Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
I study the continuum of interactions among organisms that live in soil (plants, fungi, and invertebrates) and their (bacteria and archaea) microbiomes, melding classical organismal biology with modern microbial ecology to understand how these interactions contribute to functional outcomes. Through transdisciplinary approaches, with strength in 'omics techniques, my lab address fundamental questions in soil microbiology and organismal interactions (i.e. symbioses) that could lead to novel concepts and products that directly benefit the environment and society. The major focus of the lab is the interactions between two of the most ubiquitous groups of soil microorganisms - fungi and bacteI are interested in understanding who are interacting with each other, how they interact, and what are the important impacts of these interactions to ecosystem function, especially the soil environment.
My study systems contributes to the overall connectivity of organisms and how they function in a soil environment. This contributes to the overall broader goal of
C-MAIKI to connect organisms to ecosystems.
IMPACT TO HAWAII
The soil is an essential component to sustainability within Hawai`i and the planet. My research into microorganisms and their plant hosts provides essential insights into sustainable agriculture and managements of our local ecosystems.