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Tanya Cheeke

Tanya Cheeke

Field of Study: Soil Microbial Ecology
Title: Assistant Professor
Degrees: PhD, Portland State University
Homepage: Homepage/Lab Web Site Link
Google Scholar:  Google Scholar
Mailing Address: School of Biological Sciences
Washington State University
PO Box 644236
Pullman,WA 99164-4236


My research program in the evolution and ecology of plant-fungal interactions focuses on four key areas of ecological research:

1) Plant-soil feedbacks and invasion biology – evaluating the role of mycorrhizal fungi in facilitating or inhibiting the establishment of invasive plants, particularly along successional gradients and in relation to disturbance

2) Fungal ecology and global change – examining the influence of different mycorrhizal functional groups on carbon sequestration in forest ecosystems

3) Microbial ecology in agroecosystems – a) evaluating the effects of genetically modified crops on nontarget soil organisms and b) identifying key microbial functional groups that improve plant productivity in agroecosystems

4) Genetic basis of plant-fungal interactions – aimed at understanding how mycorrhizal relationships are maintained or lost over evolutionary time.

Representative Publications:

  • Cheeke, T. E., Zheng, C., Koziol, L., Gurholt, C. R., and Bever, J. D.. 2019. Sensitivity to AMF species is greater in late‐successional than early‐successional native or nonnative grassland plants. Ecology 100( 12):e02855. 10.1002/ecy.2855
  • Andrew E. Plymale, Jacqueline R. Wells, Carolyn I. Pearce, Colin J. Brislawn, Emily B. Graham, Tanya E. Cheeke, Jessica L. Allen, Sarah J. Fansler, Bruce W. Arey, Mark E. Bowden, Danielle L. Saunders, Vincent G. Danna, Kimberly J. Tyrrell, Jamie L. Weaver, Rolf Sjöblom, Rick Paul, John S. McCloy, Eva Hjärthner-Holdar, Mia Englund, Erik Ogenhall, David K. Peeler & Albert A. Kruger (2020) Niche Partitioning of Microbial Communities at an Ancient Vitrified Hillfort: Implications for Vitrified Radioactive Waste Disposal, Geomicrobiology Journal, DOI: 10.1080/01490451.2020.1807658
  • Cheeke, T.E., Phillips, R.P., Brzostek, E.R., Rosling, A., Bever, J.D., and Petra Fransson. 2017. Dominant mycorrhizal association of trees alters carbon and nutrient cycling by selecting for microbial groups with distinct enzyme function. New Phytologist. This study was highlighted in the Meetings summary of New Phytologist: Chagnon P-L, Rineau F, Kaiser C. 2016. New Phytologist 209 (3): 913-916.
  • Rosling, A., Midgley, M., Cheeke, T.E., Fransson, P., and R.P. Phillips. 2016. Phosphorus cycling in deciduous forest soil differs between stands dominated by ecto- and arbuscular mycorrhizal trees. New Phytologist. 209:887-1323. This study was highlighted in a Commentary: Kuyper and Koele 2016, New Phytologist, 209 (3): 894–895.
  • Kolseth, A.K., D’Hertefeldt, T., Emmerich, M., Forabosco, F., Marklund, S., Cheeke, T.E., Hallin, S., and M. Weih. 2015. Influence of genetically modified organisms on agro-ecosystem processes. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment. 214: 96-106.
  • Cheeke, T.E., Schütte, U.M., Rosenstiel, T.N., Cruzan, M.B., and J.D. Bever. 2015. Spatial variation and heterogeneity in the field has a greater effect on the composition of AMF communities than Bt genetic insertion. Molecular Ecology. 24: 2580-2593.
  • Cheeke, T. E., Darby, H., Bever, J. D., Rosenstiel, T. N., and M. B. Cruzan. 2014. Effect of Bt maize cultivation history on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization, spore abundance and diversity, and plant growth. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment. 195: 29-35.
  • Cheeke, T. E., Cruzan, M. B., and Todd N. Rosenstiel. 2013. A field evaluation of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in multiple lines of Bt and non-Bt maize. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 79(13): 4078-4086.
  • Cheeke, T. E. 2012. Effects of the cultivation of genetically modified Bt crops on nontarget soil organisms. In: Microbial Ecology in Sustainable Agroecosystems. Advances in Agroecology Series. Cheeke, T. E., Coleman, D.C., Wall, D.H. (Eds.) Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 153-227.
  • Cheeke, T. E., Rosenstiel, T. N., and Mitchell B. Cruzan. 2012. Evidence of reduced arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal colonization in multiple lines of Bt maize. American Journal of Botany. 99(4): 700-707. This study was featured on the cover of the April 2012 issue of AJB.
  • Cheeke, T. E., Pace, B. A., Rosenstiel, T. N., and Mitchell B. Cruzan. 2011. The influence of fertilizer level and spore density on arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization of transgenic Bt 11 maize (Zea mays) in experimental microcosms. FEMS Microbiology Ecology. 75: 304-312.
  • Cheeke, T.E., Coleman, D. C., Wall, D.H. (Editors) 2012. Microbial Ecology in Sustainable Agroecosystems. Advances in Agroecology Research. Boca Raton: CRC Press.