UCI News

UCI’s Kathleen Treseder wins climate change award from British Ecological Society

Prize recognizes contributions to understanding the role of fungi in ecosystems

September 1, 2022
UCI’s Kathleen Treseder wins climate change award from British Ecological Society
Kathleen Treseder, the Howard A. Schneiderman Endowed Chair and Professor in UCI’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, has won the British Ecological Society’s Marsh Award for Climate Change Research. UCI

Irvine, Calif., Sept. 1, 2022 – The British Ecological Society announced today that University of California, Irvine ecologist and biogeochemist Kathleen Treseder has won the organization’s Marsh Award for Climate Change Research.

Treseder, the Howard A. Schneiderman Endowed Chair and Professor in UCI’s Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, is a leading expert on the role of fungi in mediating ecosystem responses to climate change. Her research ranges in scale from molecules and small fungal organisms to the microbial ecology of the entire planet.

“Early in my career, we knew very little about how fungi contribute to the functions of ecosystems — and their responses to climate change — in a natural setting,” Treseder said. “I decided to tackle this issue because it was challenging and important. We have moved from a discovery phase, in which we uncovered which fungal species grow where, to an analytical phase, in which we have identified evolutionary trade-offs that sort fungi into functional groups with predictable effects on ecosystem functioning.”

Treseder said the knowledge she and others in her field have acquired in recent years has helped improve the accuracy of ecosystem models that forecast the effects of climate change.

“I am surprised and grateful to win this award,” she said. “My lab’s mission is to improve predictions of future climate change so we can help society mitigate and adapt to it. I see this award as a sign that we have indeed helped.”

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About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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