beyond Purely Competitive Frameworks   
  • MISSPs & Mediating Mycorrhizal Interactions   
  • Fungal Biogeography   
  • Ecological Succession & Stages of Community Assembly   
  • Future of Mycorrhizal Research   
  • Mapping Fungal Genes to Ecological Functions   


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