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Morrissey, Ember

Ember Morrissey-Associate Professor
(304) 293-2332 G107 South Agricultural Sciences

Associate Professor of Environmental Microbiology

It is easy to mistake soil for an inert, lifeless substance. Although too small for us to see, soil is teeming microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, and animals. Indeed, a handful of soil contains billions of live microorganisms. Dr. Morrissey's research focuses on soil microbial ecology, beneficial plant-microbe interactions, and soil carbon and nutrient cycling. The overarching aim of Dr. Morrissey’s research program is to better understand ecosystem through the consideration of microbial communities. Her research program studies both natural and agricultural systems.


  1. Morrissey, EM, Kane, J, Tripathi, BM, Rion, MSI, Hungate, BA, Franklin, R, Walter, C, Sulman, B, Brzostek, E (2022). Carbon acquisition ecological strategies to connect soil microbial biodiversity and carbon cycling. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 108893.
  2. Kane, JL, Kotcon, JB, Freedman, ZB, Morrissey, EM (2022). Fungivorous nematodes drive microbial diversity and carbon cycling in soil. Ecology
  3. Dang C, Walkup JGV, Franklin RB, Schwartz E, Hungate BA, Morrissey EM (2022) Phylogenetic organization in the assimilation of chemically distinct substrates by soil bacteria. Environmental microbiology, 24(1), 357-369. 
  4. Kane, JL, Robinson, MC, Schartiger, RG, Freedman, ZB, McDonald, LM, Skousen, JG, & Morrissey, EM (2022). Nutrient management and bioaugmentation interactively shape plant–microbe interactions in Miscanthus× giganteus. GCB Bioenergy, 14(11), 1235-1249.
  5. Wang C, Morrissey EM, Mau RL, Hayer M, Piñeiro J, Mack MC, Marks JC, Bell SL, Miller SN, Schwartz E, Dijkstra P, Koch BJ, Stone BW, Purcell AM, Blazewicz SJ, Hofmockel KS, Pett-Ridge J, Hungate BA (2021) The temperature sensitivity of soil: microbial biodiversity, growth, and carbon mineralization. The ISME Journal. 15, 2738–2747.
  6. Morrissey EM, Mau RL, Hayer M, Liu XJ, Schwartz E, Dijkstra P, Koch BJ, Allen K, Blazewicz SJ, Hofmockel K, Pett-Ridge J, Hungate BA (2019) Evolutionary history constrains microbial traits across environmental variation. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3, 1064-1069
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