Fungal Ecology


UH Mycology, Department of Botany, University of Hawaii Manoa

The Hynson Lab for Community Ecology is located in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Our lab is on the second floor in the Life Sciences Building.

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Research focus

Study of plant and fungal communities

We study the ecology of plant and fungal communities. We are especially interested in the symbiosis between plants and fungi known as mycorrhizae.

Goals of our research

The goals of our research are to: 1) better understand how plant and fungal communities assemble in nature, 2) examine the ecophysiological interactions between plants and their fungal partners, and 3) synthesize how variations in biotic and abiotic conditions alter the ecological outcomes and evolutionary trajectories of plant-fungal interactions.

Our approach

To address these questions, we incorporate field and greenhouse studies with molecular and physiological approaches. We are always open to new collaborations, especially those that involve the ecology, evolution and ecophysiology of plants and fungi.

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About Us


The Hynson Lab has been open since 2012. We are a diverse group of scientists with backgrounds ranging from ecology and evolution to computational biology and physiology who are all intrigued by fungi. The Hynson Lab is run by Dr. Nicole Hynson, Associate Professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

We are strongly committed to achieving excellence through diversity. We work together to combat prejudice and work toward equity and inclusion, within the lab and in the communities with whom we interact – on campus and beyond. 

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Pacific Biosciences Research Center

University of Hawaii

Congrats to high school mentee Anabel Kinsey

Congrats to high school mentee Anabel Kinsey

High school mentee Anabel completed her project on testing the efficacy of foliar fungi from leaf slurries on combating the pathogen...

Interview for New Scientist

Interview for New Scientist

Nicole was recently interviewed by New Scientist magazine to discuss tropical orchids and their mycorrhizal fungal networks.

New paper in PNAS!

New paper in PNAS!

We’re very excited to announce our most recent publication on the bacterial microbiome of O’ahu’s Waimea Valley. This study reflects...

Congrats Thomas and a hui ho!

Congrats Thomas and a hui ho!

Congratulations to lab member Thomas Chapin who successfully defended his MSc over the summer on the application of local mycorrhizal...

Interested in joining the lab? Click the button to find out more.