Tag Archives: teaching

Desert Adventures, 2018

Nat and Jason headed out to the Mojave National Preserve to meet up with Erik Hom and his StudyUSA class from Univ of Mississippi. We started at the Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center which is one of 39 Natural Reserves in the University of California.  We were there to teach a bit about cryptogamic crusts, show the Kelso dunes off, and explore some more of the desert crust sampling sites that our collaborator Nicole Pietrasiak (@drylandalgae) and Paul De Ley have collected from. Nothing like seeing sites that previously I only knew from pictures or tubes of soil!

A few pictures from our visit.

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Kelso Dunes
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Crusts symbioses of algae and cyanobacteria with fungi, bacteria, and many uncounted single celled organisms.

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Lichen Crusts galore across from the Kelso dunes
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Moss Crusts are also rich symbioses with a predominant moss.
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Old volcanic flow in the Cima area also has cacti and crusts
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Colorful lichens found on the granite faces. On closer looks, these are often 3 or more species competing for space on the same surface.

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A primer on the Fungi

Our primer on the Fungi is available (currently free) on the Current Biology website.  A version with extra refs inserted is available in pre-print format here. In this primer we provide a broad overview of the major evolutionary defined groups within Fungal kingdom. Our intention is make the kingdom a little less mysterious for non-mycologists and introduce some open areas of research that require integrating evolutionary, morphological, and molecular research. This was joint work with Mary BerbeeMeredith BlackwellDavid HibbettTim JamesJoey Spatafora, & John Taylor.

Also thanks to several people for access to images: Jeffrey RollinsSabine HuhndorfDavid McLaughlin & lab, George L BarronGreg Jedd and Michelle Momany.