September 2023 General Meeting - Prof. Kabir Peay "The role of Mushrooms in Fungal Dispersal"

? WHEN: 09/20/2023, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
? WHERE: Clubhouse at Harvey West Park

Lets kick off our 2023/2024 season with the September meeting at the Harvey West Scout House. 

The evening will start at 6:30 pm for those who would like to socialize, snack on Bob Wynn's fantastic spread and chat with fellow mycophiles before the main meeting. Bring any fungi you have been lucky enough to find for identification! Business and announcements will start at 7:00 pm. After the business part of the meeting, we will be joined by Prof. Kabir Peay, our speaker for the evening.

Mushrooms are beautiful signposts for the fungal kingdom but during collections we rarely think about the functional role these reproductive structures play. However, as the source of fungal spores and they play an outsized influence on the dispersal, ecology and genetics of fungi. In this talk Kabir will explore the world of mushroom dispersal and his research into its role in structuring mycorrhizal fungal communities and their plant hosts in coastal California.

About Prof. Kabir Peay:

"I completed a master’s degree at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment Science (F&ES) in 2003 and obtained my PhD in 2008 from UC Berkeley’s Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) in Matteo Garbelotto's lab. I did my postdoctoral training at UC Berkeley in the Dept. of Plant & Microbial Biology with Tom Bruns, and at Stanford in the Dept. of Biology with Tadashi Fukami. I was an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Plant Pathology at the University of Minnesota from 2011-2012 before coming to Stanford in 2012 to join the Dept. of Biology in my current position.

Our lab studies the ecological processes that structure natural communities and the links between community structure and the cycling of nutrients and energy through ecosystems. We focus primarily on fungi, as these organisms are incredibly diverse and are the primary agents of carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Much of our research focuses on plant-fungal root associations, better known as mycorrhizas, which constitute one of the most pervasive mutualisms in terrestrial ecosystems. We work on questions at three scales of this symbiosis, (1) how does environmental variation and functional variation in mycorrhizal fungi affect the symbiosis at the root tip scale, (2) how does dispersal contribute to the predictability of community assembly patterns at the landscape scale, and (3) how does biogeography affect mycorrhizal community structure and ecosystem function? By integrating these three levels of research we hope to build a 'roots-to-biomes' understanding of plant-microbe symbiosis."

Peay Labs at Stanford University