Dr. Maggie Wagner

Maggie Wagner
  • Assistant Professor
  • Assistant Scientist
  • Research Interests: Integrative Plant Biology, Complex Trait Evolution, Plant Microbiome

Contact Info

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Genetics and Genomics, Duke University, 2016, Durham, NC


My research focuses on the genetic basis of plants' interactions with their environment-- especially their microbial neighbors-- in both natural and agricultural systems. I use my training in quantitative genetics and evolutionary ecology to study the relationships between plant genotypes, phenotypes and microbiomes, toward the broad goal of improving the health of crops and wild plants facing environmental challenges.

Selected Publications

  • Wagner, M.R., Busby, P.E., and Balint-Kurti, P.J. 2019. Analysis of leaf microbiome composition of near-isogenic maize lines differing in broad-spectrum disease resistance.  New Phytologist.
  • Busby PE, Soman, C. Wagner, M.R., Friesen, M.L., Kremer, J., Bennett, A., Morsy, M., Eisen, J., Leach, J., and Dangl, J.L. (2017) Research priorities for harnessing plant microbiomes in sustainable agriculture. PLoS Biology 15(3): e2001793.
  • D’Amato AW, Orwig, D.A., Barker, A., Plotkin, A., Schoonmaker, P.K., and Wagner, M.R. (2017) Long-term structural and biomass dynamics of virgin Tsuga canadensis-Pinus strobus forests following hurricane disturbance. Ecology 98(3): 721-733.
  • Wagner, M.R., Lundberg, D.S., del Rio, T.G., Tringe, S.G., Dangl, J.L., and Mitchell-Olds, T. (2016) Host genotype and age shape the leaf and root microbiomes of a wild perennial plant. Nature Communications 7: 12151.
  • Wagner, M.R., Lundberg, D.S., Coleman-Derr, D., Tringe, S.G., Dangl, J.L., and Mitchell-Olds, T. (2014) Natural soil microbes alter flowering phenology and the intensity of selection on flowering time in a wild Arabidopsis relative. Ecology Letters 17: 717-726.
  • Anderson, J.T, Wagner, M.R., Rushworth, C.A., Prasad, K., and Mitchell-Olds, T. (2014) The evolution of quantitative traits in complex environments. Heredity 112: 4-12
  • Olson-Manning, C. F., Wagner M.R., Mitchell-Olds, T. (2012) Adaptive evolution: Evaluating empirical support for theoretical predictions. Nature Reviews Genetics 13: 867-877.
  • Wagner, M.R. (2012) Ecological details matter in island biogeography: A case study on the Samoan orchids. American Midland Naturalist 167: 1-12.