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Rachel Hestrin

Assistant Professor
Evolution and Ecology, Genomics and Genetics, Plant Environment Interactions
(413) 577-3217
Stockbridge School of Agriculture
Paige Lab
UMASS Amherst
161 Holdsworth Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9285

I am broadly interested in plant-microbe-soil interactions and ecosystem response to change. Much of my lab’s research focuses on rhizosphere and hyphosphere processes that influence productivity, stress tolerance, organic matter dynamics, and nutrient cycling. Our work spans multiple scales and approaches—from isotope-enabled genomics and cellular imaging to multi-farm field trials. We seek to answer questions such as: How do microbes mediate plant nutrient acquisition and carbon allocation below ground? Do mycorrhizal fungi recruit functionally distinct microbial communities that confer different benefits to their hosts? How are plant- and fungal-derived soil organic matter inputs affected by environmental conditions or agricultural management? Which management practices facilitate beneficial plant-microbe interactions?