Liz Koziol

Liz Koziol

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My graduate work focused on native prairie mycorrhizal fungi. I collected prairie mycorrhizae from old-growth prairies and cultured the for use in restoration. Through this work, I found that inoculation with prairie microbes including mycorrhizal can help prairie seedlings and seeded species establish in a restoration. I found that some late successional plant species–those that are most often only found in late successional, remnant and undisturbed prairie communities–will only establish in restorations with the inclusion of their below ground prairie mycorrhizae. I was so impressed with what prairie fungi could do to improve restoration, that I began a small business called MycoBloom so that I can provide these prairie fungi to others.

My current research is sponsored the Kansas Biological Station, the Land Institute, and the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation. I am working with the perennial plant species that the Land Institute has been conducting research on including Kernza, Silphium, perennial wheat and perennial Sorghum. Some of these plants, Silphium for example, are later successional prairie species. Based on my research in the prairie, these species are likely to be strongly dependent on mycorrhizal fungi. Currently, I am isolating mycorrhizal fungi from prairies in Kansas to inoculate perennial crop species in field and greenhouse studies at the new greenhouse and field stations in Lawrence, Kansas.