We are at the Department of Biological Sciences at WIU and our research focuses on the study of fungal symbiotic associations, their emergent properties, and the effect of global climate change on fungal diversity and community structure. We are interested in ecological roles of fungal symbionts, their diversity, biogeographical distributions, and potential applications of novel fungal consortia.
Fungal Ecology Lab
Dr. Andrea Porras-Alfaro and three of our lab members (Terry Torres Cruz , Terri Tobias , and Cedric Ndinga ) visited Chicago on Wednesday October 5th to attend the Illumina Targeted Resequencing Seminar held at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. They also had the opportunity to meet with Lynnaun Johnson, one of our former lab members, for lunch at a Costa Rican restaurant.
On the pictures we see them enjoying the MiniSeq demonstration, the presentations of the Illumina team and the Costa Rican food!
The A. H. Smith Foray was held at the University of Michigan Biological Station Sept. 15-18th. Four of our lab members: Terry Torres-Cruz, Paris Hamm, Cedric Ndinga Muniania, and Adeyemi Olanrewaju were able to attend thanks to the support from NSF and WIU Department of Biological Sciences.
While attending the Mycological Society of America meeting at University of California Berkeley, two of our lab members, Terry Torres-Cruz and Paris Hamm, snuck away to enjoy the beautiful ancient flora at Muir Woods National Monument which contains 240 acres of old growth coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest. Here, Terry and Paris stand in awe on the inside of a giant redwood. The tallest tree in Muir Woods is 258 feet (79 m) and the oldest is over 1,200 years old!! As mycologists, we can appreciate the role fungi play in nutrient recycling and decomposition in this forest while enjoying a relaxing stroll.
Our lab presented at the Mycological Society of America Meeting in Berkeley, California.
We presented our research on seasonal variation of dark septate fungi in an arid grassland,
(Cedric Ndinga Muniania), antifungal activity of western bat biota agains White-nose Syndrome
(Paris Hamm), the discovery of a novel fungal taxon in the Mucoromycotina (Terry Torres-Cruz), and the study of microbial diversity and its potential applications against White-nose Syndrome (Dr. Andrea Porras-Alfaro).
Congratulations to Cedric Ndinga and Paris Hamm for their Mycological Society of America Travel Awards
Congratulations to Eliese Potocek on defending her undergraduate thesis (Summer 2016).