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Tuesday, April 3

Fungi in the Environment

Dr. Heather Addy

When you think about fungi, what springs to mind? For many of us, the first thing we think of is their role as decomposers or perhaps as pathogens, such as the fungi decimating amphibian populations around the world and causing the “white-nose syndrome” wiping out bat species across North America. But there is so much more to these fascinating and often over-looked organisms, including their symbiotic partnerships with plants in mycorrhizal associations and the promise they hold in bioremediation and even as building materials. In this session, we’ll start with a look at the basic biology of fungi and the features that enable them to be successful in a range of lifestyles. We’ll then look at the diverse roles played by fungi in the environment, with a focus on local examples, including the impact of clear-cut logging on mycorrhizal associations.

Speaker: Dr. Heather Addy is a Teaching Professor in the Biological Sciences Department at the University of Calgary. Her PhD research at the University of Guelph and subsequent postdoctoral research at Penn State University and the University of Alberta focused on mycorrhizal associations and other fungal symbioses; during this training, she also discovered a love of teaching. In 1998, she joined the University of Calgary in a faculty position that emphasizes teaching and teaching-related scholarship. Currently, she teaches courses in plant and fungal biology and studies the impact on student learning of collaborative learning methods such as team-based learning.

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