Ismaiel Szink

Effects of lithology on deep root exudates and regolith weathering in central Pennsylvania

Ismaiel is a PhD candidate in Ecology and funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, and the NSF-funded Critical Zone Observatory.

Co-advisor: Sue Brantley

With the assistance of the CZO Network, I plan to study the chemicals, known as exudates, produced by roots and associated mycorrhizal fungi in field settings and determine the effects of lithology on the release of exudates. My goal is to help create novel methods for studying exudates in field settings. This research will be used to improve our understanding of ecosystem nutrient cycling and highlight the importance of lithological differences for forest management.

Awards and Honors

2017 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow

2015 Bunton-Waller Graduate Award Recipient


Szink I, Davis EL, Ricks KD, Koide RT. (2016). New evidence for broad trophic status of leaf endophytic fungi of Quercus gambelii. Fungal Ecology 22:2-9.

Szink I. (2015) “Lepidoptera.” In J Bennion, M Graham, & LK Saik (Eds.), Insects of the Mojave Desert: Lytle Ranch Preserve. Provo: Brigham Young University.