I am interested in the diversity and evolution of mushrooms with a special interest in Cortinariaceae (Agaricales, Basidiomycota), one of the most diverse families of ectomycorrhizal fungi, containing several thousand species found all over the world.
Studies using DNA sequence data have shown that the diversity of fungi far exceeds earlier expectations and many common species of macrofungi still remain to be described and named. Understanding the evolutionary history of fungi is important. It sets a base for further studies of diverse evolutionary questions. It also provides the means for better understanding the current diversity and distribution of the species.
An additional goal is to improve the sequence based identification of fungi. Since the diversity of fungi is high and identification based on morphology is challenging, sometimes even impossible, DNA sequences provide a faster and a more reliable way to identify fungi. A high quality barcoding database is essential for ecological, environmental or further taxonomic research. Once completed, it will create a solid base for future studies.
- PhD, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2008
- MSc, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2003
Liimatainen, K., Kim, J.T., Pokorny, L., Kirk, P., Dentinger, B. & Niskanen, T. (2022)
Fungal Diversity 112: 89–170.
Cheek, M., Nic Lughadha, E., Kirk, P., (et al. incl. Niskanen, T.) (2020)
Plants, People, Planet 2:371–388.
Niskanen, T., Liimatainen, K., Nuytinck, J. et al. (2018).
Identifying and naming the currently known diversity of the genus Hydnum with an emphasis on North American and European materials.
Mycologia 110: 890–918.
Liimatainen, K., Niskanen, T., Dima, B., et al. (2014)
The largest type study of Agaricales species to date: bringing identification and nomenclature of Phlegmacium (Cortinarius) into the DNA era.
Persoonia 33: 98–140.
Schoch, C. et al. (including Niskanen, T.) (2014)
Finding needles in haystacks: linking scientific names, reference specimens and molecular data for Fungi.
Database 2014: 1–21.
Kõljalg, U. et al. (including Niskanen, T.) (2013).
Molecular Ecology 22(21): 5271–5277.
Diversity and evolution of Cortinariaceae (Agaricales, Basidiomycota)
Studying the diversity and evolution of this species-rich family and producing a barcoding database of the group.
Plant-fungal interactions in Alpine ecosystems
Investigating fungal mycorrhizas and their plant hosts across elevational and latitudinal gradients in Alpine ecosystems: diversity, environmental drivers and threats.
Boyacá’s Forgotten Kingdom
This project is designed to explore the diversity of the Kingdom Fungi in Boyacá, Colombia.