Clay Lab

    Welcome to the Keith Clay lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University. My research focuses primarily on symbiosis, which encompasses both mutualistic and pathogenic interactions, and everything in between. Most of my research, and that of my students, has focused on plant-fungal interactions but we have also investigated bacterial communities associated with ticks, important vectors of human pathogens. The overarching questions of interest are how are symbionts transmitted and maintained in host populations, and how do symbiotic interactions affect the structure and dynamics of ecological communities? To address these questions we use a wide range of approaches ranging from long-term field experiments to lab-based molecular and microbiology.

    I recently moved to Tulane after 32 years at Indiana University to become the chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology here. I still have several large research projects based at Indiana University but am initiating new research at Tulane that takes advantage of the unique habitats and high biodiversity along the Gulf of Mexico. As I rebuild my lab here, I am actively seeking talented undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Please contact me at