Plant Pathology Graduate Program

Michael F. Allen

Michael F. Allen
Office: 951-827-5494
2317 Webber Hall
Office Hours: M,W, not specified - not specified
Email: mallen@ucr.edu

Michael F. Allen

Professor of Plant Pathology & Biology & Microbiology & Ecologist
Director, Center for Conservation Biology
Chair, Department of Biology

Biology and ecology of microbial-plant-soil interactions PhD Botany 1980 -- University of Wyoming

MS Botany 1977 -- University of Wyoming 
BS Biology 1974 -- Southwestern College, KS

Center for Conservation Biology: http://ccb.ucr.edu/


Biography & Research Interests

My research is concentrated on understanding the effects of human activities on ecosystem biodiversity and functioning. As the human population expands, population centers emerge and shift, and resources are extracted and utilized. I have focused on three areas. First, I have undertaken efforts to describe the impacts of human activities on wildlands, from land disturbance, transportation, and agriculture to the changing global environment. Specifically, I have worked on documenting the spatial and temporal effects of perturbations on soil organisms and soil resources. In this context, I have focused on direct disturbance (such as mining, harvesting), elevated CO2, climate, and pollution. Second, I have worked to document how natural succession proceeds to learn lessons that can be applied in ecosystem restoration. This has entailed research on Mount St. Helens, Alaskan Glaciers, mines, roadways, and tropical forest management. We focused on utilizing spatial structure to enhance recovery of soil organisms, and, incorporating these organisms to stabilize natural fertility and soil structure. Specifically, we can use spatial variability and plant architecture to harvest wind-blown microbes, or create conditions on which animals will key in to enhance natural immigration and establishment of beneficial microorganisms. Finally, I have begun working on developing ways to bring ecological science into the decision-making process. I have worked on interagency efforts to incorporate ecosystem management approaches into environmental decisions at the federal level. More recently, I have worked with the County of Riverside and southern California regional agencies on multiple species habitat conservation (MSHCP) planning efforts. Please visit my lab for more information


  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science -- 2005
  • Chevron Conservation Award -- 1999
  • Mycological Society of American Graduate Fellowship -- 1979
  • Who's Who in American College and Universities -- 1974



Allen, M.F. and K. Kitajima. 2014. Net primary production of ectomycorrhizas in a California forest. Fungal Ecology 10: 81-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.funeco.2014.01.007.

Allen, M.F., C.W. Barrows, M.D. Bell, G.D. Jenerette, R.F. Johnson, and E.B. Allen. 2014. Threats to California’s Desert Ecosystems. Fremontia  42: 3-8.

Allen, M.F., K. Kitajima, R.R. Hernandez. In press. Mycorrhizae and global change. in M. Tausz, N.E. Grulke. Trees in a changing environment. Springer- Plant Sciences, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Droser, M.L., G.G. Gehling, M.E. Dzaugis, M.J. Kennedy, D. Rice, and M.F. Allen.  2014. A new Ediacaran fossil with a novel sediment displacive life habit. Journal of Paleontology 88: 145-151.

Hernandez, R.R., S.B. Easter, M.L. Murphy-Mariscal, F.T. Maestre, M. Tavassoli, E.B. Allen, C.W. Barrows, J. Belnap, R. Ochoa-Hueso, S. Ravi, and M.F. Allen. 2014. Environmental impacts of utility-scale solar energy. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 29: 766-779.

Bledsoe, C.S., M.F. Allen and D. Southworth. 2014. Beyond mutualism: Complex mycorrhizal interactions. U. Lüttge et al., (eds), Progress in Botany 75: DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-38797-5_10


Kitajima, K., M.F. Allen and M.L. Goulden. 2013. Contribution of Hydraulically Lifted Deep Moisture to the Water Budget in a Southern California Mixed Forest. Journal of Geophysical Research- Biogeosciences 118: 1561-1572

Allen, M.F. and K. Kitajima. 2013. In situ high frequency observations of mycorrhizas. New Phytologist 200: 222-228. doi: 10.1111/nph.12363. 7 pages.

Egerton-Warburton L.M., Querejeta J.I., Allen M.F. and Finkelman S.L . 2013. Mycorrhizal Fungi, Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier. 27-Sep-13 doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.05226-X.

Hernandez, R.R. and M.F. Allen. 2013. Diurnal patterns of productivity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi revealed with the soil ecosystem observatory. New Phytologist 200: 547-557. Doi:10.1111/nph.12393

Estrada-Medina, H., L.S. Santiago, R.C. Graham, M.F. Allen, J.J. Jiménez-Osornio. 2013. Source water, phenology and growth of two tropical dry forest tree species growing on shallow karst soils. Trees 27: 1297-1307. DOI 10.1007/s00468-013-0878-9

Estrada-Medina, H., R.C. Graham, M.F. Allen, J.J. Jiménez-Osornio, and S. Robles-Casolco. 2013. The importance of limestone bedrock and dissolution karst features on tree root distribution in northern Yucatán, México. Plant and Soil 362:37-50. DOI 10.1007/s11104-012-1175-x


Hernandez, R.R., M.S. Mayernik, M.L. Murphy-Mariscal, and M.F. Allen. 2012. Advanced technologies and data management practices in environmental science: Lessons from Academia. BioScience 62: 1067-1076. DOI: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.12.8

Preston, K.L., R.A. Redak, M.F. Allen and J.T. Rotenberry. 2012. Changing Distribution Patterns of the Endangered Quino Checkerspot: Linking Local Extinction Patterns and Variable Habitat Relationships. Biological Conservation 152: 280-290. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.03.011

Querejeta, J.I., L.M. Egerton-Warburton, I. Prieto, R. Vargas, and M.F. Allen. 2012. Changes in soil hyphal abundance and viability can alter the patterns of hydraulic redistribution by plant roots. Plant and Soil 355: 63-73. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-011-1080-8

Ladwig, L.M., S.L. Collins, A.L. Swann, Y. Xia, M.F. Allen and E.B. Allen. 2012. Above- and belowground responses to nitrogen addition in a Chihuahuan desert grassland. Oecologia 169: 177-185. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-011-2173-z

Iverson, C.M., M.T. Murphy, M.F. Allen, J. Childs, D.M. Eissenstadt, E.A. Lilleskov, T.M. Sarjala, V.L. Sloan and P.E. Sullivan. 2012. Advancing the use of minirhizotrons in wetlands. Plant and Soil 352: 23-39. DOI: 10.1007/s11104-011-0953-1

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Contact Information

Graduate Program in Plant Pathology
1140 Batchelor Hall

Tel: (800) 735-0717 or (951) 827-5688
Fax: (951) 827-5517
E-mail: laura.mcgeehan@ucr.edu

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
Boyce Hall 1463

Tel: (951) 827-3598
Fax: (951) 827-4294
E-mail: margarita.flores@ucr.edu