Meeting wrapup from ECFG12 in Seville

I recently returned from a successful ECFG12 in Seville, Spain held at the end of March. Some of us flew into Madrid first and took the high speed train to Seville (about 2 1/2 hours) which was a great way to relax and get out of planes after a transatlantic flight. We boarded the train in Madrid and stepped off in Seville. Very fast trains

The countryside at 200km/hr

The  satellite meetings held before the conference include organism-specific conferences including Neurospora, Fusarium, Dothiedeomycetes, and Colleotrichum and AsperFest

ECFG Sattelite meetings

The conference content was excellent – I am reminded whenever I go to a fungal genetics meeting how fast paced the field has become with the application of genomics and genetics driving studies of cell biology, evolution, and industrial uses of fungi.

It was quite fun to see many of my long term collaborators and colleagues who work in this field. I am also especially interested to see many “non model” systems becoming more tractable with the tools that can be developed based on genome sequencing, transformation techniques, and a growing research community. The separation of “model system” work from applied or medically less clear to me .

This included symbiosis and fungal “communication” or interactions with other organisms such as Hypocreales fungi that are insect associated, as well Dan Vanderpool and his project working on Ophistoma fungi associated with beetles, some interesting Lichen genomics from environmentally sampled thalli from work from Toby Spribille.  Work presented by Jessie Uehling from work by collaboration with the Labbé  (ORNL) and Vilgalys (Duke) labs included a description of endohyphal symbiotic bacteria associated with Mortierella elongata fungus (a “zygomycete” early diverging lineage) which is associated with tree roots.

I unfortunately missed some of the concurrent session that was happening at the same time but some interesting talks in “Unconventional gene regulation” that I would have liked to hear more about.

I also got to hear good work presented in the session on Fungal development and genomics where Minou Nowrousian spoke on Pyronema genome and developmental biology, Francis Trail‘s talk on Fusarium fruiting body development.

I also enjoyed the session I spoke in, organize by Hanna Johannesson and Toni Gabaldón which included great overviews on application of phylogenomics and genomes to fungal biology. This ranged from Hanna on evolution of sex chromosomes in Neurospora tetrasperma,  Saccharomyces and the (amazing) power of yeast genetics and molecular biology (Maitreya Dunham, @dunhamlab) to mycorrhizal fungal genomics (Francis Martin, @fmartin1954), Toni (@gabaldonlab) and the PhylomeDB project but also the analysis of the WGD in Saccharomyces which suggests an alternative scenario for the duplication that may have arisen through allopolyploidization (hybridization between two species) rather than autopolyploidization. Several other great talks in our session including Jaqueline Hess on variation in Amanita genomes, Sarah Schmidt on identifying  AVR2 gene in Fusarium oxysporum.

The plenary sessions were plentiful with highlights across the fungal genetics spectrum. From Phycomyces biology (which has had much of its main origins and efforts in Spain) to Magnaporthe (@talbotlabexeter). Many more interesting work highlighted in the program and links to the abstract book are available. I expect a published report on the meeting will come in the future. Overall I really enjoyed the chance to mix more European and international colleagues and talk about the virtues of football and tapas!

Some of us spent a few more days after the meeting to enjoy Spain or meet with friends. For example Zack and I planned some great Neurospora experiments over tapas and sightseeing.  Hope to be back to Madrid and Spain again soon.


Eels and shrimp tapas
Eels and shrimp tapas


Fungal Ecology Evolution Metagenomics Postdoc (University of Illinois)

A postdoctoral position is available in the department of Plant Biology, in the School of Integrative Biology, at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. PIs Astrid Ferrer (aquatic mycologist), Katy Heath (plant and microbe evolution), and Jim Dalling (plant and fungal community ecology) are looking for a highly motivated postdoc to work on a NSF-funded Dimensions of Biodiversity project aimed at understanding the ecological and genetic controls on fungal community assembly and decomposition function in tropical wood-decomposing aquatic fungi. Both the Heath and Dalling labs are lively, highly-collaborative environments with students and postdocs working on a range of topics in ecology and evolution of plants, bacteria, and fungi.

The duties of the project postdoc will include preparing libraries for metagenomic sequencing of aquatic fungi communities from environmental DNA samples, RNAseq of cultured fungi in response to various environmental treatments, downstream bioinformatic and statistical analyses, and writing manuscripts based on these results.

Expertise in some or all of the following areas is desired: Molecular biology, (meta)genomics, bioinformatics, statistical analysis, ecology, evolution.

Strong candidates will also possess the following attributes:

  • A strong publication record from their PhD (papers published, in press, or submitted).
  • Creativity, independence, and the desire to learn new things.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral.

All candidates must have received a Ph.D. in a relevant field. The position is available for 2 years, with the first year as a probationary period, and will include a competitive salary and full benefits.

