Zahn, Geoffrey
Assistant Professor - Biology
Last Updated: 12/27/18 -

Students interested in joining the lab should fill out this application and bring a hard-copy to my office or place it in my department mailbox.

I am a mycologist and microbial ecologist focused on applied aspects of community ecology in fungi and protists. I like to look at interactions between plants and fungi, and the way that soil microbes respond to and influence local and global climate patterns.

My research has taken place at the bottom of the ocean, in the upper atmosphere. . . and inside the leaves of critically-endangered plants. The methods I employ range from manipulated microcosms, microbial culturing, and infrared gas analyses to high-throughput environmental sequencing and bioinformatics.

Here is a link to my C.V. -->

Here is my research website -->

Learn to code here ->


Students working on projects with me will learn:

Experimental design
Fungal isolation and culturing
DNA extraction and purification
How to use bioinformatic tools
Data analysis skills


Recent Publications

Wainwright BJ., Zahn GL., Arlyza IS., Amend AS. 2018. Seagrass-associated fungal communities follow Wallace’s line, but host genotype does not structure fungal community. Journal of Biogeography:n/a-n/a. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13168.

Zahn G., Amend AS. 2017. Foliar microbiome transplants confer disease resistance in a critically-endangered plant. PeerJ 5:e4020. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4020.

Datlof EM., Amend AS., Earl K., Hayward J., Morden CW., Wade R., Zahn G., Hynson NA. 2017. Uncovering unseen fungal diversity from plant DNA banks. PeerJ 5:e3730. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3730.
Wainwright BJ., Zahn GL., Spalding HL., Sherwood AR., Smith CM., Amend AS. 2017. Fungi associated with mesophotic macroalgae from the ‘Au‘au Channel, west Maui are differentiated by host and overlap terrestrial communities. PeerJ 5:e3532. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3532.
Zahn G., Wagai R., Yonemura S. 2016. The effects of amoebal bacterivory on carbon and nitrogen dynamics depend on temperature and soil structure interactions. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 94:133–137.
Zahn G., Stephenson SL., Spiegel FW. 2014. Ecological distribution of protosteloid amoebae in New Zealand. PeerJ 2:e296.
De Haan M., Cocquyt C., Tice A., Zahn G., Spiegel FW. 2014. First records of Protosteloid Amoebae (Eumycetozoa) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Plant Ecology and Evolution 147:85–92.
Murphy ER., Boxberger J., Colvin R., Lee SJ., Zahn G., Loor F., Kim K. 2011. Pil1, an eisosome organizer, plays an important role in the recruitment of synaptojanins and amphiphysins to facilitate receptor-mediated endocytosis in yeast. European Journal of Cell Biology.


 Every leaf in this photo is full of fungi...