Scientists & Staff

Current Research

My current research examines how human actions can affect fungal communities, and how the resulting changes can affect ecosystem function, especially carbon cycling. I am particularly interested in wood-inhabiting fungi and the development of DNA-based methods for detecting fungi in environmental samples. I also work with biosystematics of fungi, with an emphasis on fungi in the Antrodia-clade of polypores. Current projects include:

  • Investigating the effects of nitrogen fertilization on wood-decay rates and carbon respiration in northern forests
  • Determining the effects of mortality agent (wind-throw vs. beetle-kill) on decay patterns in spruce forests
  • Investigating evolutionary patterns and species boundaries in Laetiporus (Sulfur Shelf or Chicken of the Woods) and Wolfiporia
  • Bio-geographic and systematic studies of fungi from the Caribbean basin, especially Belize
  • Surveys of root-associated fungi in the upper Midwestern US, including mycorrhizal fungi associated with American chestnut

Research Interests

  • Determining the effects of biomass harvesting on wood-inhabiting fungal communities in aspen ecosystems
  • Investigating species boundaries and evolutionary relationships in the brown-rot genus Daedalea

Why This Research is Important

Fungi are the only organisms capable of efficiently releasing the carbon stored in woody plant material. When human actions affect fungal communities, the resulting changes could affect how much carbon an ecosystem sequesters or returns to the atmosphere. DNA-based methods for studying wood-inhabiting fungal communities are needed to fully understand the links between changes in the fungal community and changes in decay rates and carbon respiration.


  • University of Wisconsin,Madison, Ph.D. Dept. of Plant Pathology,
  • University of Wisconsin,Madison, B.S. Dept. of Botany,

Professional Organizations

  • Mycological Society of America
  • North American Mycological Association
  • Wisconsin Mycological Society

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Image demonstrating the effects of leaf litter on decay of wood. Note that void space surrounding block is filled with leaf litter which led to accelerated decay due to elevated moisture and more exposure to active fungal inoculum.

Role of leaf litter in above ground wood decay

Year: 2020

FPL researchers in Wood Durability and Protection investigate the contributions of leaf litter accumulation to the decay of wood in above ground exposure.

Little Brown Bat

Is the Little Brown Bat's Immune System Adapting to White-nose Syndrome?

Year: 2020

A small number of little brown bat populations have persisted in the eastern United States after a decade of exposure to the fungal pathogen responsible for the white-nose syndrome. Could these surviving populations be developing an effective adaptive immune response to the disease?

Little brown bat being checked for signs of white nose syndrome

Lethal Fungus that Causes White-nose Syndrome May Have an Achilles` Heel

Year: 2018

Since it was discovered in New York State in 2006, white-nose syndrome has killed millions of bats and may have spread as far west as Washington State. But Northern Research Station scientists discovered that the fungus behind white-nose syndrome may have an Achilles' heel: ultraviolet light.

Photo of big brown bat. Daniel Lindner, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Scientists Isolate and Perform Next-generation DNA-sequencing of Genome of the Fungus Causing White-nose Syndrome

Year: 2016

Forest Service scientists isolated and performed next-generation DNA-sequencing of the entire genome of the white-nose syndrome fungus discovered in Washington state and compared it to other strains found in eastern North America and Europe. This work was part of a collaborative effort to fight the fungus, a devastating invasive disease that is causing widespread ecosystem disruptions and pushing multiple bat species toward extinction.

DNA Tool Detects White-Nose Syndrome Fungus in Bat Caves

Year: 2010

NRS scientists Daniel Lindner and Jessie Glaeser are collaborating with the USGS Wildlife Health Laboratory in Madison, WI, to characterize the distribution of G. destructans in cave sediment samples from bat hibernation sites in the eastern United States.

Living fungal cultures stored in liquid nitrogen in the CFMR culture collection (photo by S. Schmeiding, USFS). Examining specimens in the CFMR herbarium. S. Schmeiding, Forest Service

Web-enabled Database for Center for Forest Mycology Research Expanded

Year: 2010

The culture collection and herbarium maintained by the Center of Forest Mycology Research (CFMR) in Madison, Wisconsin is one of the largest fungal 'libraries' in the world. The collection specializes in fungi associated with wood and contains both living fungi and dried reference specimens, which are used by researchers world-wide in studying forest pathology, disturbance biology, fungal genetics, distribution of invasive species, and impact of climate change on forest ecosystems. The CFMR's web-enabled database, accessible at, has recently been enlarged and updated.

Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2022