Rachel Hestrin

Dr. Rachel Hestrin

Assistant Professor, Stockbridge School of Agriculture

Education:

B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 2006
M.S./Ph.D., Cornell University, 2018
DOE SCGSR Fellow and Research Affiliate, Joint Genome Institute, 2017-2020
Postdoctoral Research, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 2018-2021

Research Area: Evolution and Ecology, Genomics and Genetics, Plant Environment Interactions
Field of Study: Field of Study: Plant-microbe interactions, biogeochemistry, ecosystem response to change, sustainable agriculture

I am broadly interested in plant-microbe-soil interactions and ecosystem response to change. Much of my lab’s research focuses on rhizosphere and hyphosphere processes that influence productivity, stress tolerance, organic matter dynamics, and nutrient cycling. Our work spans multiple scales and approaches—from isotope-enabled genomics and cellular imaging to multi-farm field trials. We seek to answer questions such as: How do microbes mediate plant nutrient acquisition and carbon allocation below ground? Do mycorrhizal fungi recruit functionally distinct microbial communities that confer different benefits to their hosts? How are plant- and fungal-derived soil organic matter inputs affected by environmental conditions or agricultural management? Which management practices facilitate beneficial plant-microbe interactions?