Presentations and Publications

Google Scholar Profile
ResearchGate Profile


Benjamin J. Wainwright, Geoffrey L. Zahn, Joshua Zushi, Nicole Li Ying Lee, Jillian Lean Sim Ooi, Jen Nie Lee, Danwei Huang. 2019. Seagrass-associated fungal communities show distance decay of similarity that has implications for seagrass management and restoration. Ecology and Evolution.

Even with few presumed barriers to dispersal, seagrass-associated fungal communities appear to be structured by location.

Wainwright, B. J., Bauman, A. G., Zahn, G. L., Todd, P. A., & Huang, D. 2019. Characterization of fungal biodiversity and communities associated with the reef macroalga Sargassum ilicifolium reveals fungal community differentiation according to geographic locality and algal structure. Marine Biodiversity.

Fungal community structure varies between macroalga structures, but the majority of fungi amplified were not classifiable. This highlights the need to better explore and catalog the diversity of marine fungi.

BJ Wainwright, L Afiq-Rosli, GL Zahn, D Huang. 2019. Characterisation of coral-associated bacterial communities in an urbanised marine environment shows strong divergence over small geographic scales. Coral Reefs, 1-10.

Even in a geographically small area (Singapore), coral bacteria were different on windward and leeward sides of islands. This may need to be kept in mind when designing coral recovery strategies.i

G Zahn, AS Amend. 2019. Foliar fungi alter reproductive timing and allocation in Arabidopsis under normal and water-stressed conditions. Fungal Ecology 41, 101-106.

What we think of as “plant” traits, may actually be microbial traits in disguise. Here, fungal endophytes, regardless of identity, increased flowering time and seed mass in Arabidopsis thalliana.

Wainwright BJ., Zahn GL., Arlyza IS., Amend AS. 2018. Seagrass-associated fungal communities follow Wallace’s line, but host genotype does not structure fungal community. Journal of Biogeography:n/a-n/a. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13168.

Fungi associated with the seagrass Syringodium isoetifolium had different community structure on either side of Wallace’s Line, a theoretical boundary that separates Asian and Australasian flora and fauna. This suggests that whatever processes enforce this “boundary” in macro organisms may be at work at the microbial scale as well.

Zahn G., Amend AS. 2017. Foliar microbiome transplants confer disease resistance in a critically-endangered plant. PeerJ 5:e4020. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4020.

A conservation story with a happy ending: A simple, low-tech method of transplanting endophytic fungi from healthy relatives strongly reduced disease mortality and increased out-planting success of the endangered endemic Hawaiian mint, Phyllostegia kaalaensis. Plant conservation efforts can be greatly improved by considering plant microbiomes. Read more here:

Datlof EM, Amend AS, Earl K, Hayward J, Morden CW, Wade R, Zahn G, Hynson NA. (2017) Uncovering unseen fungal diversity from plant DNA banks. PeerJ 5:e3730

DNA banks house a wealth of genetic information, even for endangered and extinct plants. But they also hold information about the microbes present when the DNA was collected. They can be harnessed to ask historical questions about plant-microbe symbioses.

Wainwright BJ, Zahn GL, Spalding HL, Sherwood AR, Smith CM, Amend AS. (2017) Fungi associated with mesophotic macroalgae from the ‘Au‘au Channel, west Maui are differentiated by host and overlap terrestrial communities. PeerJ 5:e3532

Even 100m below the surface of the ocean, in the mesophotic zone, fungi are associating with algae. Roughly a third of the fungi recovered were also found in nearby terrestrial plants, showing the potential for wide host ranges. This unexplored ecosystem should be considered when estimating global fungal biodiversity.

Geoffrey Zahn, Rota Wagai, Seiichiro Yonemura. 2016. The effects of amoebal bacterivory on carbon and nitrogen dynamics depend on temperature and soil structure interactions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 94:133-137. DOI 10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.11.021

Amoebae in soils are some of the top bacterial predators, and they are responsible for helping determine C and N turnover rates. But with global warming and changes to agricultural management practices, the effect of amoebal bacterivory is altered. Soil carbon models (Q10) should incorporate food web dynamics to increase accuracy.

