2017 October General Meeting: Dr. Tom Bruns, Professor at UC Berkeley (by )

? WHEN: 10/18/2017, 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.  Refreshments will be provided and informal mushroom ID from 7:00 - 7:30.  A discussion of upcoming events will precede our speaker,   Tom Bruns, Professor, Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley.

Soquel State Demonstration Forest Permits:
In addition to our featured speaker, representatives of the Soquel Demonstration State Forest will attend our upcoming General Meeting at the Harvey West Scout House. An update on current activities within the Forest will be provided and collecting permits for the upcoming season will be issued.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this collecting resource available to us. The SDF appreciates our help in updating their current species list, which you'll find on the back of your permit. Should you find and solidly identify a mushroom not listed (well done!), please share your information and appreciation by notifying either the SDF office or our Local Forays Minister so it can be updated.

A separate (and free) permit is required for our local Soquel State Demo Forest. Staff kindly comes once a year to save us the trouble of slogging up Old San Jose Road. 


Complexity, Simplicity and Convergence
A tour through the evolutionary history of the Basidiomycota

The Basidiomycota (i.e., the mushrooms, rusts, and smuts) provides many great examples of complex structures and behaviors that have been created through the evolutionary process. Equally impressive are the number of times these complex innovations have been simplified or reinvented by independent lineages. These latter processes lead to convergence – structures or behaviors that look similar but are not related through a common ancestor.  This talk will cover a set of classic examples of these processes within each of the three main groups of the Basidiomycota.

Professor Tom Bruns received a PhD from the University of Michigan in Botany in 1987 where he worked on molecular systematics of Suillus.  He went on to a postdoctoral position at the University of California Berkeley in 1987, and he joined the faculty there in 1989.  His research is focused on fungal ecology and systematics and he has published over 150 scientific papers in this area.

He is probably best known for his development of tools for molecular ecology and for the application of these tools toward understanding ectomycorrhizal fungal communities.  He is a recent past president of the Mycological Society of America, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Science, and the Mycological Society of America.  He teaches introductory and advanced courses on fungi at Berkeley, and has won teaching awards from the College of Natural Resources and the Mycological Society of America for his efforts.