Krista McGuire

Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Krista McGuire, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, joined Barnard’s faculty in 2009. Her primary research interests include determining the factors that structure microbial communities, how mycorrhizal fungi influence plant community structure, the impacts of global change on microbes, and tropical ecology. She has spent a significant amount of time studying microbes in the tropical rain forests of Central and South America, and currently leads projects in Malaysia, Puerto Rico, and on various components of green infrastructure in New York City.

Professor McGuire’s research is currently supported by the National Science Foundation. At Barnard she teaches courses on Microbiology and Tropical Ecology.

Academic Focus: 

Microbial ecology
Mycorrhizal fungi
Tropical forest ecology

Awards & Honors: 
Professional Affiliations: 
Presentations / Recent Lectures: 

McGuire, K.L., Payne, S.G., Palmer, M.I., Gillikin, C.M., Keefe, D., Kim, S.J., Gedallovich, S.M., Discenza, J., Rangamannar, R., Koshner, J.A., Massmann, A.L., Orazi, G., Essene, A., Leff, J.W., Fierer, N. 2013. Digging the New York City skyline: Soil fungal communities in green roofs and city parks. PLoS One 8(3):e58020.

McGuire, K.L., Fierer, N, Turner, B.L., Bateman, C., Treseder, K.K. 2012. Fungal community composition is more correlated with precipitation than tree diversity in a tropical rain forest. Microbial Ecology 63:804-812 (cover issue).

McGuire, K.L., Primack, R.B., Losos, E.C., Dramatic improvements and persistent challenges for women ecologists. 2012. Bioscience 62:189-196.

Lin, B.B., Chappell, M.J., Vandermeer, J., Smith, G., Quintero, E., Bezner-Kerr, R., Griffith, D.M., Ketcham, S., Latta, S.C., McMichael, P., McGuire, K.L., Nigh, R., Rocheleau, D., Soluri, J., Perfecto, I. 2011. Effects of industrial agriculture on climate change and the mitigation potential of small-scale agroecological farms. CAB Reviews 6:1-18.

Eller, A.S.D., McGuire, K.L., Sparks, J.P. 2011. Responses of sugar maple and hemlock seedlings to elevated carbon dioxide under altered above- and belowground nitrogen sources. Tree Physiology 31:391-401.

Allison, S.D., McGuire, K.L., Treseder, K.K. 2010 Resistance of microbial and soil properties to warming treatment seven years after boreal fire. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 42:1827-1878.

McGuire, K.L., Zak, D.R., Edwards, I.P., Blackwood, C.B., Upchurch, R. 2010. Slowed decomposition is biotically mediated in an ectomycorrhizal, tropical rain forest. Oecologia 164:785-795.

McGuire, K.L., Bent, E., Borneman, J., Majumder, A., Allison, S.D., Treseder, K.K. 2010 Functional diversity in resource use by fungi. Ecology 91:2324-2332.

Allison, S.D., Gartner, T.B., Mack, M.C., McGuire, K.L., Treseder, K.K. 2010. Nitrogen alters carbon dynamics during early succession in boreal forest. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 42: 1157-1164.

McGuire, K.L., Treseder, K.K. 2010. Microbial communities and their relevance for ecosystem models: decomposition as a case study. Soil Biology & Biochemistry 42: 529-535.

McGuire, K.L. 2008. Ectomycorrhizal Associations Function to Maintain Tropical Monodominance. In: Siddiqui, Z.A., Akhtar, M.S., Futai, K. (eds) Mycorrhizae: Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry. Springer, Netherlands pg 287-302.

McGuire, K.L., Henkel, T.W., Granzow de la Cerda, I., Villa, G, Edmund, F., Andrew, C. 2008. Dual mycorrhizal colonization of forest-dominating tropical trees and the mycorrhizal status of non-dominant tree and liana species.  Mycorrhiza 18:217-222.

McGuire, K.L. 2007. Recruitment dynamics and ectomycorrhizal colonization of Dicymbe corymbosa, a monodominant tree in the Guiana Shield.  Journal of Tropical Ecology 23:297-307.

McGuire, K.L. 2007. The common ectomycorrhizal net may maintain monodominance in a tropical rain forest. Ecology 88:567-574.



Office Hours: 

BA, Muhlenberg College
Ph.D., University of Michigan

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In the News

Biology professor studies presence of fungi on New York City green roofs

As an expert in microbial ecology, Krista McGuire's research has taken her from the Guyana rain forest to Alaska's boreal forests. She studies the role of fungi in critical environmental issues such as global climate change, plant extinction, and deforestation. This year McGuire joins Barnard College as an assistant professor of biological sciences. "Barnard seemed like the perfect fit because it has a liberal arts curriculum, plus all the [research] resources of Columbia," she says. "It's kind of the best of all worlds."