Lauren C. Cline


University of Minnesota

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology

808 Biological Sciences

1479 Gortner Ave.  St. Paul, MN 55108





I am a soil ecologist in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, advised by Dr. Peter Kennedy.


As the most numerous and biologically diverse organisms on Earth, microorganisms mediate global biogeochemical cycles, detoxify harmful molecules, and interact with plants and animals in ways that shape our biosphere. Due to these essential ecosystem functions, it is necessary to understand how the diversity and composition of soil microbial communities influences long-term soil dynamics which yield societal benefits, including global food security, wildlife conservation, bioremediation, and landscape restoration.


My research explores how the soil microbial community influences ecosystem-scale processes through diversity, taxonomy, and organismal traits. To achieve this goal, my work combines a range of tools (i.e., high-throughput molecular techniques, stable isotopes, organismal trait assessments) with statistical and bioinformatics approaches across observational and experimental settings.


In 2015, I completed my Ph.D. from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan where I studies the community assembly mechanisms of soil fungi. Currently, I am an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology at the University of Minnesota.