Evolutionary ecology of grass endophytes
Symbiotic associations between host and fungus are common in ecosystems, but mutual benefits may be depending on the environment and the genotypes of interacting partners. The widespread associations of Epichloë endophytes (Ascomycetes) with grass hosts are used as a model system to address questions regarding the evolution of mutualism, host-symbiont dynamics and cryptic speciation of fungi. Currently, one of our research interests is focused on mechanisms of reproductive isolation maintaining species boundries in co-occurring fungal species.
In addition, we are interested in the world-wide distribution and taxonomic diversity of endophytes including allopolyploid hybrids.