Top Navigation

Side Navigation

Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Assistant Professor

Mycology, microbial molecular ecologyAndrea

Contact Information:

Office: Waggoner Hall 287
Lab: Waggoner Hall 273
Phone number: (309) 298 1267

Personal Homepage:


Ph.D. - University of New Mexico, 2008
M.S. - University of Puerto Rico, 2004
B.S. - Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica, 2000

Courses Taught:

  • BOT 200 Introduction to Botany
  • MICR 401G Mycology
  • MICR 464G Medical Mycology
  • BIOL 502 Molecular Applications in Organismal Biology

Research Interests:

My laboratory focuses studies fungal symbiotic associations, their emergent properties, and the effect of global climate change on fungal diversity and community structure. We are interested in ecological roles of fungi, their diversity, biogeographical distributions, and potential applications of novel fungal consortia.

Recent Publications:

  • Liu, K.L., Andrea Porras-Alfaro, C.R. Kuske, S.A. Eichorst, and G. Xie. 2012. Accurate, rapid taxonomic classification of fungal large subunit rRNA genes. Applied and  Environmental Microbiology 2011 Dec 22. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Odenbach, K., M. Spilde, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, and A. Nyberg, 2012. Northup D. fungal communities associated with rock varnish in Black Canyon, NM: Casual inhabitants or essential partners? Geomicrobiology Journal 29:752-766
  • Weber, C.F., M.M. Balasch, Z. Gossage, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, and C.R. Kuske. 2012.Soil fungal cellobiohydrolase I Gene (cbhI) composition and expression in a Loblolly Pine plantation under conditions of elevated atmospheric CO2 and nitrogen fertilization. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78:3950-3957.
  • Porras-Alfaro, Andrea, and P. Bayman. 2011. Hidden fungi, emergent properties: endophytes and microbiomes. Annual Review of Phytopathology 49:291-315
  • Porras-Alfaro, Andrea, J. Herrera, D.O. Natvig, K. Lipinski, and R.L. Sinsabaugh. 2011. Diversity and distribution of soil fungal communities in a semiarid grassland. Mycologia 103:10-21.
  • Khidir, H.K., D.M. Eudy, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, J. Herrera, D.O. Natvig, and R.L. Sinsabaugh. 2010. A general suite of fungal endophytes dominate the roots of two dominant grasses in a semiarid grassland. Journal of Arid Environments 74:35-42.
  • Herrera, J., H.H. Khidir, D.M. Eudy, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, D.O. Natvig, and R.L. Sinsabaugh. 2010. Variation in root-associated fungal endophytes: some taxonomic consistency at a transcontinental scale. Mycologia 102:1012-1023.
  • Porras-Alfaro, Andrea, J. Herrera, K. Odenbach, T. Lowrey, R.L. Sinsabaugh, and D.O. Natvig. 2008. A novel root fungal consortium associated with a dominant desert grass. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 74:2805-2813.
  • Collins, S., R.L. Sinsabaugh, C. Crenshaw, L. Green, Andrea Porras-Alfaro, M. Stursova, and L. Zeglin. 2008. Pulse dynamics and microbial processes in aridland ecosystems. Journal of Ecology 96:413-420.
  • Green, L.E., Andrea Porras-Alfaro, and R.L. Sinsabaugh. 2008. Translocation of nitrogen and carbon integrates biotic crust and grass production in desert grassland. Journal of Ecology 96:1076-1085.
  • Gallo M., Andrea Porras-Alfaro, Odenbach K, Sinsabaugh R.L. 2008 Photoaccelaration of plant litter decomposition in an arid environment. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 41:1433-1441.
  • Porras-Alfaro, Andrea, J. Herrera, D.O. Natvig, and R.L. Sinsabaugh. 2007. Effect of long-term nitrogen fertilization on mycorrhizal fungi associated with a dominant grass in a semiarid grassland. Plant and Soil 296:65-75.
  • Porras-Alfaro, Andrea, and P. Bayman. 2007. Mycorrhizal fungi of Vanilla: specificity, phylogeny and effects on seed germination and plant growth. Mycologia 99(4):510-525.
  • Porras, Andrea, and P. Bayman. 2003. Mycorrhizal fungi of Vanilla: Root colonization patterns and fungal identification. Lankesteriana 7:147-150.