Dr. Vilgalys' research uses the techniques of molecular biology as well as traditional approaches (culturing, mating studies, etc.) to answer questions about the genetics and natural history of fungi. Research areas include: 1) the Fungal Tree of Life Project and the origins of fungal biodiversity- our principle research is focused on undertstanding phylogeny of fungi in fungi, including mushrooms (basidiomycetes), as well as the earliest fungal lineages; 2) molecular epidemiology and population genetics of fungi. Genetic studies are aimed at elucidating mating systems and life history in wild mushroom species as well as symbiotic fungi including human pathogens; and 3) molecular ecology of fungal communities. His lab is currently using next-gen sequencing methods to study how microbial communities respond to environmental change.