Ep. 130: Fungal Systematics, Mushroom Ancestry & Recognizing Patterns (feat. Dr. Andrew Wilson)

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Today on the Mushroom Hour we are honored to be joined by Dr. Andrew Wilson - Assistant Curator of Mycology in the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at Denver Botanic Gardens. For Dr. Wilson the discovery of mycology began back in the late 90’s at San Francisco State University in taking classes from world renown mushroom taxonomist, Dr. Dennis Desjardin. Working with Dennis, Andrew earned a Masters degree studying the mushroom genus Gymnopus from Java and Bali. He later went on to earn a PhD in the lab of Dr. David Hibbett at Clark University. His project took him back to Southeast Asia, this time to study the ecology and evolution enigmatic puffball genus Calostoma and their relatives. In 2009, Andrew graduated and began a postdoc with Dr. Gregory Mueller at the Chicago Botanic Garden where he explored the systematic evolution of the Cantharellales and the model ectomycorrhizal mushroom genus Laccaria. He also did a one-year postdoc at Purdue University, in the lab of Dr. Cathie Aime, teasing apart the complex evolution of plant pathogenic rust fungi. At Denver Botanic Gardens, Dr. Wilson is working on a regional contribution to the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS) that encompasses the state of Colorado, with a focus on the Southern Rockies. In this effort he is training students on how to study biodiversity using natural history collection and DNA sequence analysis. He is also working on new tools in DNA sequencing to better sample and study fungal diversity.
TOPICS COVERED:

  • Formed in a Family of Biologists
  • Intellectual Explorations at San Francisco State University
  • Genus Gymnopus
  • Expeditions to Southeast Asia
  • What are Systematics?
  • Genus Calostoma
  • Role of Isotopes in Understanding Fungal Ecologies
  • Biogeographic Histories of Fungi
  • Interpreting Ancestry and Evolution in Phylogenetic Data
  • Gondwana Supercontinent
  • Finding a Living, Ancient Ancestor on the Lacarria Family Tree
  • Denver Botanic Gardens & Sam Mitchell Fungi Herbarium
  • New Methods of High-Throughput DNA Sequencing
  • Biodiversity & Evolutionary History of Southern Rocky Mountain Fungi

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