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Dr. John Klironomos
Canada Research Chair, Tier 2

 Dr. John Klironomos



I was introduced to the amazing world of soil organisms when I was an undergraduate student at Concordia University. To learn more about fungi and their ecology, I completed a PhD program at the University of Waterloo. Then, as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at San Diego State University I focused on relationships between plant roots and mycorrhizal fungi. Now as a fungal and soil ecologist in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, my work addresses the relationship between plants, fungi and other soil organisms, and the functioning of ecosystems.

I am a member of a number of professional societies, including the Mycological Society of America, British Mycological Society, Ecological Society of America, British Ecological Society and the Soil Ecology Society.


B.Sc. - Concordia University
Ph.D. - University of Waterloo


My long-term research goal is to understand the roles and functions of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in natural ecosystems. To achieve this goal, I investigate the ways in which these fungi affect the functioning of plants, the role of feedback among mycorrhizal fungi, host plants and other soil components, and the effect of global climatic change on these feedbacks.

This work also has important implications for land restoration and soil management in agriculture.

Some of the projects currently underway in my lab are described on my lab website: Klironomos Lab Website

Selected Publications

Klironomos, J. N. 2002. Feedback with soil biota contributes to plant rarity and invasiveness in communities. Nature, 217: 67-70.

Klironomos, J. N. and Hart, M. M. 2001. Animal nitrogen swap for plant carbon. Nature, 410: 651-652.

Klironomos, J. N., McCune, J., Hart. M., Neville, J. 2000. The influence of arbuscular mycorrhizae on the relationship between plant diversity and productivity. Ecology Letters, 3: 137-141.

Van der Heijdden, M.G.A., Klironomos, J.N., Ursic, M., Moutoglis, P., Streitwolf-Engel, R., Boller, T., Wiemken, A., and Sanders, I.R. 1998. Mycorrhizal fungal diversity determines plant biodiversity, ecosystem variability and productivity. Nature, 396: 69-72

Complete list of Publications


As a teacher, my goal is to promote scientific inquiry and independent learning and to help students develop their oral and written communication skills. At the undergraduate level, I teach Mycology (BOT*3200), Ecological Methods (BIOL*4110), and Ecology (BIOL*2060). At the graduate level, I teach Plant Ecology (BOT*6301).

In each course I use a student-centred approach rather than the traditional lecture-based approach. This means class discussion and debate, lab and field projects and involvement in my research program.

Grad Students

Bainard, Luke (PhD)
Fischer, Alison (MSc)
Powell, Jeff (PhD)
Sikes, Ben (PhD)


Klironomos Lab Website