Chris Blackwood, Ph.D.

Chris Blackwood

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Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences



B.S., University of New Mexico, Biology
Ph.D., Michigan State University, Crop and Soil Sciences and Ecology,
Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior
Postdoc, USDA-ARS, Beltsville MD
Postdoc, University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment


Research in my lab examines ecology and evolution of plants and microorganisms, with a focus on belowground interactions. Understanding the ecology of soil organisms is critical for predicting future ecosystem conditions and developing management strategies for sustainability. We are particularly interested in the critical roles of soil-plant-microbe interactions in shaping plant communities, ecosystem processes, and soil carbon dynamics.   

Current and recent projects have addressed 1. coexistence of closely related plant species, 2. cascading effects of tree root traits on pathogen populations and soil carbon, 3. forest restoration, 4. performance of urban green roofs. 

General areas of expertise

Community ecology of plants and microorganisms; Plant-fungal interactions; Root traits; Soil biogeochemistry and carbon dynamics 


Chris Blackwood’s publications on Google Scholar.