Ep. 120: Lichenology - Biodiversity and Evolution of Fungal, Algal Symbiosis (feat. Matthew Nelsen PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by illustrious lichen expert Matthew Nelsen PhD. Matthew is a Research Scientist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Matt's research began in botany, ecology and environmental science and has more recently gravitated towards: (i) the evolution of symbiotic associations; and (ii) the evolution of eukaryotic microbes (fungi and algae), and the roles they have played in shaping terrestrial ecosystems and nutrient-cycling over geologic timescales. Both avenues of his research attempt to link diverse fields and organismal groups. He also has conducted work addressing the timing and evolutionary consequences of ant-plant interactions. Matt thank you so much for joining us on the Mushroom Hour!   


  • Fungus & Algae Species Forming Lichen Partnerships    
  • Host Specificity in Lichen Partnerships    
  • Evolutionary History of Lichen    
  • Vascular Plants on Land Before Lichen?!    
  • Challenges of Working on “Big Time”    
  • Process of Lichen Formation, Fungal Phenotypes    
  • Lichen Blurring Species Boundaries    
  • Cleptobiosis    
  • Role in Carbon & Nitrogen Cycles    
  • Lichen as an Ecosystem    
  • Lichen & Air Quality in an Environment    
  • Lichenometry   
  • Analysis of Fungal Coal Formation Hypothesis    
  • Ant Plant Interactions   


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