Michigan State University
Hickory Corners, MI 49060 USA
Dr. Kadeem Gilbert received his PhD in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 2019, investigating trait evolution and the ecology of arthropod/microbial interactions in the tropical pitcher plant genus Nepenthes. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU in 2021, he was a USDA-NIFA postdoctoral fellow at the Pennsylvania State University, where he extended his work to agriculturally-relevant systems by examining the molecular underpinnings of leaf surface pH regulation and its consequences to the phylloplane microbiome in Beta and Gossypium, as well as Nepenthes.
The overarching focus of the Gilbert Lab is studying interactions between plants and other organisms—especially symbiotic ones. Of particular interest is examining the ways in which plants are able to physiologically alter abiotic conditions on their leaf surfaces, and how such environmental regulation may mediate those interactions with symbionts. For instance, pH is an abiotic factor that strongly impacts microbial communities in a wide variety of environments, notably including the rhizosphere; however, the role of pH in the aboveground phyllosphere is relatively understudied. In ongoing work, the Gilbert Lab is utilizing transcriptomics and metatranscriptomics in an experimental context to study phylloplane pH regulation. Another specialty of the lab is the biology of carnivorous plants. The highly modified leaves of carnivorous plants are strikingly adept at shaping their leaf microenvironments in many ways. Rather than being mere biological curiosities, investigating the extreme physiological abilities of these unusual plants offers broader implications for the potential suite of ways plants in general influence their associated microbes and arthropods.
Click here to go to the Gilbert Lab Website.
Click here to go to Kadeem Gilbert's Google Scholar Page.