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WEBINAR: Restoring Interactions – Examining the Translational Role Symbiotic Fungi Can Have in Restoring Plant Communities
April 19 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pmFree
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PDT / 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. MDT
In the midst of increased ecosystem degradation and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, it is important that we continually evaluate our restoration practices. Restoration practices generally have a taxonomic bias towards plant species and communities. However, by focusing on a single organismal group, restoration outcomes are often inconsistent and rarely leads to the reestablishment of target ecosystems or their services. One important factor that is often overlooked are plant interactions with fungal symbionts. This is a considerable oversight, as a multitude of studies have documented the important role symbiotic fungi have on plant functioning and plant community assembly. This talk will examine two potential roles that plant-fungal symbionts can serve in ecological restoration: as indicators of the state of recovery and an ecosystem component that can be manipulated to improve restoration outcomes.
Speaker: Dr. Cameron Egan (Okanagan College)
Cameron is a microbial ecologist interested in plant associated fungal symbionts. He completed his PhD at UBC Okanagan in 2017 under the supervision of John Klironomos, where he examined biogeographic patterns of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities across different biomes and ecoregions of North America, while simultaneously developing molecular methods and bioinformatic tools to examine fungal diversity in associating with plant roots and in the soil. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa to work with Nicole Hynson, where he examined the applied role of plant-fungal symbionts throughout the Hawaiian archipelago (some of which he’ll be presenting today).
Since 2019 he has been a faculty member in the biology department at Okanagan College where his teaching focuses include botany and ecology. His research continues to focus on the interaction between mycorrhizal fungi and plants, examining both fundamental and applied aspects of the mycorrhizal symbiosis.