The Hazard Lab

Dr. Christina Hazard

Laboratoire Ampère
Ecole Centrale de Lyon
Université de Lyon
36 avenue Guy de Collongue
69134 Ecully cedex
+33 (0) 472 18 60 91

Research Interests

Our research is dedicated to exploring the diversity and distribution of soil microorganisms in natural and anthropized ecosystems, the factors influencing their communities and activities, and the impact of their interactions on ecosystem functions. Our research has a particular focus on mycorrhizal fungi, which form symbioses with the majority of plants, are found in most terrestrial habitats, and provide several ecosystem services. Another axis of our research pertains to soil viruses, which are abundant, diverse and dynamic in soils, yet we are only beginning to understand their impact on microbial communities and the consequences of this on ecosystem functions. Thirdly, our work delves into the ecology of soil microorganisms that are involved in the nitrogen cycle, and with the aim to mitigate nitrogen pollution from the environment. We use field surveys & experiments, and greenhouse and controlled laboratory experiments implementing multiple techniques such as amplicon sequencing, meta-omics, culturing, and stable isotope and greenhouse gas analyses.

Current Research Projects

  • FUNCTION: Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi interactions in the nitrogen cycle for mitigating nitrous oxide emissions from agroecosystems. (funder, ANR; PI)
  • MultiMyco: Multiscale determinants of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities. (funder, LabEX CEBA; Co-PI)
  • JGI-Community Sequencing Program – Determining the interactions of viruses with prokaryotic hosts controlling nitrogen cycling in soil. (funder, JGI; Co-PI)
  • COMICONS: Comammox microorganisms contribution to nitrification in soil (funder, ANR; Team member)
  • ARISTO: The European industry – Academia network for revising and advancing the assessment of the soil microbial toxicity of pesticides. (funder, Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN; Project partner)
  • Investigating the diversity and distribution of fungal viruses in soil (funder, France-Berkeley Fund, PI)
  • Bioengineering: Understanding the diversity and distribution of fungal viruses in soil to facilitate sustainable agriculture (funder, École Centrale de Lyon – STEP2021, PI)

Current Members

Postdoctoral Researchers
  • Ruoyu Hu, since 2021. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi interactions in the nitrogen cycle.
  • Mia Sungeun Lee, since 2020. Soil prokaryotic viruses, and comammox Nitrospira.
PhD Students
  • Eleftheria Bachtsevani, since 2021. In vitro assessment of toxicity of pesticides on ammonia oxidizing microorganisms.
  • Yuanyuan Zhang, since 2021. Investigating the diversity and distribution of fungal viruses in soil, and determining the consequences of host-virus interactions on ecosystem functioning.
  • Huaiyu Wang, since 2021. Determining the scale and rates of adaptation by methane-oxidizing bacteria in response to in situ virus interactions. 

Former Members

PhD Students
  • Mia Sungeun Lee, 2016-2020. Thesis: Virus-host interactions across a soil pH gradient at the community and individual scale. 
Master Students and Interns
  • Valentin Aimard, 2021. Intern Report: Study of the specificity of host-bacteriophage interactions in soil.
  • Sophie Ravelli, 2018. Thesis: The role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on nitrification in soil.
  • Fatou Tall Mbow. 2017. Thesis: Intraspecific variation in nitrogen source uptake in the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Lacarria bicolor. 
  • Mia Sungeun Lee, 2016. Thesis: Effect of cropping systems and nitrogen fertilization on microbial diversity.
  • Naima Mouhoubi, 2016. Thesis: Investigation of the diversity of microbes in organic amended agriculture soils.
  • Lydia Nieme, 2014. Thesis: Competition for nitrogen between and within species of ectomycorrhizal fungi using stable isotopes.
  • Tengetile Nxumalo. 2013. Thesis: Inorganic verses organic nitrogen uptake within species of ectomyocrrhizal fungi using stable isotopes.
  • Shumammite Ogbu. 2013. Thesis: Importance of genotypic ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity for fungal productivity.


Lee S, Sorensen JW, Walker RL, Emerson JB, Nicol GW, Hazard C. 2021. Soil viruses are structured by pH at local and global scales. bioRxiv

Lee S, Sieradzki ET, Nicolas AM, Walker RL, Firestone MK, Hazard C, Nicol GW. 2021. Methane-derived carbon flows into host-virus networks at different trophic levels in soil. PNAS 118: e2105124118.

