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Carl Friese

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Biology


Email: Carl Friese
Phone: 937-229-3011


Dr. Carl Friese is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and also teaches courses for the Premedical Programs.


  • Ph.D., Utah State University, 1991
  • M.S., University of Rhode Island, 1984
  • B.S., University of Connecticut, 1982


Research Interests

My overall research interests comprise and integrate several areas of biology and ecology. These research interests cover many aspects of ecosystem and microbial ecology, with an emphasis on how fungal endophytes (such as endomycorrhizal fungi) affect plant establishment and growth. Mycorrhizal fungi are plant mutualists that live in the soil and are closely associated with numerous plant species. These fungi can have a profound influence on many important plant growth and ecological processes. Current projects investigating rangeland ecosystem dynamics, wetland restoration, desertification, the effects of animal disturbance on mycorrhizal associations, seedling establishment and plant community structure are in various stages of completion. I have developed a strong interest in such applied environmental research areas as restoration ecology and the role that mycorrhizal fungi can play in the reclamation of habitats severely disturbed by humans. Ecosystem restoration projects have been established in the temperate wetlands of Ohio and the arid rangelands of Chile and the western U.S.

The future directions of research in my laboratory would not only include components of my past and present research, but also expand with greater detail into the mechanisms and potential consequences of the interactions between individuals and populations. New projects will focus on the points where various groups of organisms (plants, animals, and microorganisms) interact with each other and their environment, to "tease out" the mechanisms whereby these interactions determine species diversity, community structure and landscape patterns. Integrating the various levels and components of species interactions will bring us much closer to understanding the true functioning of ecosystems and the proper application of this knowledge towards human impact on the environment.

Selected Publications

Turner, S.D. and C.F. Friese (1997). "Plant-mycorrhizal community dynamics associated with a moisture gradient within a rehabilitated prairie fen: Restoration Implications." Restoration Ecology. In press.

Friese, C.F., S.J. Morris, and M.F. Allen (1997). "Disturbance in natural ecosystems: Scaling from fungal diversity to ecosystem functioning." The Mycota, Vol. IV, Environmental and Microbial Relationships. D. T. Wicklow and B. Soderstrom (eds.); Springer-Verlag; Berlin; pp. 47-65.

Friese, C.F. and M.F. Allen (1993). "The interaction of harvester ants and vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a patchy environment: The effects of mound structure on fungal dispersion and establishment." Functional Ecology 7:13-20.

Friese, C.F. and M.F. Allen (1991). "The Spread of VA mycorrhizal fungal hyphae in the soil: Inoculum types and external hyphal architecture." Mycologia 83(4):409-418.

Friese, C.F. and M.F. Allen (1991). "Tracking the fates of exotic and local VA mycorrhizal fungi: Methods and patterns." Agricultural Ecosystems & Environments 34:87-96.