McGuire Microbial Ecology Lab at the University of Oregon

The primary focus of our lab is to understand how the community assembly processes of plant and soil microbial communities influence the diversity and distribution patterns of plant communities, and what the consequences of these relationships are for plant dynamics and ecosystem functions. We focus much of our work on how plant-microbial interactions respond to anthropogenic disturbances such as agricultural production, shifting climate, and urbanization. Human activity is causing major alterations in biodiversity and biogeochemical cycling across the planet, and soil fungi and bacteria often mediate ecosystem responses to these changes. We use an integrative approach that combines ecosystem-level measurements, field experiments, functional assays, and genomics to uncover the underlying ecological mechanisms for these patterns and processes, which can ultimately be leveraged for sustainable management and conservation.