Finn DR, Lee S, Lanzén A, Bertrand M, Nicol GW, Hazard C. 2021. Cropping systems impact changes in soil fungal, but not prokaryote, alpha-diversity and community composition stability over a growing season in a long-term field trial. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 97: fiab136.

Finn DR, Bergk-Pinto B, Hazard C, Nicol GW, Tebbe C, Vogel TM. 2021. Functional trait relationships demonstrate life strategies in terrestrial prokaryotes. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 97: fiab068.

Hazard C, Prosser JI, Nicol GW. 2021. Use and abuse of potential rates in soil microbiology. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 157: 108242.

Hung Y, Jing J, Yan M, Hazard C, Chen Y, Guo C, Xiao X, Lin J. 2021. Contribution of pathogenic fungi to N2O emissions increases temporally in intensively managed strawberry cropping soil. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 105: 2043-2056.

Hazard C, Johnson D. 2018. Does genotypic and species diversity of mycorrhizal plants and fungi affect ecosystem function? New Phytologist 220: 1122-1128.

Hazard C, Kruitbos L, Davidson H, Mbow FT, Taylor AFS, Johnson D. 2017. Strain identity of the ectomycorrhizal fungus Laccaria bicolor is more important than richness in regulating plant and fungal performance under nutrient rich conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology 8: 1874.

Hazard C, Kruitbos L, Davidson H, Taylor AFS, Johnson D. 2017. Contrasting effects of intra- and interspecific identity and richness of ectomycorrhizal fungi on host plants, nutrient retention and multifunctionality. New Phytologist 213: 852-863.

Grubisha LC, Dowie NJ, Miller SL, Hazard C, Horton TR, Trowbridge SM. 2014. Rhizopogon Kretzerae sp. nov.: the rare fungal symbiont in the tripartite system with Pterospora andromedea and Pinus strobusBotany 92: 527-534.

Hazard C, Boots B, Keith AM, Mitchell DT, Schmidt O, Doohan FM, Bending GD. 2014. Temporal variation outweighs effects of biosolids applications in shaping arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi communities on plants grown in pasture and arable soils. Applied Soil Ecology 82:52-60.

Hazard C, Gosling P, Mitchell DT, Doohan FM, Bending GD. 2014. Diversity of fungi associated with hair roots of ericaceous plants is affected by land use. FEMS Microbiology Ecology 87: 586-600.

Hazard C, Gosling P, van der Gast C, Mitchell DT, Doohan FM, Bending GD. 2013. The role of local environment and geographical distance in determining community composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi at the landscape scale. ISME Journal 7: 498-508.

Keith A, Boots B, Hazard C, Niechoj R, Arroyo J, Bolger T, Breen J, Clipson N, Doohan FM, Griffin CT, Schmidt O. 2012. Cross-taxa congruence, indicators and environmental drivers in soils under agricultural and extensive land management. European Journal of Soil Biology 49: 55-62.

Hazard C, Lilleskov EA, Horton TR. 2011. Is rarity of pinedrops (Pterospora andromedea) in eastern North America linked to rarity of its unique fungal symbiont? Mycorrhiza 22: 393-402.

Schmidt O, Keith AM, Arroyo J, Bolger T, Boots B, Breen J, Clipson N, Doohan FM, Griffin CT, Hazard C, Niechoj R. 2011. CréBeo – Baseline data, response to pressures, functions and conservation of keystone micro- and macro-organisms in Irish soils. Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland. ISBN: 978-1-84095-388-6.

Kelsall N*, Hazard C*, Leopold DJ. 2004. Influence of climate factors on demographic changes in New York population of the federally-listed Phyllitis scolopendium (L.) Newm. var. americana. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 13: 161-168.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Since 2020 Permanent Researcher, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, FR
  • 2015 – 2020 Postdoctoral Researcher, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, FR
  • 2011 – 2014 Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Aberdeen, UK
  • 2010 Ph.D. Environmental Biology, University College Dublin, IRE
  • 2006 M.S. Environmental Biology, State University of NY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA
  • 2003 B.S. Environmental Biology, State University of NY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry, USA

External Activities

  • Member of the International Mycorrhiza Society and International Society for Microbial Ecology
  • Associate Editor of Microbiome (IF = 15.67) and Environmental Microbiome (IF = 5.28)
  • Review Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology (IF = 4.1)
  • Regular reviewer for several journals (see publons)
  • Grant reviewer for the Czech Science Foundation (2020, 2021)
  • Visiting researcher, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo (2015, 2017)
  • Invited university seminars (9 in total)
  • Selected conference presentations (22 in total)