Application review will begin May 1, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled. Start date is flexible, with a rough target date of August 2014. All materials should be submitted to the PIs below for consideration. Applications should include a brief cover letter, curriculum vitae, a brief description of past research accomplishments and future research goals (under two pages), and the names and contact information for three references.

Contact Dr. Katy Heath regarding the position or application process. For further information about the Heath lab, visit the lab webpage accessible at:

Yale EEB Postdoc in Microbial Evolutionary Ecology

Yale Postdoctoral Position in Microbial Evolutionary Ecology.

A two- to three-year postdoctoral position is available immediately in the laboratory of Paul Turner in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. We are seeking a highly motivated and creative individual to participate in ongoing experimental projects relating to eco-evolutionary theory.  These projects concern (i) role of environmental heterogeneity on adaptability of bacteriophages, (ii) role of niche construction in the evolutionary ecology of virus- cancer cell interactions, and (iii) effects of host density on virulence evolution in killer viruses of yeast. The successful candidate will engage in these projects in the first year, while increasingly developing and leading projects of their own design as the position continues. The experiments can utilize high-throughput, automated measures of evolving microorganisms via liquid-handling robotics. Experience with these technologies is preferred, but all strong candidates will be considered.
This postdoctoral position is in association with the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies program in Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics, which is co-directed by David Vasseur, David Post, and Paul Turner. Through this program, the candidate will participate in regular working groups combining international leaders in experimental and theoretical approaches to eco-evolutionary dynamics. More information on the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is available<>. For information about postdoctoral appointments at Yale, see  Applications should be emailed to Paul Turner ( and include a CV, short statement of research interests, and contact information for three references.  Applications will be considered beginning on May 1, 2014.

Postdoc: USDA Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research unit

The Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research Unit at USDA-NCAUR in Peoria, Illinois, has two postdoctoral associate positions available.

  1. The successful applicant will study comparative genomics of Fusarium in order to elucidate genetic mechanisms that have given rise to the current diversity and distribution of secondary metabolite and pathogenicity-related genes in the F. fujikuroispecies complex.  For a more detailed description of the position and information on how to apply, please go to contact Robert Proctor (; tel. 309-681-6380).
  2. The successful applicant will use molecular biological and microbiological techniques to identify and characterize the microbial genes that modify, detoxify, or otherwise confer resistance to mycotoxins.  For a more detailed description of the position and information on how to apply, please go to or contact Susan McCormick(; tel. 309-681-6381).



Postdoc: Fungal Comparative and Population Genomics

The Corradi Lab is currently seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of Fungal Comparative and Population Genomics. The research will be led by Dr. Nicolas Corradi and carried out in a CIFAR (Canadian Institute for Advanced Research) – affiliated laboratory located in the Department of Biology of the University of Ottawa, Canada.

The position will be initially funded for one year, with the possibility of renewal for up to three years depending on performance. The candidate is expected to contribute to several ongoing projects that focus on the population genomics of two evolutionary unrelated groups of fungi: the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi (AMF) and the Microsporidia. Enquiries about specific projects can be sent to Dr. Nicolas Corradi (

Applicants are expected to have a background in comparative genomics or populations genomics. A strong experience in either Population Genetics, Environmental Genomics, Metagenomics, or ab-initio gene annotation and programming will be seen as an strong asset for the final selection of the candidate. Basic knowledge of Linux is required.

A complete application package includes a CV, a one-page description of past research accomplishments and future goals, and the names and e-mail addresses of at least 2 references. Evaluation of applications starts immediately and will continue until a suitable candidate is found.

The University of Ottawa is a large, research-intensive university, hosting over 40.000 students and located in the downtown core area of Canada’s capital city ( Ottawa is a vibrant, multicultural city with a very high quality of life (

Applications can be sent to Dr. Nicolas Corradi (

Representative publications:

  •  Riley R. et al. 2014. Extreme Diversification of the MATA-HMG Gene Family in the Plant – Associated Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi. New Phytologist. 201: 254–268
  •  James T.Y et al. 2013. Shared signatures of parasitism and phylogenomics unite the Cryptomycota and Microsporidia. Current Biology. 23 (16), 1548–1553
  • Tisserant E. et al. The arbuscular mycorrhizal Glomus genome provides insights into the evolution of the oldest plant symbiosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – USA. 110 (50), 20117-20122R576-R577
  •  Pombert J.F. et al. 2012. Gain and loss of multiple functionally-related horizontally transferred genes in the reduced genomes of two microsporidian parasites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – USA 109(31):12638-43
  •  Selman M. et al. 2011. Acquisition of an animal gene by two microsporidia. 2011. Current Biology 21: R576-R577

Postdoc: genome evolution of mycoheterotrophic plants.

