What are Fungi Doing for our Bushlands?

Cyptotrama asprata

Speaker: Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher
Mycologist, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

Did you notice fungi popping up in mulch or lawns after the winter rains? Did you wonder what it might be named? Fungal Ecologist Dr Sapphire McMullan-Fisher thinks a more interesting question to ask is: what is that fungus doing?

Fungi fruit bodies like mushrooms, puffballs, stinkhorns and so forth are a sign that the fungus is in there, working away hidden in the grass, soil and wood. Many fungi are nutrient recyclers, others are symbionts of plants, and a few are parasitic. Join us to find out more about the Wood Wide Web, fungal ecology and how fungi work to keep our bushland healthy.

About the speaker:

SapphireSapphire is an ecologist who has special interest in the conservation of biodiversity, particularly the macrofungi and mosses. She completed her doctorate at the University of Tasmania on ‘Surrogates for cryptogam conservation – associations between mosses, macrofungi, vascular plants and environmental variables.’

Sapphire has been actively involved with citizen science organisation Fungimap since 1999. She is the regional representative for Australasia for the International Society for Fungal Conservation [ISFC]. She is also active with Australian scientific groups like the Education Subcommittee of the Australasian Mycological Society, the Ecological Society of Australia, Australian Bryophyte Workshops and community groups including many field naturalist clubs and Landcare groups.

Having lived in four states and travelled across Australia’s landscapes, she has been involved in many of the fungal community groups over the years. She has worked with many of these groups to raise the profile of local fungi and the important roles fungi play in our environment. She is involved in Greening Australia’s Habitat Conservation and Management Course and the new Victorian Nature Stewards program. She particularly enjoys getting out into the bush to discover fungal treasures as often as she can.

“File:Cyptotrama asprata (Berk.) Redhead & Ginns 707735.jpg” by Christian Ferrer is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0