Ep. 66: Madagascar's Marasmius & the Ecology of Monkeyflower Endophytes (feat. Jackie Shay)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the pleasure of learning from Jackie Shay. Jackie is a fungal evolutionary biologist and microbial ecologist fascinated with the intimate history and future significance of symbiotic relationships between plant hosts and their microbial communities. Her goal is to use integrative techniques to explore these interactions in the natural world and learn how we can apply these partnerships to promote conservation and resilience through climate change. Jackie received a master's in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the Desjardin lab at San Francisco State University studying the evolution of wood decaying mushrooms (Marasmius) from Madagascar. She is currently a Ph.D. student in the Sexton and Frank labs in the Quantitative and Systems Biology Program at the University of California, Merced. This interdisciplinary team has set out to uncover the mystery behind the Monkeyflower microbiome and discover whether these microbes influence their plant hosts across its range. 

Topics Covered:  

  • From Urban Dweller to Forest Lover  
  • Desjardin Lab at SFSU  
  • Marasmius Research in Madagascar  
  • Unseen Ecological Importance of Saprobic Fungi  
  • Fungal Genetics  
  • Importance of "ITS" Region in Fungal Gene Sequencing  
  • Discovering New Species of Marasmius  
  • Monkeyflower Microbiome  
  • Bioinformatics  
  • Endophytes Defined  
  • Endophytes and Climate Change  
  • Mysteries of "Dark" Endophytes  
  • We Need More Mycologists!  
  • New Pedagogic Career Path & Future Plans  

Episode Resources:

1 comment

  • It was such an honor to be a part of this podcast! Thank you for having me!

    Jackie Shay

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