Pringle Laboratory

Links and Photos
Amanita Genomes

Ejected Spores
  • Leonora Bittleston at lbittles[at]

    I am interested in the interactions between insects, fungi and plants, and the evolution and maintenance of mutualisms. Fungi and insects attract me as both are vast groups with unique capabilities that comprise a large part of the world’s biodiversity, but are significantly understudied relative to their abundance. Their interactions give insight into unusual life-cycles, evolution of complex traits and chemicals, and the interdependence of living organisms.

    Leonora Bittleston
  • Kolea Zimmerman at kzimmerman[at]

    I am interested in the mechanisms of aging and communication within filamentous fungal networks and how these processes evolved in the fungi.  I am also interested in molecular signaling between genetically similar individuals in fungal communities.

    Kolea Zimmerman
  • Natalia Vargas EstupiŮan at n.vargas2[at]

    I am a doctoral student doing an internship in Pringle laboratory, during fall 2015. My main research interest is in macrofungal conservation and its application on a local scale in Colombia by studying the diversity, population genetics and invasion biology of some macrofungal species present in the native neotropical montane oak forest, Quercus humboldtii. Moreover, I am interested in working with local farmer communities living nearby to these forests, by sharing knowledge about the biology and use of the fungal species

  • Zachary Muscavitch at muscavitch[at]

    Iím an undergraduate student working on my senior thesis in the Pringle lab. My thesis work will attempt to model niche distribution patterns for individual Amanita species. In addition to macrofungi, Iím also fascinated by lichen. Their tolerance of extreme terrestrial habitats drives me to think about the potential remediation solutions they might provide, and I always want to know more about the myco/photobiont signaling present in the diverse ecosystem that we think of as an individual lichen thallus.

  • Ethan Addicott at addicott[at]

    I'm an Environmental Science and Public Policy concentrator working with Kolea Zimmerman exploring early life history traits of Neurospora crassa. My specific research involves documenting secreted proteins and signaling molecules.

    Ethan Addicott
  • Chris Baker at

    Chris Baker
  • Elizabeth (Za) Barron at ebarron[at]

    My research, broadly, examines the formation and uses of environmental knowledge for environmental governance and conservation. For my dissertation, this included documenting the emerging field of fungal conservation in the United States and Europe, and its impacts on federal land management and policy. From that research I have an ongoing project on social-ecological systems of morels in the mid-Atlantic states of the USA, which emphasizes the integration of local and scientific knowledge for management and conservation. My current research project, funded through the National Science Foundation, looks at how evolutionary biologists are navigating the relationship between molecular biology research and biodiversity conservation politics, using the discipline of mycology as the case study. I am also a postdoctoral fellow, studying with Sheila Jasanoff, in the Program on Science, Technology & Society at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


    Za Barron
  • Joerg Fritz at joerg.a.fritz[at]

    I'm interested in physical and mathematical models that can help us quantify and understand morphological diversity. How can we relate morphology (phenotype) to the the way species interact with their environment (external constraints) or to the underlying developmental genetics (genotype)? Currently, I'm exploring how the physics of spore dispersal influences the shape of ascomycete fruiting bodies. I'm also part of Michael Brenner's group at SEAS where I work on related (and sometimes completely unrelated) questions.

    Joerg Fritz
  • Agnese Seminara at agnese.seminara[at]

    My research focuses primarily on fungal spore dispersal and bacterial biofilm development. I am particularly interested in individual and collective motility in these biological systems, both from a mechanistic and an evolutionary perspective. I make use of an interdisciplinary approach, combining theoretical modeling of the physical mechanisms that allow motility; numerical simulations of the model equations and simple experiments

    Agnese Seminara
  • Lila Strominger at lbstrom[at]

    I study how the northern pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, affects and is affected by two species it hosts: the dominant yeast Candida glaebosa and the mosquito endemic to the pitcher plant, Wyeomyia smithii. I also look at how a parallel yeast species might play a similarly important role in a convergent group of carnivorous pitcher plants, the Southeast Asian Nepenthes.

    Lila Strominger
  • Gabriel Amselem

    Gabriel's research explored the evolution of mycelial network architectures in response to environmental constraints. He's currently pursuing microfluidics projects at the LadHyX laboratory, École Polytechnique, Paris.

