Mary K. Firestone

Research Expertise and Interest

soils, miicrobial biology, environmental science

Research Description

Research involves the fundamental understanding of soil microbial ecology, and applications to problems such as global change, sustainability and biodegradation. Current research interests include: bacteria/soil interactions and interactions between plant roots and soil microorganisms.

In the News

Eel River Observatory seeks clues to watershed’s future

University of California, Berkeley, scientists will receive $4,900,000 over the next five years to study the nearly 10,000 square kilometer Eel River watershed in Northern California and how its vegetation, geology and topography affect water flow all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
May 19, 2021
Among the large cast of microbiome players, bacteria have long been hogging the spotlight. But the single-celled organisms known as protists are finally getting the starring role they deserve. "Even though protists are important and their relevance has been known for decades, our study is the first one showing an association of protists with plants in a large-scale field experiment," said project leader Mary Firestone, a faculty scientist in Berkeley Lab's Earth and Environmental Sciences Area and a professor at UC Berkeley. The project was a collaboration among scientists from Berkeley Lab, UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the Noble Research Institute, and the University of Oklahoma.
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