The British Ecological Society Honors University of California, Irvine Biologist Kathleen Treseder

Kathleen Treseder, who holds the Howard A. Schneiderman Endowed Chair and is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, is the winner of the Marsh Award for Climate Change Research from the British Ecological Society.

Professor Treseder is a leading expert on the role of fungi in mediating ecosystem responses to climate change. Her research ranges in scale from molecules and small fungal organisms to the microbial ecology of the entire planet.

“Early in my career, we knew very little about how fungi contribute to the functions of ecosystems — and their responses to climate change — in a natural setting,” Dr. Treseder said. “I decided to tackle this issue because it was challenging and important. We have moved from a discovery phase, in which we uncovered which fungal species grow where, to an analytical phase, in which we have identified evolutionary trade-offs that sort fungi into functional groups with predictable effects on ecosystem functioning.”

Professor Treseder noted that “I am surprised and grateful to win this award. My lab’s mission is to improve predictions of future climate change so we can help society mitigate and adapt to it. I see this award as a sign that we have indeed helped.”

A graduate of the University of Utah, Dr. Treseder earned a Ph.D. in biological sciences at Stanford University. She joined the faculty at the University of California, Irvine in 2003 after teaching at the University of Pennsylvania.

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