Saint Mary’s University (In progress)
My research focuses on the dynamics of rhizospheric fungi during the decomposition of coniferous fine roots. Interactions between trees and rhizospheric fungi are multifaceted; some fungi engage in mutualistic symbitoic relationships with trees through their fine roots (mycorrhizal fungi), some live biotrophically inside root tissue (endophytes), while others decompose senescent root tissues (saprophytes). By utilizing next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, I hope to characterize how the dynamics of these communities change over time as decomposition progresses. Better understanding of decomposition may help create more accurate carbon sequestration models for forest ecosystems.