The primary focus of our lab is to understand how the community assembly processes of soil microbial communities influence the diversity and distribution patterns of plant communities, and what the consequences of these relationships are for nutrient cycling processes. Our main study systems are tropical rain forests, which have the most diverse tree communities of any terrestrial ecosystem. We also investigate 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. To uncover the underlying ecological mechanisms for these patterns and processes, we use an integrative approach that combines ecosystem-level measurements, field experiments, functional assays, and genomics.