I conduct research into the conservation needs of British fungi. Coordinating the Lost and Found Fungi project alongside Brain Douglas, Martyn Ainsworth, and Paul Cannon enables us to provide the great British public with targeted organisms to search for with real significance to conservation.
The Lost and Found Fungi project aims include: increasing awareness, recording, and knowledge of fungi of conservation concern in the UK; developing fungal identification skills of the public; and promoting engagement with fungi within and beyond the UK’s recording communities.
We are currently working towards the conclusion of this project with IUCN standard Red List assessments of our target fungi and a tangible project legacy. We believe the project can offer an adoptable and adaptable citizen science framework for countries wishing to better understand their own fungal diversity. Workshops ran throughout the project began with conventional morphological practices and will conclude with barcoding of DNA sequence data using equipment and methods in your own home.
Alongside this work, supervision of a Kew MSc project has enabled me to resume research begun during my PhD into diagnostics of the fungal plant pathogen powdery mildew (Erysiphales, Ascomycota). This time around, we aim to produce a global powdery mildew phylogeny, using Kew’s Fungarium collections. This project has enabled collaboration with researchers in under-resourced countries, as we offer an identification service to those without the means for molecular biology.
- PhD, University of Reading, 2017
- BSc (Hons), University of Bristol, 2012
- Awarded Marsh Christian Trust Horticultural Science Award 2016: Most promising young horticultural researcher in the UK.
- Awarded University of Reading Science Slam Champion, 2015: Science communication to the masses