Ep. 56: Wood-Decomposer Fungi & Mycelium Network Architecture (feat. Professor Lynne Boddy)

Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by the distinguished Lynne Boddy, Professor of Microbial Ecology at Cardiff University. After undergraduate studies in Biology and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Exeter, she was interested in any and every type of ecology. A fortuitous position at the University of London led her to studying wood decay processes, which would turn out to be the subject of her PhD. That work snowballed into a 40-year exploration of wood decay processes with fungi at its core. As well as scientifically challenging and environmentally of massive consequences, mycelia and their interactions have a huge aesthetic appeal for Professor Boddy. There are so many burning questions when it comes to fungal biology, fungi’s relationships to food sources, fungi’s relationship to other fungi and other microorganisms that she, along with around 40 PhD students, post-docs and other co-workers, have striven and are striving to answer. Lynne’s passion for fungi laces out into studies of mycorrhizal fungi, the rising amateur mycologist community, and nearly every other aspect of how fungi will change human lives. There is an obvious joy in her communication of this information to both student audiences and to the public at large. We’re about to enter an exciting world of fungal battles, life and death struggles, epic hunts for food and the complexities of non-human intelligence.

Topics Covered:

  • Professor Boddy’s PhD Research
  • Wood Decay Processes
  • Fungi's Role in Wood Decay
  • Endophytes
  • Fungal Competitive Strategies
  • Resource Unit Restricted Fungi 
  • Cord-Developing Fungi
  • How Does Mycelium Choose Where to Grow?
  • How Does Mycelium Pass Information?
  • Mycelium Network Architecture
  • Does Mycelium Have Memory?
  • Heartwood Rot Fungi
  • Impact of Climate Change on Fungi
  • Importance of Amateur Contributions

Episode Resources:

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour)

Music by: Ancient Baby (https://peckthetowncrier.bandcamp.com/)   
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (http://www.wyndistefano.com/)   

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