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Lauren Cline

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Plant Biology
University of Minnesota
808 Biological Science Center
1479 Gortner Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

office: 808 Biological Sciences
phone: 612-625-5438


I graduated with a B.S. from the University of Michigan’s Program in the Environment in 2008. Following graduation, I joined Teach for America and spent two years teaching high school environmental science. I had the opportunity to build an Environmental Science curriculum from scratch, while helping students cultivate an appreciation for the wetlands of Louisiana. In 2010, I returned to the University of Michigan to purse a doctoral degree with Dr. Don Zak investigating the mechanisms of fungal community assembly. I joined the Kennedy lab in fall of 2015 to continue studying the processes that govern these fascinatingly complex communities, with an emphasis on understanding interactions between fungal guilds through a combination of experimental and observational approaches. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking with fresh vegetables and running in the woods (along with an occasional ultra-marathon).

Research Interests

Fungi are primary regulators of C and N dynamics in terrestrial systems, directly impacting plant productivity and rates of soil C storage through the decay of plant detritus and plant-fungal symbioses. However, due to their small size and incredible diversity, we largely do not understand the ecological rules by which fungi are structured. My research interests lie in understanding the linkages between fungal community composition and the ecosystem processes they mediate, combining high-throughput molecular techniques with organismal and trait-based investigations of belowground ecology.

Link to my website: