Monika S. Fischer, Ph.D.
How do fungi interact with each other and their environment?
What are the mechanisms that drive post-fire fungal succession?
I am a fungal biologist passionate about understanding the molecular mechanisms that mediate interactions and drive ecological processes.
After high school I worked briefly on a farm where I learned about, and fell in love with mycorrhizal fungi and the soil microbiome.
As an undergrad, I investigated how mutualistic fungal endophytes affect exotic plant invasions by characterizing fungal endophyte diversity in both invasive and native plant species.
In graduate school, I used the model organism Neurospora crassa to determine the genetic mechanisms that mediate cell-to-cell communication and self/non-self recognition.
Now as a postdoc, I am using both broad community ecology approaches and targeted laboratory experiments to characterize post-fire microbial succession and the metabolism of post-fire fungi.
I am building a research program that straddles both genetics/molecular biology and environmental ecology, with a focus on fungi.