Ep. 58: Unwinding Mushroom Mysteries, Decoding Fungal Genetics (feat. Todd Osmundson PhD)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the pleasure of speaking with the distinguished Todd Osmundson PhD, Associate Professor of Biology at The University of Wisconsin Lacrosse. Todd is a faculty member in the Department of Biology and his research specialties include studying the ecology, genetic relationships, geographic distributions, and conservation biology of bacteria and especially fungi, using fieldwork, microscopy, and molecular genetic (DNA-based) tools. His professional mycology career really began during a fateful encounter with a local mushroom club in Montana. Todd has conducted mycological fieldwork in the U.S., French Polynesia, China, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Svalbard, Thailand, and Australia. His varied research projects have seen him span alpine, arctic, tropical, and temperate habitats in search of fungi. There are few people more familiar with the process of finding, observing, extracting DNA, and genetically sequencing fungi. Let's learn more about where “we” are in cataloging fungal populations, what that means for mycology and how citizen scientists can be a part of this process.

Topics Covered:

  • Seizing Opportunity to Begin a Mycology Career
  • Morea & French Polynesia
  • Model Ecosystem Modeling with Genetics
  • PCR Analysis and Sequencing
  • Interpreting Genetic Data
  • Challenges of Identifying Fungal Species
  • What are Clades and How Do We Use Them?
  • 165 Million Species of Fungi?!
  • Microsporidians
  • Mysteries of Burn Morels
  • Differentiating Individuals with Genetics
  • Fungal Herbarium Collections as Genetic Vaults?
  • Biogeography & Evolutionary History
  • Diversity Surveys & Fungi Conservation

Episode Resources:

1 comment

  • Todd Osmundson is a zinger of a colleague, and I am enjoying collaborating with him on an insect project (I’m an entomologist).

    Thank you for an excellent program. I’m enjoying listening to it on Todd’s birthday!

    Barrett Klein

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published