Congrats to newly elected NAS members and especially to fungal biologist Eric Selker at the University of Oregon who has been a leader in research on chromatin biology and methylation working with Neurospora crassa
The cover of Nature today highlights an article from Matthew Fisher and colleagues on the major impact that Fungi as emerging infectious diseases are playing on threatening diversity of ecosystems and agricultural productivity.
Fisher, M., Henk, D., Briggs, C., Brownstein, J., Madoff, L., McCraw, S., & Gurr, S. (2012). Emerging fungal threats to animal, plant and ecosystem health Nature, 484 (7393), 186-194 DOI: 10.1038/nature10947
If you are interested in Polypores check out the NSF funded PEET site for the Taxonomy of the Polyporales from David Hibbett and colleagues.
Another delightful well written piece by Jennifer Frazer in her SciAm blog. She presents a solution to a unknown fungus that showed up as a blanket of orange spores in the water near the town of Kivalina, Alaska. “Mystery of Alaskan “Goo” Rust Solved at Last”. Jennifer writes that the rust spores are from:
The deadline for MSA nominations is 15 Feb 2012 so go see the MSA awards website for more information. These require letters of nomination for candidates and require some advance preparation. For students and postdocs there are many travel awards that support your attendance at meetings like MSA and also travel funds to conduct research either at herbaria or in the field.
If they had known that a hoard of Mycologists were descending on Alaska for our annual meeting! I guess the exact identification is still being determined by NOAA labs – hope they can PCR ITS up and figure it out (and maybe save a culture for deposition somewhere).
(Thanks to Blake Billmyre for passing along the story)
[via Teun Boekhout]
|Andrew Allen||J. Craig Venter Institute||US|
|Anders Blomberg||Göteborg University||SE|
|Chris Bowler||École Normale Supérieure||FR|
|Gertraud Burger||University of Montreal||CA|
|Bernard Dujon||Institut Pasteur||FR|
|Toni Gabaldón||CRG, Barcelona||ES|
|Ursula Goodenough||Washington University||US|
|Michael Gray||Dalhousie University||CA|
|Joseph Heitman||Duke University||US|
|Christiane Hertz-Fowler||University of Liverpool||UK|
|Regine Kahmann||Max Planck Institute||DE|
|Patrick Keeling||University of British Columbia||CA|
|Nicole King||UC, Berkeley||US|
|Edda Klipp||Humboldt University||DE|
|Veronique Leh Louis||University of Strasbourg||FR|
|Jan Pawlowski||University of Geneva||CH|
|Jure Piskur||Lund University||SE|
|Tom Richards||University of Exeter||UK|
|Andrew J. Roger||Dalhousie University||CA|
|David Roos||University of Pennsylvania||US|
|Iñaki Ruiz-Trillo||University of Barcelona||ES|
|Joseph Schacherer||University of Strasbourg||FR|
|Artur Scherf||Institut Pasteur||FR|
|Joey Spatafora||Oregon State University||US|
|Nicholas Talbot||University of Exeter||UK|
|Kevin Verstrepen||University of Leuven||BE|
|Eric Westhof||University of Strasbourg||FR|
|Ken Wolfe||Smurfit Institute of Genetics||IE|
|Alexandra Z. Worden||University of California||US|
Some comments from former participants:
Comments from 2009 meeting
Based on responses from 80% of participants:
Excellent 50%; Very Good 44%; Good 6%.
It is hard to improve the meeting. It’s a good mixture of conference and workshop with a lot of input from expert of adjacent field.
I strongly support the idea the meeting is organized in the future at a regular basis.
Very high quality, open minded with presentations ranging from pure genomics to implementation in the field of ecology; plenty of novelties. Plenty of time to discuss and to establish potential collaborations
I hope to have the possibility to go in the future to this meeting. We learn a lot, and also the size is well, the students have the possibility to talk of discuss with senior
Thanks to the organizers for an extremely interesting and productive meeting.
Great meeting. This is a unique meeting because it brings together a group of scientists that dont normally interact with each other. Thus, great opportunities for cross-interactions. This meeting has the potential to fill a very unique niche. I enjoyed meeting new people from diverse fields. I plan to attend again and encourage my colleagues to do so.
This meeting was a great match to my interests but also challenged me to think outside of my normal sphere. I applaud the organizers and the participants in making this a useful meeting.
The meeting was very well organized and at a very good location. I enjoyed it very much.
I hope this meeting continues as it was a valuable forum for the field of comparative genomics.
This meeting is unique in its broad organism focus. Please keep supporting it.
Walter Fitch passed away on Thursday. Below is Brandon Gaut’s message that was posted to EvolDir. He was truly an intellectual giant in evolutionary biology making key contributions to phylogenetics and molecular evolution.
Dear Colleagues -
I am sorry to report that a beloved member of our campus community,
Dr. Walter Fitch, passed away in his sleep this morning at his home
in University Hills. We will miss him dearly as a friend, as a
colleague, and as a towering intellectual presence.
Walter was born in San Diego in 1929, and earned his Ph.D. in
Comparative Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley
in 1958. He was a post-doctoral scholar at both Stanford and
University College (London) and held full professorships at the
University of Wisconsin and the University of Southern California. He
came to UC Irvine in 1989 as a Distinguished Professor and later
became the Chair of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
Walter was a founding father of the field of molecular evolution, and
established methods for constructing phylogenetic trees from amino
acid and nucleic acid sequences. He also made contributions to
virology, the origin of life, taxonomy, genetics and molecular
biology. For his work he was elected to the National Academy of
Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Linnean
Society (England). He founded the Society for Molecular Biology and
Evolution and was the editor-in-chief of its journal, Molecular
Biology and Evolution for its first 10 years. He contributed mightily
not only to the intellectual process but as a mentor to young scientists.
Walter is survived by his beloved wife, his four children and several
grandchildren. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Professor & Chair
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
[Reposted from FGSC news]
Cardy Raper, University of Vermont Professor Emerita, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, has just published a memoir titled “Love, Sex and Mushrooms: Adventures of a Woman in Science” (ISBN 978-0-615-43440-7). As Peter R. Day, coauthor of “Plant-Fungal Pathogen Interaction” remarked: “Books about sex in fungi rarely reward the casual interest of the general reader generated by ‘sex’ in their titles….Cardy Raper’s autobiography is a refreshing exception….What makes it so readable and engrossing is her frank account of her circumstances both in and out of the laboratory. This book will encourage aspiring students, men as well as women, in how to overcome difficulties.” And Lorna Casselton, FRS, commented: “Cardy Raper succeeded in being what she dreamed of as a young girl, a successful scientist with her own laboratory. But it was not a conventional path to success….This is the personal story of an exceptional woman scientist.”
Copies of the book will be available at this year’s Fungal Genetics Conference at Asilomar, in March.
I am preparing to read through the abstracts submitted for the 26th Fungal Genetics Conference in choosing talks for my session and I wondered if there were any changing trends in the topics over the years. While I won’t put up the Wordle for this year’s abstracts till the booklet is published, I thought I’d see how the topics trended in the last few years for some of these meetings. Will be fun to do this for a few more years back to see whether real trends emerge.
The data is a little cleaned up but the text included institution and individual names so things like university and department show up as prominent in some of these graphs.