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Peter Kennedy



Kennedy Lab website >>
Fungal Sequencing Methods Discussion blog >>

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

Curriculum Vitae

Research interests

Plant-Microbe Interactions; Symbioses

Awards and honors
  • Mycologial Society of America C.J. Alexopoulus Prize (Outstanding Research by an Early Career Mycologist) - 2015
  • 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. My lab studies the diversity and function of fungal and bacterial communities in a wide range of ecosystems, particularly those forming belowground symbioses with plants. We use both field- and lab-based experimental methods to investigate how microbial 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

Fernandez C.W., and P.G. Kennedy. 2018. Melanization of mycorrhizal fungal necromass structures microbial decomposer communities. Journal of Ecology 106: 463-478.

Fernandez C.F., Nguyen N.H., Stefanski A., Han Y., Hobbie S.E., Montgomery R.A., Peter B. Reich P. B., P.G. Kennedy 2017. Ectomycorrhizal fungal response to warming is linked to poor host performance at the boreal-temperate ecotone. Global Change Biology 23:1598-1609. 

Nguyen N.H., Song Z., Bates S.T., Branco S., Tedersoo L., Menke J., Schilling J.S., P.G. Kennedy. 2016. FUNGuild: An open annotation tool for parsing fungal community datasets by ecological guild. Fungal Ecology, 20:241-248.
Fernandez C.W., and P.G. Kennedy. 2016. Revisiting the ‘Gadgil Effect’: do interguild fungal interactions control carbon cycling in forest soils? New Phytologist, 209:1382-1394. 

Nguyen N., D. Smith, K. Peay, P. G. Kennedy. 2015. Parsing ecological signal from noise in next-generation amplicon sequencing. New Phytologist, 205: 1389-1393. 

Recent presentations, invited seminars and workshops
2017: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
2017: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
2017: Michigan Technical University, Houghton, MI
2017: UMGC Genofest, Minneapolis, MN
2017: University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
2016: Duke University, Durham, NC
2016: University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
2016: University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
2015: Sherbrooke University, Sherbrooke, Canada
2015: University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada
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

806 Biological Sciences
1479 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
1479 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108