Dr. Gregory Pec

Associate Professor

Office: BHS 319   |    Phone: (308) 865-8410   |    Email: pecg@unk.edu

Dr. Gregory Pec



Areas of Interest:

  • Mycology
  • Soil microbiology
  • Root biology and ecology
  • Bioinformatics and molecular biology


  • B.S. (2001) – Ramapo College of New Jersey
  • M.C.L.F.S. (2008) – University of Maryland
  • M.S. (2011) – California State Polytechnic University
  • Ph.D. (2016) – University of Alberta

Professional Affiliations:

  • Botanical Society of America
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Mycological Society of America.

Dissertation and Thesis:

  • Pec, G.J.  2016.  Cascading effects of insect outbreak on plant and fungal community structure and function. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • Pec, G.J.  2011.  Non-native grasses facilitate a native annual in southern California shrubland communities. M.S. Thesis, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California.


  • Dean, G.H., Cacho, N.I., Zuluaga, A., and Pec, G.J.  2024.  Resilient botany: Innovation in the face of limited mobility and resources.  Applications in Plant Sciences 12(2): e11577.
  • Wasyliw, J., Fellrath, E.G., Pec, G.J., Cale, J.A., Franklin, J., Thomasson, C., Erbilgin, N., and Karst, J.  2023.  Soil inoculation of lodgepole pine seedlings alters root-associated fungal communities but does not improve seedling performance in beetle-killed pine stands.  Restoration Ecology 31(1), e13663.
  • Cherry, J.A. and Pec, G.J.  2022.  Advances, applications, and prospects in aquatic botany.  Applications in Plant Sciences 10(4): e11488.
  • Cale, J.A., Scott, N., Pec, G.J., Landhäusser, S.M., and Karst, J.  2021.  Choices on sampling, sequencing, and analyzing DNA influence the estimation of community composition of plant fungal symbionts.  Applications in Plant Sciences 9(9-10): e11449. 
  • Pec, G.J., van Diepen, L.T.A., Knorr, M., Grandy, A.S., Melillo, J.M., DeAngelis, K.M., Blanchard, J.L., and Frey, S.D.  2021.  Fungal community response to long-term soil warming with potential implications for soil carbon dynamics.  Ecosphere 12(4): e03460.
  • Moore, J.A.M., Anthony, M., Pec, G.J., Trocha, L.K., Trzebny, A., Geyer, K.M., van Diepen, L.T.A., and Frey, S.  2020.  Fungal community structure and function shifts with atmospheric nitrogen deposition.  Global Change Biology 27(7), 1349-1364.  doi:  10.1111/gcp.15444
  • Pec, G.J., Simard, S.W., Cahill, Jr., J.F., and Karst, J.  2020.  The effects of ectomycorrhizal fungal networks on seedling establishment are contingent on species and severity of overstorey mortality.  Mycorrhiza 30(2-3), 173-183.  doi: 10.1007/s00572-020-00940-4 
  • Pec, G.J., Scott, N., Hupperts, S.F., Hankin, S.L., Landhäusser, S.M. and Karst, J.  2019.  Restoration of belowground fungal communities in reclaimed landscapes of the Canadian boreal forest.  Restoration Ecology 27(6): 1369-1380.  doi.org/10.1111/rec.12990
  • Pec, G.J. and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2019.  Large-scale insect outbreak homogenizes the spatial structure of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities.  PeerJ 7: e6895.
  • Pec, G.J., Ljubotina, M.K., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2019.  Methods in belowground botany.  Applications in Plant Sciences 7(4): e1239.
  • Scott, N., Pec, G.J., Karst, J. and Landhäusser, S.M.  2019.  Additive versus synergistic? Early ectomycorrhizal fungal community response to mixed tree plantings in boreal forest restoration.  Oecologia 189(1): 9-19.
  • Cahill Jr., J.F., Cale, J.A., Karst, J., Bao, T., Pec, G.J., and Erbilgin, N.  2017.  No silver bullet: Different soil handling techniques are useful for different research questions, exhibit differential type I and II error rates and are sensitive to sampling intensity.  New Phytologist 216(1): 11-14.
  • Pec, G.J., J. Karst, D.L. Taylor, P.W. Cigan, N. Erbilgin, J.E.K. Cooke, S.W. Simard, and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2017. Changes in soil fungal community structure driven by a decline in ectomycorrhizal fungi following a mountain pine beetle outbreak. New Phytologist 213(2): 864-873.
  • Carrigy, A., Stotz, G.C., Dettlaff, M., Pec, G.J., Inderjit, Erbilgin, N., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2016.  Community-level determinants of smooth brome (Bromus inermis) invasion in a Canadian savannah.  Plant Ecology 217(11): 1395-1413.
  • Stotz, G.C., Pec, G.J., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2016.  Biotic resistance to invaders is dependent upon local environmental conditions, not primary productivity: a meta-analysis.  Basic and Applied Ecology 17(5): 377-387.
  • Karst, J., Erbilgin, N., Pec, G.J., Cigan, P.W., Najar, A., Simard, S.W., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2015.  Ectomycorrhizal fungi mediate indirect effects of a beetle outbreak on secondary chemistry and establishment of pine seedlings. New Phytologist 208(3): 904-914.
  • Cigan, P.W., Karst, J., Cahill Jr., J.F., Sywenky, A.N., Pec, G.J., and Erbilgin, N.  2015.  Influence of bark beetle outbreaks on nutrient cycling in native pine stands in western Canada.  Plant and Soil 390(1-2): 29-47.
  • Pec, G.J., Karst, J., Sywenky, A.N., Cigan, P.W., Erbilgin, N., Simard, S.W., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2015.  Rapid increases in forest understory diversity and productivity following mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak.  PLoS ONE 10(4): e0124691.
  • Pec, G.J. and Carlton, G.C.  2014.  Positive effects of non-native grasses on the growth of a native annual in a southern California ecosystem.  PLoS ONE 9(11): e112437.
  • Randall, M.J., Karst, J., Pec, G.J., Davis, C.S., Hall, J.C., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2014.  A molecular identification protocol for roots of boreal forest tree species.  Applications in Plant Sciences 2(11): e1400069.
  • Treu, R., Karst, J., Randall, M., Pec, G.J., Cigan, P.W., Simard, S.W., Cooke, J.E.K., Erbilgin, N., and Cahill Jr., J.F.  2014.  Decline of ectomycorrhizal fungi following a mountain pine beetle epidemic.  Ecology 95(4): 1096-1103.