Naupaka Zimmerman

Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, Arnold lab
Dr. Naupaka Zimmerman

I am an ecologist interested in the ways in which plants and their associated microorganisms interact with each other, and the consequences of these interactions for how ecosystems function. My training is primarily in biogeochemistry and community ecology; during my PhD I became fascinated by fungal endophytes -- fungi that inhabit the healthy leaves of trees. During my PhD at Stanford, I focused my dissertation work on the biogeography of endophyte communities in Hawai'i, using ’ōhi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha) as a model host, as well as on plant-endophyte-pathogen interactions, using poplar trees as a model genetic system. My undergraduate studies at Harvard were in Environmental Science, Public Policy, and Social Anthropology, a combination of majors that reflects my long-standing interest in the ways in which people interact with the natural environment (scientifically, culturally, aesthetically) and in how these differing views come together to shape policy. These interests are also shaped by my experiences growing up on the Island of Hawai'i, where many different cultures are in constant contact. Since the fall of 2013, I have been a postdoc in the Arnold lab at the University of Arizona, where I am working on understanding the influence of environmental factors on life histories of foliar fungi.