Geoffrey Zahn, Steven L. Stephenson, Frederick W. Spiegel. 2014. Ecological distribution of protosteloid amoebae in New Zealand. PeerJ 2:e296; DOI 10.7717/peerj.296

In a thorough survey of New Zealand, we detected broad environmental influences on the distribution of 30 protosteloid amoebae. Latitude, precipitation, and elevation matter as limiters of distribution.

Miriam De Haan, Christine Cocquyt, Alex Tice, Geoffrey Zahn, Frederick W. Spiegel. 2014. First records of Protosteloid Amoebae (Eumycetozoa) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Plant Ecology and Evolution, 147:1, 85-92;

The high species diversity observed on a limited number of samples suggests that the DRC region is, together with Hawai’i, one of the world’s tropical hotspots for protosteloid amoeba diversity.

Erin R. Murphy, Jacob Boxberger, Robert Colvin, Suk Je Lee, Geoffrey Zahn, Fred Loor, Kyoungtae Kim. 2011. Pil1, an eisosome organizer, plays an important role in the recruitment of synaptojanins and amphiphysins to facilitate receptor-mediated endocytosis in yeast. European Journal of Cell Biology, 90:10, 825-833.

The title says it all.



Fungi in the atmosphere: A decade of air samples from Mauna Loa Observatory

Extremophile fungi in The Great Salt Lake

Fungal community recovery after forest fires

Human oral mycobiome determinants

More coral microbiomes!





Invited Seminars:
2018 “Who’s there? Who Cares? The “who and why” of fungal community structure” Missouri State University
2017 “Slime molds of Hawai’i and beyond” University of Hawaii at Manoa
2015 “Effects of belowground trophic complexity on carbon cycling under changing climatic and edaphic conditions” Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, CA
2015 “The functional and distributional ecology of mycetozoans under changing edaphic and climatic dynamicsClimate Impact Research Center, Abisko, Sweden
2014 “Public science literacy and targeted environmental initiatives” NWA Environmental Programs Symposium
2014 “The functional and distributional ecology of slime molds in a changing climate” NIAES, Tsukuba, Japan
2013 “The Ecology of Soil Mycetozoa” Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Japan
2012 “The Mycetozoans” Organization for Tropical Studies, Las Cruces, Costa Rica

Posters and Talks:
2016 “Endophytes and pathogens in endangered Hawaiian endemics: plant conservation from a microbial perspective” Mycological Society of America, Berkeley, CA, USA
2014 “Amoebae in warming soils: interactive effects of the microbial food web and environmental factors on nutrient cycling in a changing climate” A2C Research Symposium, Fayetteville, AR, USA
2014 “The interactive effects of protozoan predation pressure and environmental factors on carbon and nitrogen cycling in soils under warming conditions” International Society for Microbial Ecology; Seoul, South Korea
2014 “Application of high-throughput sequencing may explain carbon dynamics under predation and warming gradients via soil community shifts” JSPS Multidisciplinary Science Forum 4; Washington, D.C., USA
2014 “Linking Soil Microbial Community Structure to Global Carbon Dynamics on a Warming Planet” DOE Joint Genome Institute – Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics Workshop; Walnut Creek, CA, USA
2013 “The Role of Soil Amoebae in Nutrient Cycling on a Warming Planet” Graduate University for Advanced Studies; Sokendai, Japan
2011 “The Protosteloid Amoebae of New Zealand” Mycological Society of America; Fairbanks, AK, USA
2010 “Pil1’s Role on Regulating Membrane PIP2 Level” INBRE Conference; Fayetteville, AR, USA
2010 “The Effects of Prescribed Fire on Overwintering Fungal Abundance and Diversity: A Baseline Study” CNAS Undergraduate Research Symposium; Springfield, MO, USA
2009 “Endocytic Roles of Pil1, the Main Organizer of Eisosomes” Arkansas INBRE Research Conference; Fayetteville, AR, USA