MASMC 2015 a success

Check out the program and highlights from last week’s MASMC&mf conference*.

*MASMC&mf = Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference (and morel foray)

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Wanted: Undergraduate Assistant –  Genetics of plant-fungal interactions

We have an opening for a part time research assistant to help with several projects on interactions between plants (roots), fungi, and bacteria.  We are using molecular-based methods to study interactions between symbiotic fungi with with native tree species (pines, oaks, and cottonwoods).  Duties include assisting with fieldwork (planting, watering, harvesting) and laboratory experiments (culturing, DNA sequencing).  Training will be provided.  If you are interested in growing and knowing plants and fungi, then we are interested in you.  We are looking for a reliable person able to work up to 20 hrs per week.  The position is available for summer, and may be extended to include the academic year.  More information about the lab and our research is at

Application: email a brief statement of interest (mentioning relevant skills/background), and a 1 page vitae in (pdf format preferred) plus names of 2 references to Rytas Vilgalys, Interviews will begin immediately until the position is filled.


Contact: Rytas Vilgalys (Biology Department),


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2015 Asilomar Fungal Genetics Meetings

Many excellent presentations and great weather at this year’s Fungal Genetics Meetings (March 17-22, 2015).  Here’s a link to the program and abstracts,  and a  link to the #fungal15 twitter feed.  The meetings were well-attended by current and former Duke mycologists.  Some of my highlights included
-opening plenary session talk by Duke’s Nick Buchler on evolution of cell cycle regulation in fungi
-Fungal Biodiversity session chaired by Georgiana May and Linda Kohn, featuring talks by members of the Lutzoni lab
-Contributed session on Environmental Transcriptomics chaired by Cheryl Kuske and myself, and featuring talks by Sunny Liou and Greg Bonito
-sneaking out with the lab group to visit Point Lobos State Park


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Some highlights from Zygoblitz2015

We participated last weekend in the inaugural meeting for our new GoLife program to investigate the group formerly known as “Zygomycetes”.  Check out the group’s home age at  Phylogenetic relationships among the “zygos” were previously investigated by the AFTOL group ( using up to 6 genes (White et al., 2006; James et al., 2006).   Genome sequencing now makes it possible to reassess the major radiations using hundreds of loci.

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MASMC is coming to Duke on April 10-12, 2015

IMG_5481Please mark your calendars NOW for April 10-12, 2015, the 35th meeting of the Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference (MASMC). This year’s Middle Atlantic States Mycology Conference (masmc2015) and morel foray is hosted this year by your friends at Duke University.  All mycophiles and mycophagists (and families) are invited to attend. This year’s meeting promises to be special for many reasons, so we will look forward to seeing you all in Durham!

MASMC first started in 1979 with participating mycology labs from Virginia Tech, Univ. Maryland, Howard University and Towson State University.  Each spring, MASMC mycologists from the eastern seaboard a chance to present their latest research findings, share a meal, memories and meet new friends. The meetings are low key, providing students and postdocs the opportunity to present their research findings in a less formal venue than those stuffy national and international meetings.

The official web site for registration masmc2015 is
Participants are invited to present informal (10-15 min) presentations on their current research. An ample time period is also planned for poster presentations during the lunch mixer. Both oral and poster presentations are welcome.

Registration and a Call for Papers and Posters will open in mid January – please check back!

Registration deadline is March 31.


For Further Information Please Contact:

Dr. Rytas Vilgalys
Department of Biology
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708


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Mycology class featured in Duke News

ras_shroom_groupIt’s been a busy couple weeks for the mycology class this fall.  Last week we had a field trip to Duke Forest with Taylor Lockwood (before his fantastic Spirits of of the Forest show).  Robin Smith from Duke News also came on our field trip and filed this report on the fungi that we found. This past week featured several ‘food oriented’ classes/labs that were part of a larger campus-wide event on “Subnature and Culinary Culture“.  On tuesday our was visited by Dr. Ben Wolfe who gave us a lecture on the mycology and microbiology of artisan cheeses.  Thursday the class went on a foray with “Wildman” Steve Brill who showed the class many edible and medicinal plants and fungi growing right on campus.   We learned about edibility of several common mushrooms including Lepiota americana.

