April 3rd Speaker Series Video Available

Roy Halling's presentation Getting a grip on Boletes: from there to here is now available to MST members to watch on the meetings video page.

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Mushrooms with spongy pores under the cap (boletes) are widespread around the globe and are well-known for their occurrence in both temperate and tropical forest habitats and woodlands. They can be quite large (well over a foot across) or very small (less than a half inch in diameter). Species recognition is often fairly straight forward while generic concepts have been subject to a north temperate bias due to historical precedence. Morphological diagnoses (both macro and micro) have been the primary bases for distinguishing one entity from another. With expanded access to, and increased exploration of under explored parts of the world, especially the southern hemisphere and the tropics, increased complexity and diversity of boletes has become evident. Also, with the recent development of techniques to analyze DNA, the testing of hypotheses on evolutionary relationships among morphologically based distinctions has come under scrutiny. Examples derived from an expanded biogeographic sampling and DNA testing illustrate the dissection of the original broad concepts of Boletus, Leccinum, and Tylopilus.

Roy Halling was born in Iowa and grew up in Southern California. He received his B.A. from California State University Stanislaus, his M.A. from San Francisco State University, and PhD from University of Massachusetts. A three-year post-doc at Harvard University’s Farlow Herbarium came about before his posting at the New York Botanical Garden. He is a Curator Emeritus of Mycology at the New York Botanical Garden, where he carried out research on the classification, systematics, biogeography, and diversity of mushrooms. Roy has been involved in exploration, inventory, and documentation of fungal diversity via field work around the world in northern and southern temperate zones as well as the neo- and paleotropics. Field efforts in these areas have added substantially to general knowledge on tropical and temperate fungi. Recently, explorations have emphasized surveys to document the diversity, evolutionary & mycorrhizal relationships, and distribution of the Boletineae (a suborder of porcini-like mushrooms). International collaboration with other specialists has been underway on systematics, biogeography and phylogeny of Bolete mushrooms with particular emphasis in Australia and SE Asia. He has authored or co-authored over 120 scientific publications. He has mentored undergraduate interns, honors students, and four PhD candidates. He served the mycological community as President of the Mycological Society of America, a society from which he received recognition as a Fellow of the MSA and as a Distinguished Mycologist.

Speaker Series May 1st at 7:30pm

Please join us on Zoom on Wednesday, May 1st at 7:30pm for our online Speaker Series. 

Cathie Aime

Introduction to Rust Fungi

In terms of species numbers and ubiquity, rust fungi are an incredibly successful lineage. Together, the more than 7000 described species form the largest known group of plant pathogens, while also having incredibly complex life cycles. This talk will explore the biology of these fascinating organisms and discuss the contributions that molecular systematics have made to our understanding of their evolution.

Cathie Aime is Professor of Mycology, Department of Botany & Plant Pathology and Director of the Arthur Fungarium and Kriebel Herbarium at Purdue University. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biology at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University under the guidance of Orson K. Miller, Jr., and conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford under Lorna Casselton. Cathie’s research combines expeditionary field work and traditional approaches with molecular genetics and multi-omics approaches to understand fungal diversity and evolution. Areas of specialization include tropical basidiomycetes, systematics of early diverging basidiomycete lineages (including smuts and yeasts), evolution of rust fungi, and epidemiology of tropical tree diseases.  Cathie is a past Managing Editor of the journal Mycologia and is currently President of the Mycological Society of America and Vice President of the International Commission on the Taxonomy of Fungi. Cathie is a fellow of the Mycological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Explorer’s Club, and the Linnean Society of London

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Myco-Consortium talk April 14: Kaisa Junninen

As part of the MST's membership in the Myco-Consortium series of Zoom talks, MST members are invited to join the presentation on Sunday, April 14th at 10:00am ET:

Polypore Succession 33 Years After Prescribed Fire: A Case Study From Finland

A talk by Kaisa Junninen
Sunday April 14th, 10:00am ET

In 1989, a standing forest in Finland was burnt for restoration purposes. It was a first in Finland – and perhaps in the whole of Europe. Collections of wood-decaying polypore fungi were studied on the burn site, beginning a year before the fire and continuing for 33 years after. It is likely that the number of species observed during the study period was a record for any one-hectare forest area in Finland. Several red-listed species were found and in general, the effects of burning appeared to have a positive effect on polypore diversity.


About Kaisa Junninen

Kaisa Junninen works as a senior specialist on species conservation at Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland. She is a forest ecologist who has specialized in polypore fungi, deadwood ecology and natural forests, and has been in charge of red-listing polypore fungi in Finland. She is featured in Considering Fungi, Episode 1: Facilitating Habitat Formation in Boreal Forests. You can watch it at vimeo.com/705153619

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Myco-Consortium talk April 4: Damon Tighe

As part of the MST's membership in the Myco-Consortium series of Zoom talks, MST members are invited to join the presentation on Thursday, April 4th at 7:30pm ET:

iNaturalist: Observing Mushrooms, Making Data, Motivating Mycologists Through Project Stewardship

A talk by Damon Tighe
Thursday April 4th, 7:30pm ET

iNaturalist is a powerful community science tool that allows users to easily contribute observations of mushrooms and other organisms to the world's largest public database of species biogeography. In the process of contributing data users are able to increase their knowledge of species by suggestions from a well trained artificial intelligence and by a number of active mycologist that curate the data that enters the platform. The ability to collect metadata from microscopy to DNA sequences to chemical reactions and the capacity to point to other observations of host plants etc makes for extremely rich observations. Observations can be collected into projects that can be sliced based upon geography, time, species of interest, etc and allows for real-time monitoring. This presentation will dig into the basics of how to use iNaturalist; making observations, mining data, and using projects. I will highlight the Fungal Diversity Survey's CA FUNDIS Year 1 project where over 5,000 vouchered collections were made and many of them received DNA sequencing as a model for project stewardship.


About Damon Tighe

Damon Tighe is an amateur mycologist from Oakland California who is a big user of the iNaturalist platform. He is a collector for the California Fungal Diversity Survey (FUNDIS) and has done fungal surveys in Ecuador, Arizona, among other locales using iNaturalist as the primary tool to collect and share data with stakeholders. In his professional life he was a former researcher on the Human Genome Project and now helps translate biotechnology techniques into classroom activities for educational institutions across the country.

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