    Gabriel Amselem
  • Primrose Boynton at pboynton[at]

    Primrose focuses on microbial dispersal and interactions between dispersal and competition in natural communities. At Harvard, she used the communities of yeasts living in pitchers of the carnivorous plant Sarracenia pursuer as a model. Primrose graduated in summer 2012, and is now a post-doctoral scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology at Plön.

  • Rebecca Compton

    Harvard College Class of 2010

    As an undergraduate, Becky documented patterns of lichen biodiversity loss in urban habitats. She went on to explore speciation in Solanum sect. Lycopersicon (tomato plants) as a technician at Indiana University. Becky plans to apply her background in ecology and evolutionary biology to the study of human health, and in 2012 Becky began medical school at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

    Rebecca Compton
  • Hugh Cross
  • Hugh is interested in the evolution of plants and fungi, and their distributions in space and time. In our lab he developed techniques to co-extract fungi and plants from soils and other mixed substrates, as well as study their co-evolution. His research drew on his prior experience establishing an ancient DNA facility in Leiden, The Netherlands. In May 2008 Hugh moved to a position with the Department for Environment and Heritage at the State Herbarium of South Australia.


  • Kristi Ann Fenstermacher

    Harvard College class of 2008

    As an undergraduate, Kristi established protocols to digitally image lichens. Kristi left us to spend the summer chasing lizards with the Losos lab, then chased genes at the Harvard Medical School, and is now a graduate student in the Plant Pathology Department at Penn State.

  • Sasha Mushegian

    Harvard College class of 2010

    In the Pringle laboratory, Sasha focused on describing bacterial communities within lichens, working closely with Celeste Peterson. After graduation she worked at the Evolutionary Biology Centre in Uppsala, Sweden. Sasha's now pursuing a Ph.D. at the Universität Basel, exploring the Daphnia microbiome with Dieter Ebert's group.

    Sasha Mushegian
  • Sam Perez

    Harvard College class of 2011

    Sam's research focused on the diversity of decomposer fungi, the impacts of global change on biodiversity, and adaptation of fungi to disturbed ecosystems. The research included field work, and morphological and molecular analyses. Sam's now working towards a Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Michigan State University.

    Joerg Fritz
  • Celeste Peterson
  • Celeste's primary focus is bacterial genetics, but in the Pringle laboratory she tackled the community ecology of bacteria using both lichens and the carnivorous plant Sarracenia purpurea as models.She is now an Assistant Professor at Suffolk University.


  • Franck Richard
  • Franck's research involves the diversity, ecology and role of fungi in natural ecosystems. At Harvard, he explored both fusion between fungal individuals and the symbiosis between the invasive species Amanita phalloides and North American forest trees. Franck moved to a position at the Université de Montpellier (France) in December 2006.

    Franck Richard

  • Marcus Roper

    Marcus is a fluid dynamicist interested in the physics of fungal spore launch and dispersal, particularly in ascomycetes. Marcus spent a year doing post-doctoral research here and is now an Assistant Professor at UCLA.

    Marcus Roper
  • Karla Sartor

    Karla worked with us to establish lots of our standard protocols, and is now a Conservation Ecologist with The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico.

  • Julie Shapiro

    Harvard College class of 2010

    Julie's research explored fungal diversity in caves. After graduation she worked in Israel, then Hungary, and is now using a Fulbright scholarship to study bats in Brazil.

    Julie Shapiro
  • Benjamin E. Wolfe

    In the Pringle Lab, Ben's research interests were in the ecological and evolutionary links between above-ground and below-ground biota. He was specifically interested in how plants and soil fungi interact in natural environments at the population- and community levels of biological organization. He was also interested in human perceptions and valuations of the hidden biodiversity of soils. Ben is now in the Dutton Lab at the Harvard FAS Center for Systems Biology.

    Ben Wolfe
  • Jessica Soon Ok Worl

    Harvard College class of 2008

    Jessica did a lot of different things for us, including field work and molecular biology. Jess is currently pursuing a Master's in Public Policy with a focus on environmental policy and international development, at the University of Michigan.

    Jessica Soon Ok Worl
  • Junling Zhang

    Junling's research focuses on the role of AM fungi in conferring tolerance to plants experiencing abiotic and biotic stresses. Junling was a visiting scholar from China Agricultural University, and stayed in Anne's lab for one year.