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This Thursday, Sept 11: Taylor Lockwood’s Spirits of the forest

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 5.38.20 PM


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2014 another big year for NC mushrooms

The recent rains have brought another huge fruiting of fungi in central North Carolina (similar to last year‘s amazing flush of chanterelles).   I just returned from traveling abroad to find my yard exploding with a huge variety of fungi, including several new species.   I thought I’d share some of the recent photos that people have sent me for identification.  Here is a link to a recent article in our local newspaper on the recent plethora of mushrooms in our region.

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Fungal Dimensions and Plant Microbial Interfaces featured at the International Mycological Congress IMC10

This week’s meetings at the 10th International Mycological Congress in Bangkok Thailand feature talks by members of our current projects on Dimentions of Ectomycorrhical Diversity (DoED) and Plant Microbe Interfaces (PMI).

Follow the IMC10 twitter feed here.Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 10.49.28 AM

Monday Aug 3 9.00-9.30 Session 1: A population genomic view of divergence and differentiation in fungi By John W. Taylor, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Tue Aug 4 11.00-11.20 Session S15 Genetics of host-specificity and function in mycorrhizal fungi (EMF) By Hui-Ling ‘Sunny’ Liao, Duke University, US

Tue Aug 4 15.30-15.50 Session S23: Patterns and drivers of ectomycorrhizal diversity in North American Pinaceous forests By Thomas Bruns, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Tue Agu 4 16.50-1705 Session S23: A continental view of ectomycorrhizal fungal spore banks: A quiescent functional guild with a strong biogeographic pattern By Sydney Glassman, UC Berkeley, USA

Wed Aug 4 12:35-12.50 Session S32 Bacterial-fungal interactions of Mortierella elongata in the Populus rhizosphere By Jessie Uehling, Duke University, USA

Thu Aug 616.30-16.50 Session A48 Differential responses of saprotrophic and ectomycorhizal fungi explain N enrichment effects on decay By Jennifer Talbot, Boston University, USA

Thu Aug 6 16.30-16.50 Session S49: Co-diversification of symbiotic endocellular bacteria and early diverging terrestrial fungi Gregory M Bonito, Royal Botanic Gardens, Victoria, Australia

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Research Scientist: Mycologist sought at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh

We are seeking to employ a mycologist at our Edinburgh Garden who is or will become an international scientific leader. The successful applicant’s research will explore fungal diversity (e.g. systematics, ecology, evolutionary biology) to address societal challenges. As examples, these challenges may include but are not restricted to (i) the role of fungal diversity in maintaining ecosystem function and services, (ii) best practice in managing fungal disease threats to native (non-crop) ecosystems, and/or (iii) providing tools to promote human understanding of harmful and useful fungal diversity.

We are particularly interested in applicants who can demonstrate scientific excellence that is of international importance, and is also relevant to conservation policy in Scotland.

Applicants must be educated to PhD level (with PhD already obtained or about to be obtained). You should be an excellent researcher with a proven track record appropriate for your career stage, and have strong scientific writing ability. You’ll also need to be an effective communicator with the ability to clearly articulate the relevance of your research to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, and good interpersonal skills will be essential to develop and maintain effective relationships with colleagues.

A full job description and person specification can be downloaded from this page.  Ideally we see the postholder working on a full-time basis, but we would consider applications from exceptional candidates looking to work part-time.

Salary range £25,947-£30,442 with appointment dependent on experience

Further details of RBGE’s science can be obtained from Informal enquiries or questions with regards to this post can be directed to Dr Chris Ellis, Head of Cryptogamic Plants and Fungi (

Interested applicants should send a CV and covering letter, outlining the skills and experience you could bring to the post, as well as a completed equal opportunities form, by 5pm GMT on Fri. 29th August 2014.


The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) is a recognised Centre of Excellence in plant and fungal diversity. Located in a UNESCO World Heritage city famed for its scientific innovation and cultural interest, the RBGE operates across a full range of activities from taxonomic monography to biodiversity genomics to ecosystem function and services.



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