Thom Adams

Thom Adams profile-picture photograph

Engagement Co-ordinator Science Faculty Office


Teaching in 2016


My research focuses on plant-microbial interactions and in particular their responses to land use and climate change. My goal is to develop our understanding of how species interactions determine the trajectories of ecosystems to different stable states in order that society can better address questions like: What species can and will thrive under increased anthropogenic pressures? How should we target our efforts to best save species and restore ecosystems? What attributes or functions of biological systems preserve the ecosystems services upon which human societies depend most?

I use a variety of methodologies including molecular technologies, metagenomics, isotope techniques and biochemical analyses to elucidate relationships among species and their roles in driving ecosystem processes. Current projects include the following topics: restoration ecology, network modelling, mycorrhizal fungi of native New Zealand plants, microbial ecology and nutrient cycling of native and managed ecosystems.

Research interests

  • Plant and community ecology
  • Plant-microbial interactions (fungi and bacteria)
  • Plant ecophysiology
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Soil biodiversity
  • Restoration ecology
  • Global change biology