Field of expertise:
Evolution of Symbiosis
University Research Chair, Professor of Mutualistic Interactions
Toby Kiers investigates how cooperation between species evolves and persists. Her recent work focuses on resource trading in nature and how complex ‘biological markets’ can emerge among plants and microbes. She is interested in when and why organisms defect from cooperation, and how cheating strategies emerge in nature. Kiers received her doctoral degree from University of California, Davis in 2005. She is now a University Research Chair and Professor of Mutualistic Interactions at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
Title of their presentation:
Tracking Trade in the Rhizosphere
About the presentation:
A major goal of our lab is to understand the rules governing trade strategies in the symbiosis between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and land plants. This partnership, which evolved 450 MYA, has tremendous effects on nutrient cycling, transferring up to five billion tons of carbon per year. We are developing tools to allow us to track trade across small spatial scales.