Soil Ecology Laboratory   

Christopher Blackwood
Department of Biological Sciences, Kent State University


Welcome to the Blackwood lab

We study ecology with a focus on organisms and processes that occur in soil, where much of the diversity on Earth is hidden right beneath our feet.  Our work addresses two big sets of questions:


  • Life in the soil is fascinating - fungi, bacteria, and tiny invertebrate animals grow by the billions per handful, while roots of different plants comingle and interact with the resident microbes in search of nutrients and water.  What governs the assembly of species into communities?  How do plant-microbe-soil interactions affect conservation of plant diversity?  What role does human management play in community assembly?
  • The combined biological activity in soil is responsible for an array of critical ecosystem processes (nutrient cycling, carbon storage, and release of greenhouse gases).  How are these processes affected by plant and microbial communities, soil properties, and human ecosystem management?

Please explore the links above for more information about our research, teaching, and other activities.