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Ian D. Medeiros

PhD Candidate

Department of Biology

Duke University


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Mailing address:

Duke University

Campus Box 90338

Durham, NC 27708

United States 

I am a PhD candidate in the Lutzoni Lab at Duke University and an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Grounded in systematic biology and natural history, my research deals with the biodiversity, evolution, biogeography, and ecology of symbiotic Ascomycota—a group of fungi that includes species from baker's yeast to bread mold, from the fungi that cause athlete's foot to the gray or green crusts often visible on tree bark. My work focuses on two types of symbiotic interactions: lichenization (a stable association of a fungus and green alga or cyanobacterium) and endophytism (a fungus living asymptomatically inside plant leaf or lichen tissue).

I earned a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic (COA) in 2016. Although I have long had an interest in botany, it was at COA that I became fascinated by lichens and symbiosis. Prior to my graduate studies, I worked as a seasonal field botany technician for the University of California, Davis and Colorado State University, in landscapes ranging from pine forests in California and shortgrass prairie in Colorado to cypress sloughs in Texas and sedge-rich interdunal swales in Florida. At Duke, I have developed expertise in bioinformatics and microbiology while always maintaining a connection to the places where these plants and fungi live.


In the field with Carlos Pardo De la Hoz. Photo © 2021 by Shannon Skarha.

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