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Biodiversity Blog


The Power of the Unseen Majority – How Soil Microbes Shape the Nature We See

 Indeterminate nodules growing on the roots of Medicago italica (Photo: Ningatacoshell)

Do you like mushrooms or beans? Have you heard of companion planting or intercropping?

The common theme uniting these two seemingly unrelated questions is soil microbes. You have (likely) not seen them, but they are everywhere and play a crucial role in shaping nature and everyone’s life. We probably have learned to think of microbes as pathogens, but that is a totally incomplete picture! Come and learn about the multiple ways soil microbes influence growth of individual plants, assembly of plant communities, and our daily life.

This talk will be hosted by Xinyi Yan, a graduate student in the Department of Integrative Biology, co-advised by Dr. Caroline Farrior and Dr. Amy Wolf. I am interested in plant microbe interactions, and study how they influence plant diversity and ecosystem functions.. Xinyi is interested in the impact of plant-soil interactions on plant community.


Click this link to learn more.


 Xinyi extracting soil microbial DNA (Photo: Elena Leander)

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events are held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages!

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 7:00 pm: Kid’s activities and natural history displays of local animals and plants found at Brackenridge Field Laboratory 
  • 7:15 pm-7:45 pm: Guided tour of the field lab (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 8:00 pm: Settle in, because the talk begins now!
  • 8:45 pm: Q&A with the speaker
Get involved! Outreach opportunities in biodiversi...
Meet Stengl-Wyer Fellow: Kathryn Appler

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