Plant and Microbial Biology

I study microbial decomposers, most often the fungi and their biology/biochemistry. 

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Research interests

I study microbial decomposers, most often the fungi and their biology/biochemistry. I am broadly interested in how this biology relates both to biotechnological potential (applications) and to ecological dynamics (implications), including their role in carbon cycling and their potential inclusion in Earth Systems Models. 

Selected publications

  • Zhang, J., Figueroa, M., Castaño, J.D., Silverstein, K., Schilling, J.S.^ (2019) Gene regulation shifts shed light on fungal adaptation in plant biomass decomposers. mBio 10:e02176-19.
  • Wu, B., Gaskell, J., Zhang, J., Topanta, C., Ahrendt, S., Grigoriev, I.V., Blanchette, R.A., Schilling, J.S., Master, E., Cullen, D., Hibbett, D.S.^ (2019) Evolution of substrate-specific gene expression and RNA editing in brown rot wood-decaying fungi. ISME Journal
  • Zhang, J., Mitchell, H.D., Markillie L.M., Gaffrey, M.J., Orr. G., Schilling, J.S.^ (2019) Reference genes for accurate normalization of gene expression in wood-decomposing fungi. Fungal Genetics & Biology 123:33-40. 005
  • Zhang, J., Hu, D., Orr, G., Schilling, J.S.^ (2019) Fluorescence in situ mRNA hybridization for gene expression detection in a wood decay fungus. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 143:104731.
  • Castaño, J.D., Zhang, J., Anderson, C.E., and Schilling, J.S.^ (2018) Oxidative damage control as a brown rot fungus attacks wood using oxygen radicals. Applied and Environmental Microbiology


Ph.D., University of Maine; M.S., Longwood College; B.A., Rhodes College