Naupaka Zimmerman

Naupaka Zimmerman

Associate Professor

Full-Time Faculty
Harney Science Center 219C


Professor Naupaka Zimmerman is broadly interested in the intersection of microbial community and ecosystem ecology. His lab research focuses on the ecology of plant-microbe interactions, with a particular focus on asymptomatic foliar fungi (also known as fungal endophytes).

Born and raised on the Big Island of Hawai'i, Professor Zimmerman continues to conduct some of his research there, focusing on the endemic Hawaiian tree Metrosideros polymorpha. At USF, he has expanded his research to include plant-associated microbiomes in urban and agricultural settings, including across the city of San Francisco and at Star Route Farms in Marin County. After finishing a PhD, he taught at Stanford and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona before coming to USF.

Research Areas

  • Microbial biogeography in natural and urban environments
  • Molecular mechanisms of plant-microbe interaction using genomics, transcriptomics, and RNA-Seq in the context of targeted inoculation studies
  • The effects of foliar microbial communities on ecosystem functioning, as mediated by modulation of host plant physiology, leaf decomposition, and host-pathogen interactions


  • PhD, Biological Sciences, Stanford University
  • BA, Environmental Science, Public Policy, Cultural Anthropology, Harvard University