Congratulations to Chytrid biologist Joyce Longcore from the University of Maine who was elected as one of 701 of the 2012 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This is a very high honor and I’m delighted to see Joyce recognized for her many years working in this field which is often overlooked because there are a small number of researchers.
Joyce has been a hugely influential researcher in studies of chytrid diversity and biology. She is probably most well known for first describing the amphibian pathogenic chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. In addition her lab keeps the stocks of the hundreds of chytrid isolates including Bd strains from all over the world, and is one of the few places that maintains these. I’ll mention she does this on a very limited budget (so don’t be bashful about ordering strains from her and helping pay for this important service), yet it provides a hugely valuable resource to the community studying this disease as keeping the chytrids in culture can sometimes be a finicky process, and deep frozen specimens are required to be revived and grown up in regular intervals of ~6 months (see published protocol from her lab).
Joyce completed her MS training under Fred Sparrow in 1964 at the University of Michigan, one of the great mycologists of the 20th century who worked on Chytrids and aquatic fungi (see Aquatic Phycomycetes). She worked on her Ph.D. in the late 1980s after raising children and later obtained her current position at the University of Maine in the School of Biology & Ecology. She has trained many students and researchers in the field on how to isolate and identify chytrids, and I’ll mention is still actively out in the field collecting more isolates, characterizing them and discovering many new species and many new orders of Chytrids to study the diversity and origins of these fascinating organisms. She continues to be an important person in Mycological community and her research has had important implications in studies of biodiversity, amphibian decline, and phylogenetics and taxonomic studies of the kingdom Fungi.
Congratulations again Joyce!
(No I didn’t write any letters for her AAAS nomination, but I did wanted to make sure this important accolade gets out to the community, so these are just my thoughts at the time – js)