Cafe Scientifique: Mycorrhizal Fungi – Invisible Architects of Ecosystem Diversity

Presented by The Bell Museum / Speaker: Jeremiah A. Henning

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
7:00 pm / Doors open at 6:00pm

Tickets: $5-$12 sliding scale

Topic: Mycorrhizal Fungi

Speaker: Jeremiah A. Henning

Although they are an invisible group of soil-dwelling organisms, mycorrhizal fungi are critical to the maintenance of plant diversity, plant productivity, and the storage of carbon in soils. Mycorrhizal fungi likely hold the key to how ecosystems will respond to global change. For my talk, I will introduce the audience to the group of fungi I study, Glomeromycota, then briefly introduce a couple of the classic studies demonstrating the important links between fungal diversity, plant diversity, productivity, and soil carbon. Once I lay this ground work, I will transition into how these fungi may shape ecosystem response to global change, talking very generally about the carbon cycle and a few of my past and current research projects.

I am currently a post-doctoral researcher associate in the department Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. I recently relocated back to the midwest after completing my PhD at the University of Tennessee. Overall, my research focuses on understanding patterns that maintain global biodiversity and how contemporary global change is reshaping biodiversity. Although my research has taken me from tropical rainforests, to mountain tops, and up to the arctic tundra permafrost, the tall grass prairie always holds a place in my heart, and I will focus most of my talk on work that has been conducted in a Tallgrass prairie near Eau Claire, WI.

The Bell Museum's Café Scientifique is a happy hour exchange of ideas about science, environment and popular culture that features experts from a variety of fields on diverse and often provocative topics.

 

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