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Peter Kennedy

Associate Professor


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

Fungal Ecology; 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. 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)

Fernandez, C.W. and P.G. Kennedy. Revisiting the ‘Gadgil Effect’: do interguild fungal interactions control carbon cycling in forest soils?  New Phytologist, in press. 

Nguyen N.H., Song Z., Bates S.T., Branco S., Tedersoo L., Menke J., Schilling J.S.,P.G. Kennedy.  FUNGuild: An open annotation tool for parsing fungal community datasets by ecological guild.  Fungal Ecology, in press.

Song Z., Schlatter D., Kennedy P.G., Kinkel L.L., Kistler H.C., Nguyen N., Bates, S.T. (2015) Effort versus Reward: Preparing Samples for Fungal Community Characterization in High-Throughput Sequencing Surveys of Soils. PLoS ONE, 10: e0127234.

Fernandez C.W. and P.G. Kennedy. 2015. Moving beyond the black-box: fungal traits, community structure, and carbon sequestration in forest soils.  New Phytologist,205:1378-1380.

Bogar L.M.*, I. A. Dickie, P. G. Kennedy. 2015. Testing the co-invasion hypothesis: Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities associated with Alnus glutinosa and Salix fragilisin New Zealand.  Diversity and Distributions, 21:268-278.

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.

Kennedy P. G., N. Nguyen, H. Cohen*, K. Peay. 2014. Missing checkerboards? An absence of competitive signal in Alnus-associated ectomycorrhizal fungal communities. PeerJ, 2:e686.

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

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