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  • Photo of many different fungal cultures
    Root endophyte cultures from desert grasses
  • Monsoon over a grassland
    Monsoon at the Sevilleta LTER
  • Aerial view of 12 square plots of sorghum in a green field
    Sorghum-AMF experiment field trial


Chung lab logo

We are interested in understanding how and why species compete, coexist, and vary in abundance and rarity in populations and communities. In particular, our lab focuses on the interactions between plants and microbes, and how they change population dynamics and community structure. These interactions can range from negative (plant pathogens), neutral (latent decomposers), to positive (mutualisms). We combine field and greenhouse experiments, long term data sets, statistical and computational modeling, as well as wet lab molecular techniques to investigate these topics. 

Lab at paint rock smelling Pawpaw tree
Chung lab members testing out the distinctive smell of pawpaw leaves on a field trip to Paint Rock Forest Research Center in Alabama. Bill Finch (second left) was our knowledgeable guide. Photo (c)
A photo of 13 people in front of the Broad River with some kayaks and canoes
Lab float trip 2022