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Prof. Jennifer Bhatnagar

Prof. Bhatnagar (neĆ© Talbot) joined the Peay Lab in 2011 as a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Research Fellow. While in the lab she worked to characterize continental scale patterns of fungal diversity and function across North America. She is currently a professor Boston University where her lab studies the ecology, chemistry, and biology of microorganisms in the environment. The goal of their research is to uncover the biochemical mechanisms that microbes use to drive earth system processes. To do this, they use a combination of biochemical analyses and sequencing technologies to identify direct, mechanistic links between the genetic architecture, community structure, and biochemical functions of microbes in complex environments. They focus on organisms in Kingdom Fungi, because they are directly responsible for moving energy and elements between the biosphere and the atmosphere, but are less well understood than plants, animals, and bacteria. Fungi also make beautiful macrostructures that have a long and interesting history in human society, and now are also aiding in new studies of molecular-level fungal processes in the environment.