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Peter Kennedy

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Peter Kennedy
Associate Professor



Kennedy Lab website >>

Degrees earned
  • B.S. - The Evergreen State College 1999
  • Ph. D. - UC Berkeley 2005

Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Fungal Ecology; Plant-Microbe Interactions; Symbioses

Awards and honors
  • International Mycological Association Buller Prize (Outstanding Young Mycologist from North America) - 2014
  • Mycological Society of America Martin-Baker Research Award - 2012
  • C.I.E.S Fulbright Fellow, Mexico - 2010
Research statement

Symbioses between microbes and other organisms play a central role in the ecology and evolution of life on Earth. Our lab studies the diversity and function of fungal and bacterial symbioses of plants, with a primary focus on ectomycorrhizal fungi. We use a range of field- and lab-based experimental methods to investigate how symbiont communities are structured and their ecological roles in forest ecosystems worldwide.

Teaching statement

In teaching, I strive to expose students to a variety of different learning opportunities, ranging from lectures and primary literature discussions to field- and laboratory-based research. My teaching philosophy includes: 1) providing opportunities for students to directly participate in the process of science, 2) stressing the importance of critical and quantitative thinking, 3) rooting knowledge in history, while at the same time stressing modern issues at the cutting edge of biology, and 4) sharing my deep enthusiasm for the diversity of life on earth.

Courses taught
  • Foundations of Biology (Biology 2003)
  • Plant, Algal, Fungal Diversity (Plant Biology 3007)
Representative publications

(*indicates undergraduate co-author)

Huggins, J.A.*, J. Talbot, M. Gardes, P.G. Kennedy. Unlocking environmental keys to specificity: different tolerance of acidity and nitrate of Alnus-associated ectomycorrhizal fungi. Fungal Ecology, in press.

Walker, J., H. Cohen*, L. Higgins*, P.G. Kennedy. 2014. Testing the link between community structure and function for ectomycorrhizal fungi involved in a global tri-partite symbiosis. New Phytologist, 202: 287–296.

Bubriski, R.* and P. G. Kennedy. 2014. A molecular and morphological analysis of the genus Rhizopogon subgenus Villosuli section Villosuli as a preface to ecological monitoring. Mycologia, 106: 353-361.

Bogar, L. M.* and P. G. Kennedy. 2013. New wrinkles in an old paradigm: Neighborhood effects can modify the structure and specificity of Alnus-associated ectomycorrhizal fungal communities. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 83: 767-777.

Polme, S., M. Bahram, T. Yamanaka, K. Nara, Y.C. Dai, T. Grebene, H. Kraigher, M. Toivonen, P-H. Wang, Y. Matsuda, T. Naadel, P. G. Kennedy, U. Koljalg, L. Tedersoo. 2013. Biogeography of ectomycorrhizal fungi associated with alders (Alnus spp.) in relations to biotic and abiotic variables at the global scale. New Phytologist, 198: 1239-1249.

Kennedy P. G., D. P. Smith*, T. R. Horton, R. Molina. 2012. Arbutus menziesii (Ericaceae) facilitates regeneration dynamics in mixed evergreen forests by promoting mycorrhizal fungal diversity and host connectivity. American Journal of Botany 90: 1-11.

Kennedy, P. G., P. B Matheny, K. M. Ryberg, T. W. Henkel, J. Uehling, M. E. Smith. 2012. Scaling up: examining the macroecology of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Molecular Ecology 21: 4151-4154.

Higgins, L. M.* and P. G. Kennedy. 2012. Symbiotic Frankia bacteria in Alnus forests in Mexico and the United States: Is geographic location a good predictor of assemblage structure? Botany 90: 423-431.

Kennedy, P. G., L. M. Higgins*, R. H. Rogers*, M. G. Weber*. 2011. Colonization-competition tradeoffs as a mechanism driving successional dynamics in ectomycorrhizal fungal communities. PLoS ONE 6: e25126.

Lipus, A.* and P. G. Kennedy 2011. Frankia assemblages associated with Alnus rubra and Alnus viridis are strongly influenced by host plant species identity. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 172(3): 403-410.

Kennedy, P. G. 2010. Ectomycorrhizal fungi and interspecific competition: species interactions, community structure, coexistence mechanisms, and future research directions. New Phytologist 187: 895-910.

Recent presentations, invited seminars and workshops

2014 Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL

2014 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

2014 UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

2014 Stanford Univeristy, Palo Alto, CA

2013 The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

2013 Portland State University, Portland, OR

2013 University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, MN

2012 University of Miami, Miami, FL

2012 Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Professional experience
  • Assistant Professor, Lewis & Clark College 2007-2013
  • National Parks Ecological Research Post-doctoral Fellow, 2005-2007
Professional service
  • Mycological Society of America Councilor, Ecology/Pathology
Current grants
  • National Science Foundation
Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley, 2005
Phone Number
Email Address

810 Biological Sciences
1445 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108