We are broadly interested in understanding the ecological forces that shape both below- and above-ground biotic communities. One major goal of our group is to understand the ecological and evolutionary importance of interactions between plants and their soil-borne symbionts. Soil communities are incredibly diverse, containing a suite of taxa (e.g. pathogenic and mutualistic fungi, bacteria, viruses) that significantly influence plant growth, survival, and distribution. Although much of our research is done in tropical forests of Panama and tallgrass prairies in Missouri, none of our research questions are restricted to these systems. We encourage our members to ask interesting questions irrespective of study system.