Tag Archives: award

Congratulations Joyce Longcore!

Joyce Longcore

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)


Gerry Fink wins Gruber Genetics prize

Congrats are in order to Gerry Fink on winning the 2010 Gruber Foundation award for his work on the genetics of yeast and Arabidopsis. He has been a pioneer in the field developing molecular biology approaches and leading the field in study of genetics.  See the press release announcement for more details on the award – I got word of this thanks to the Genetics Society of America email.

Gerry’s had profound impact on the field of genetics and biology it is wonderful to see this awarded to him. Personally, he’s subtly influenced several things that have benefited my career : helping get the fungal genome initiative started, as the mentor of my grad advisor, serving on advisory boards like the one for my postdoc fellowship, and his leadership and ingenuity producing new tools and approaches to understanding genetics and fungal biology.  Well deserved award and it is great to see recognition of a stellar geneticist.

The S. Bartnicki-Garcia travel award

Frontiers in Fungal Biology logoAnnounced today at the 10th Frontiers in Fungal Biology meeting in Ensenada, Baja California: In honor of his contributions to research in cell biology fungi, in particular the growth of hyphae in fungi, critical work supporting the characterization of the Spitzenkörper,  development numerous approaches for microscopic and biochemical characterization of fungal cell walls, and uncovering molecular mechanisms for growth and morphogenesis in filamentous fungi, a named award will be established for Salomón Bartnicki-García, Director in the Department of Microbiology at CICESE and Professor Emertius at UC Riverside. He has been honored in the past upon his retirement from UCR in a special issue in Fungal Genetics and Biology and by the Mycological Society of America as a Distinguished Mycologist.  He truly defined a field in fungal biology and is well deserving of a named award at MSA.  It is fitting that the announcement was made during a meeting he co-organized in Ensenada and also on the 50th anniversary of his 1st publication (BARTNICKI-GARCIA S AND W. J. NICKERSON. The yeast-like form of Mucor rouxii. 1959; Abst. IX Intern. Botan. Congr. (Montreal), v. 2, p. 22.).

There is an ongoing collection for donations to found this award both in direct monetary gifts and through the sale of some fantastic calendars designs and T-shirts. I am not sure if the T-shirts and calendars will be available online at all, but I expect additional fund raising through MSA auction and other events will work to raise the necessary capital to endow this award. Contact Terry Hill and Meritxell Riquelme for more information or to make a contribution.