people / Schmidt, Steven K.
Schmidt, Steven K.


Steven K. Schmidt (Steve)

PhD, Cornell University,
MS, Colorado State University,
BS, Boise State University,
Lab: 303-492-6248



Microbial ecology, biogeochemical cycles, and plant-microbe interactions. Theoretical (modeling) and experimental approaches are used to study the ecology of microorganisms in natural and disturbed systems. Active areas of research include: (1) microbial biogeochemistry of ecosystems in Colorado, Peru and Costa Rica, (2) the role of mycorrhizal fungi in the ecology of wild plants, and (3) biogeography and biodiversity of previously unknown microbial groups.

Disciplines: Biogeochemistry • Microbial ecology • Plant/vegetation ecology




The Schmidt Lab


Patterns of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes across a mostly-unvegetated, high-elevation landscape.

Bueno de Mesquita, C, Sartwell, S.A., Ordermann, E.V., Porazinska, D.L., Farrer, E.C., King, A.J., Spasojevic, M.J., Smith, J.G., Suding, K.N., Schmidt, S.K, Fungal Ecology, 36, 63-74, DOI: 10.1016/j.funeco.2018.07.009,


Plant diversity and density predict belowground diversity and function in an early successional alpine ecosystem.

Porazinska, D.T., Farrer, E.C., Spasojevic, M.J., Bueno de Mesquita, C.P., Sartwell, S.A., Smith, J.G., White, C.T., King, A.J., Suding, K.N., Schmidt, S.K., Ecology, 99, 9, 1942-1952, DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2420,


Rapid temporal changes in root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and fine root endophytes, not dark septate endophytes, track plant activity and environment in an alpine ecosystem.

Bueno de Mesquita, C.P., Martinez Del Rio, C.M., Suding, K.N., Schmidt, S.K., Mycorrhiza, DOI: 10.1007/s00572-018-0863-7,


Plant colonization of moss-dominated soils in the alpine: Microbial and biogeochemical implications.

Clifton P. Bueno de Mesquita, Joseph E. Knelman, Andrew J. King, Emily C. Farrer, Dorota L. Porazinska, Steven K. Schmidt, Katharine N. Suding, Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 111, 135-142, DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.04.008,


Phylogeny of ulotrichalean algae from extreme high-altitude and high-latitude ecosystems.

Schmidt, S. K., Darcy, J. L., Polar Biology, 38, 5, 689-697, DOI: 10.1007/s00300-014-1631-6,


Incorporating biotic factors in species distribution modeling: are interactions with soil microbes important?.

Bueno de Mesquita, Cliff, King, Andrew J., Schmidt, Steven K., Farrer, Emily C., Suding, Katharine N., Ecography, 38, 001-011, DOI: 10.1111/ecog.01797,


Winter gas exchange between the atmosphere and snow-covered soils on Niwot Ridge, Colorado, USA.

Liptzin, D., Helmig, D., Schmidt, S. K., Seok, B., Williams, M. W., Plant Ecology & Diversity, 1-12, DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2015.1065925,


Plant-microbe interactions at multiple scales across a high-elevation landscape.

Schmidt, S.K., King, A.J., Meier, C.L., Bowman, W.D., Farrer, E.C., Suding, K.N., Nemergut, D.R., Plant Ecology & Diversity, DOI: 10.1080/17550874.2014.917737,


Nutrient addition dramatically accelerates microbial community succession.

Knelman, J.E., Schmidt, S.K., Lynch, R.C., Darcy, J.L., Castle, S.C., Cleveland, C.C., Nemergut, D.R., PLoS ONE, 9, 7, e102609, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102609,


Do bacterial and fungal communities assemble differently during primary succession?.

Schmidt, S.K., Nemergut, D.R., Darcy, J.L., Lynch, R., Molecular Ecology, 23, 254-258,


Patterns and processes of microbial community assembly.

Nemergut, D. R., Schmidt, S. K., Fukami, T., O'Neill, S. P., Bilinski, T. M., Stanish, L. F., Knelman, J. E., Darcy, J. L., Lynch, R. C., Wickey, P., Ferrenberg, S., Microbiology and Molecular Biology Review, 77, 3, 342-356, URL: DOI: 10.1128/MMBR.00051-12,


Alpine and arctic soil microbial communities.

Rhodes, M., Knelman, J., Lynch, J.L., Darcy, J.L., Nemergut, D.R., Schmidt, S.K., The Prokaryotes - Prokaryotic Communities and Ecophysiology, Berlin, Springer-Verlag, Rosenberg, E. DeLong, E.,Lory, S., Stackebrandt, E., and Thompson, F., 43-55, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-30123-0_37,


Phylogeny and biogeography of an uncultured clade of Snow Chytrids.

Naff, C.S., Darcy, J.L., Schmidt, S.K., Environmental Microbiology, DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.12116,


Co-occurrence patterns of plants and soil bacteria in the high-alpine subnival zone track environmental harshness.

King, A.J., Farrer, E.C., Suding, K.N., Schmidt, S.K., Frontiers in Microbiology, 3, 347, DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2012.00347,


The potential for microbial life in the highest elevation (>6000 m.a.s.l) mineral soils of the Atacama region.

Lynch, R.C., King, A.J., Farias, M.E., Sowell, P., Vitry, C., Schmidt, S.K., Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, G02028, DOI: 10.1029/2012JG001961,


A simple method for determining limiting nutrients for photosynthetic crusts.

Schmidt, S.K., Nemergut, D.R., Todd, B.T., Lynch, R.C., Darcy, J.L., Cleveland, C.C., King, A.J., Plant Ecology & Diversity, 5, 513-519,


The missing fungi - New insights from culture-independent molecular studies of soil.

Schmidt, S.K., Wilson, K.L., Meyer, A.F., Porter, T.M., Schadt, C.W., Moncalvo, J.M., Accessing Uncultivated Microorganisms: From the Environment to Organisms and Genomes and Back, Washington DC, ASM Press, Zengler, K.,

CU Boulder

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement #DEB-1637686. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necesarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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