We work on the evolution, ecology and systematics of lichen symbioses and closely related non-mutualistic fungi. I am specifically focused on evolutionary transitions: from saprophytes to symbionts, from symbionts to pathogens, and from simple biofilms to large, 3D lichen thalli. We use genomics and transcriptomics as well as a diverse microscopy toolbox to explore interactions at a cellular level. I am also very interested in the diversity of Alberta's lichens and tying our work back to regional questions of conservation importance.
The Kingdom Fungi, including yeasts, molds, mushrooms, rusts, smuts, mildews, and lichen forming fungi, is one of the most diverse groups of living organisms and plays important roles in nutrient cycling in ecosystems, pathogenesis in plants and animals, and industrial processes. This course offers a systematic overview of the morphology and ecology of fungi and the relevance of these organisms to human affairs. Laboratories offer a selection of fungi for detailed study and permit students to develop and identify pure cultures of fungi from soil, wood and other materials. Prerequisites: BIOL 108 or SCI 100 and a 200-level Biological Sciences course. BOT 205 recommended. This course requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section of the Calendar.Fall Term 2020