2017 May General Meeting: Anna Bazzicalupo - "Benjamin Woo's Russula Herbarium" (by )

? WHEN: 05/17/2017, 7-9 pm
? WHERE: Harvey West Scout House, Harvey West Scout House

Please join us for our General Meeting at the Harvey West Scout House.  Doors open at 7, with refreshments and informal mushroom ID from 7:00 - 7:30. A discussion of upcoming events will precede our speaker, Anna Bazzaicalupo.

Anna Bazzicalupo grew up in Naples, Italy. She did her undergrad and masters degrees in Scotland.

As a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in May Berbee's lab, she is interested in the taxonomy and systematics of Russula of the Pacific Northwest. Her work involves using this complicated group as an example of collaboration between mycological societies and academia, towards the better understanding of the systematics and taxonomy of our local mushrooms. She has been working on the Benjamin Woo Russula collection from the Burke Museum, to barcode the Russulas of the Pacific Northwest.

"Russula Pers. (Russulaceae) is a cosmopolitan, ectomycorrhizal genus of fungi that are notoriously difficult to identify to species. Species diversity is high but the field characters used to define species seem to be plastic and to overlap across the genus.  A comprehensive monograph with keys and descriptions of N. American species has yet to be written. To help resolve western N. American species, we sequenced, databased, and analyzed Benjamin Woo’s collection of over 1000 Russula specimens. For 30 years, Ben Woo, an expert amateur founder of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and Pacific Northwest Key Council, carefully sampled and documented Washington and Oregon specimens.  We used Woo’s exceptional collection of Russula diversity to: i. improve delimitation of regional species; ii. use the improved understanding of the genetic and field character variation within species to begin a broader revision of the genus. This study matched specimens to species in Europe, species described in the Pacific Northwest, and species that are potentially new to science. There are shortcomings of species delimitation with barcode sequences, but we provide a starting point for a more comprehensive view of species delimitation in challenging groups of fungi. By combining photographs, sequences, and notes from the Woo collection I am now in a position to: i. Improve knowledge of regional species; ii. Make the specimens more accessible for future research through my searchable, web-accessible database; iii. begin a broader revision of this genus." SCMS webpage