 Naturalis has a position for a Postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Vincent Merckx

 We seek a postdoctoral fellow for a 12-month project on the genome evolution of mycoheterotrophic plants. The project will employ next-generation sequencing techniques for de novo  genome and transcriptome assembly of achlorophyllous mycoheterotrophic flowering plants. There will be a strong focus on genome assembly and genome comparison to dectect common genetic patterns in the evolution of mycoheterotrophy.

Full advert is here: Postdoc_Merckx

More information:
Twitter: @VMerckx

Postdoc: Leibniz-IGB Berlin — Aquatic Fungi Genomics Ecology

Via @EvolDirPost Here
2 Postdocs and 2 PhD Studentships
Biodiversity, Ecology, and Genomics of Aquatic Fungi

Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB)
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)

The Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) is the largest freshwater ecology research institute in Germany ( and one of 8 member institutes of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V ( IGB offers world-class laboratory and field facilities for interdisciplinary research and is a founding member of the Berlin Center for Genomics in Biodiversity Research. The Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) brings together scientific competence from agricultural science, geo- and biosciences to socio-economics (

Fungi are of central importance for the global carbon cycle because of their role in the degration of complex organic matter such as plant material. Fungi also represent one of the last frontiers of biodiversity, as their taxonomic diversity and metabolic potential remain poorly understood. This is particularly true for those fungi that are abundant in freshwaters. MycoLink (Linking aquatic mycodiversity to ecosystem function) is an interdisciplinary project integrating the expertise of 4 Leibniz Institutes: IGB, ZALF, DSMZ, the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), and the Leibniz-Institute of Zoo- and Wildlife Research in Berlin (IZW). We are seeking to recruit outstanding young scientists to establish an innovative research program, and currently invite applications for:

2 Postdocs and 2 PhD Students in Biodiversity, Ecology, and Genomics of Aquatic Fungi

2 positions (1 PostDoc, 1 PhD student) will focus on global biodiversity and evolutionary genomics of freshwater fungi, using second- and third-generation sequencing and bioinformatics to analyse natural populations and experimental cultures. For further information, contact Michael T. Monaghan (

2 positions (1 PostDoc, 1 PhD student) will focus on the ecological and functional role of aquatic fungi by combining state-of-the-art biochemical analyses with modeling in experimental and natural ecosystems. For fruther information, contact Hans-Peter Grossart & Katrin Premke (;

Applicants must hold a Diploma / Masters degree (PhD student positions) or PhD (Postdoc positions) in a relevant field. Positions are available for up to three years. Salary is according to the German TvöD (Postdoc: 100%, PhD student: 65% position). Positions will be based at IGB Berlin, IGB Neuglobsow, and at the Berlin Centre for Genomics in Biodiversity
Research. The institutes of the Leibniz Association strive to increase the proportion of female scientists. Therefore, female candidates are specifically encouraged to apply. Disabled applicants with identical technical and personal qualification will be preferentially selected.

Please submit a curriculum vitae (including publication list), a brief statement of motivation and research interests, and the names and contact information of two referees.

Please send all documents as a single pdf file to Review of the applications will start on 21 February 2014 and continue until the positions are filled. Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place in March.

Postdoc: Fusarium dieback disease

Description: A postdoctoral researcher position is available to research Fusarium
dieback disease associated with the invasive ambrosia beetle polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB, Euwallacea sp.). These agents cause branch dieback and tree mortality on
avocado and other hosts in southern California. Research focus will be on the
identification, biology, epidemiology and control of fungal pathogens associated with the
Qualifications: Applicant with a Ph.D. degree in plant pathology, microbiology or
related fields will be considered. Candidates should be skilled in molecular and field
techniques, possess expertise in disease diagnostics, and demonstrate the ability to
conduct research projects independently from initiation to completion. Candidate must
also demonstrate the ability to work effectively with undergraduate assistants,
technicians, and other researchers and graduate students in the lab.
Annual Salary: Salary in commensurate with qualifications and experience.
 Please submit a curriculum vitae, a brief description of previous experiences in
relation to future interests, and contact information of three references.

Please send information to:
Dr. Akif Eskalen
Tel (951) 827 3499
232 Fawcett Laboratory
Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology
University of California
Riverside CA, 92521

Job: Assistant Professor, Mycology at Auburn University

Assistant Professor – Mycology

 Auburn University, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, is accepting applications and nominations for the position of Assistant Professor in the area of Mycology.
For a detailed position announcement, including application instructions and requirements, please visit to apply for the position. Inquiries about the position may be directed to Dr. Kira Bowen, Search Committee Chair, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, AL 36849; e-mail:

Review of applications will begin February 1, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.  Only complete application materials will be considered. Expected position start date is August 16, 2014.  Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.  Auburn University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

A second position, Plant-Pathogen interactions is also open for applications.  Click to see the flyers for Plant Pathogens and Mycology