Keynote speakers Rise of the Fungi
Keynote speaker of ‘Fungi and food
security: a rising global issue’ will be Prof. Dr. Sarah De Saeger. She is head
of the Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology and Public Health at Ghent
University, Belgium, and coordinator of the international thematic network
It’s on that account she will
focus on the huge impact of mycotoxins in developing countries. Yes, there is a
growing problem especially because of climate change. On the other hand: ‘Scientists
really can have an impact on policy.’ De Saeger speaks from experience: one of
her former students is now working at the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary
Education, Science and Technology Development in Zimbabwe.
Mycotoxins affect people in
different ways: they can cause acute infections and death, but the toxins can
also have a long-lasting impact on human health. Besides that, there are the
huge economic aspects.
Main problems in developing
countries are low awareness and not enough technical capacity to take
precautions. Laws are sometimes in place but not enforced.
De Saeger discusses the
problems and the measures that are being taken. One of them is the network
MYTOX-SOUTH. ‘It’s all about Human Capacity Building.’
Gianluigi Cardinali will be the
for ‘Naming Fungal
Taxa: From Linnaeus to Genomes’. Cardinali is Full Professor at the Department
of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Perugia in Italy (note: this
university is of a respectable age; it was founded in 1308).
and species delimitation, the magnitude of the problems and possible solutions’
is the title of his talk. Ever since the new DNA techniques, the field is
struggling with the consequences of the move from old, and still working,
morphological taxonomy, to DNA-based taxonomy. At the same time, approaches
such as phylogeny and phenetics are used interchangeably, generating
theoretical confusion in the field.
of the meeting aims at increasing awareness of the problem that existing
species concepts and associated nomenclatural rules are inadequate to deal with
the insights that may be gained by the rapid evolution of molecular tools
to take the discussion a step further by doing an interactive survey. With that,
he hopes to start a ‘white book’; a general framework to establish a consensus
about species delimitation and sort concepts or at least shed light on the
Biodiversity Series: selected books freely available
We have decided to make
selected books in the Biodiversity Series freely available as downloadable pdf
through our website!
New head at Department of Plant Pathology at
has been appointed as the head of Plant Pathology at Stellenbosch University
(SU), starting her term in this position in January 2020. She is the first
female head of this department. The department together with the university
celebrated their hundred years’ of existence in 2018. The department of Plant
Pathology has trained many students in mycology by various mycologists such as
Paul A. van der Bijl, Peter S. Knox-Davis and Pedro W. Crous. These latter
professors all became the head of the department during their respective
careers. Lizel obtained her PhD at Wageningen University in 2006, having spent
two and half years at the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute (then known
as Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures) in the Evolutionary Phytopathology
group of Pedro Crous. After completion of her PhD she returned to South Africa
and was appointed as mycologist at the department of Plant Pathology in 2007.
In 2011 she obtained a permanent position and in 2018 she was promoted to associate-professor.
Her research focus is on trunk/canker diseases of grapevine and deciduous fruit
trees, investigating the etiology, epidemiology and management thereof. During
the first phase of her career she has provided essential support in pathogen
lists and phytosanitary information packages which underpin market access and the
export of deciduous fruit. To date she has trained 14 MSc and four PhD students
and has 78 publications in international peer-reviewed journals. As new head of
department, with historic links to the Westerdijk Institute, as well as the
re-appointment of Pedro Crous as extra-ordinary professor at SU, new
opportunities beckon for mycology in the Western Cape of South Africa.
Fungal Systematics and Evolution in PubMed soon!
We are very
pleased to announce that Fungal Systematics and Evolution (“FUSE”) has passed the Scientific
Quality Review by NLM for PMC. This means that FUSE should be available
through PubMed soon!
Systematics and Evolution is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, full
colour, fast-track journal. Volumes appear bi-annual – June and December.
Papers include reviews, research articles, methodology papers, taxonomic
monographs, and the description of fungi.