Sydney Glassman’s research focuses on understanding patterns and processes governing microbial diversity and their ecosystem functions such as terrestrial symbioses and decomposition. She is particularly interested in how increasing disturbances in the age of the Anthropocene impact soil microbial communities and their functions. She specializes in mycorrhizal fungi, soil fungi, and bacteria.
She received her BA in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she also received a Masters of Environmental Studies. She completed her PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, & Management at UC Berkeley with Prof. Tom Bruns and a post-doc on microbial contribution to leaf litter decomposition with Prof. Jennifer Martiny at UC Irvine. In 2018, she joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology at UC Riverside as an Assistant Professor. Her lab focuses on understanding the role of soil fungi and bacteria in ecosystem regeneration after wildfires and the role of microbial community complexity and fungal-bacterial interactions in litter decomposition.
She is a passionate advocate of fungi, ecology, and conservation. To this end, she has organized two symposia at the American Society for Microbiology meetings that feature both ecological and fungal speakers. As a PhD student, she co-founded the MSA Student Section and served as the social chair for the Ecological Society of America Student Section.