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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