California Botanical Society




2022 Botany Speaker Series

The CalBotSoc botany speaker series aims to showcase and promote the work of early career botanists. If you are an early career botanist interested in giving a talk of general interest to our members, please email us at membership@calbotsoc.org.


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image Ryan Buck

Snyder_Kristine Kristy Snyder

Coleman Mitchell Coleman


Thursday, May 12, 2022 7-8pm PT
Claire Willing, Stanford University

"Forest microbiomes and climate change: Microbial communities as mediators of forest health"

Underground microbial communities are fundamental to life on Earth. Quietly below the forest floor, these microbial communities act as ecosystem engineers, controlling nutrient availability and carbon storage in forests. What is more, plants are never found in nature without their microbiomes and these communities can play critical roles in plant physiology and function. Just as human microbiomes have revolutionized our understanding of human health, forest microbiomes represent a critical axis of forest health, especially in a changing climate. In this talk, Dr. Claire Willing will highlight some of her research investigating how these cryptic forest microbiomes are impacted by global change and what shifts in forest microbiome communities could mean for forests in a changing climate.

Dr. Claire Willing’s research is broadly focused on forest microbiomes and climate change. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Biology at Stanford University. Previously, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. Her research seeks to understand how global change influences patterns of microbial community composition in forests and the functional consequences for forest health. Using interdisciplinary approaches, including molecular tools, ecological theory, and techniques in plant ecophysiology and stable isotope ecology, the goal of Claire’s research program is to elucidate the importance of microbial communities in the resistance and resilience of forested ecosystems to global change.

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2022 Schedule of Talks

13-Jan: Mitchell Coleman, Tejon Ranch Conservancy and University of California, Riverside

10-Feb: Kristy Snyder, Eastern Washington University

10-Mar: Ryan Buck, San Diego State University

12-May: Claire Willing, Stanford University

11-Aug: Helen Holmlund, Pepperdine University

10-Nov: Phebian Odufuwa, Boise State University


View Recordings of Past Talks on our YouTube Channel:

Botany Speaker Series Playlist


California Botanical Society
c/o Jepson Herbarium
1001 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, California 94720-2465