Karen Alim

Karen Alim studied physics in Karlsruhe, Manchester and Munich. She obtained an MSc in Theoretical Physics in 2004 working with Alan J. Bray from Manchester University, U.K., followed by a Diplom (MSc) in Physics and Biophysics at the LMU Munich. During her PhD with Erwin Frey at the LMU in Munich she investigated the form of biological materials like DNA/actin and patterning mechanism during leaf development. As a grad fellow at the KITP in Santa Barbara, United States, she investigated the mechanics of plant growth. After her doctoral degree in 2010 she joined Michael P. Brenner’s group at Harvard University where she focused on the adaptation dynamics of the network-like forager Physarum polycephalum. In 2015 she started as an independent group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization. Karen is recipient of the John Birks Award of Manchester University and held an appointment as lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University.

Lynne Boddy

Lynne Boddy is professor of Mycology at Cardiff University, where she teaches and researches into fungal ecology, a topic that has fascinated her for 40 years. Her favourite areas of research are into the ways in which fungi fight each other and form communities, and the ways in which they search the forest floor for food resources and respond to their finds. She is a prolific author having co-authored Fungal Decomposition of Wood, edited six books, written well over 200 scientific papers, and is chief editor of the journal Fungal Ecology. She was (2009–2010) president of the British Mycological Society. Lynne is an ardent communicator of the mysteries and importance of the amazing hidden Kingdom of Fungi to the general public having, for example, taken part in a public debate on ‘what are the most important organisms on the planet?’ –speaking for fungi, of course. She jointly put together a gold medal winning display on the role of fungi, in the continuing education section at the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. She was also an active member of the steering committee for the ‘From Another Kingdom’ exhibition (Aug-Nov 2010) at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Henrik Hjarvard de Fine Licht

Henrik de Fine Licht is an Assistant Professor at the Section for Organismal Biology at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. Currently he works on host-pathogen evolution in insect-pathogenic fungi. Before returning to the University of Copenhagen he worked with Professor Anders Tunlid at Lund University, Sweden, for little over two years on morphological and genome-wide molecular adaptation in symbiotic fungi cultivated by fungus-growing ants. Before that he worked with Duur Aanen and did his PhD and first post doc with Professor Koos Boomsma at the Centre for Social Evolution, University of Copenhagen, focusing on co-evolution, particularly the cultivated fungi, in fungus-growing ants and termites.

Pierre Gladieux

Pierre Gladieux is a research scientist at the mixed research unit "Biology and Genetics of Plant-Pathogen Interactions" (BGPI) of INRA, Montpellier. Before that, he worked as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at the Université Paris Sud/CNRS, Orsay, France and at the University of California, Berkeley.

Linda Kohn

The what, how and why of the population/species interface
My research life began with monographic work in systematics based on extensive collecting with extraordinary collaborators in the US and Canada, Norway, New Zealand and Japan. Our reach deepened with the resolution afforded by emerging molecular tools resting in the capable hands of exceptional students and postdocs: these include, Yatika Kohli and Ignazio Carbone (huge datasets and analytics on the population/species interface in the Sclerotiniaceae), Leah Cowen (experimental evolution of drug resistance in
 Candida albicans), Jeremy Dettman (evolution of reproductive isolation in speciation) and Brett Couch (evolution of host specificity on grasses in Magnaporthe).  More recently, with Megan Saunders we teased apart fungal endophyte interactions in maize facilitated by a suite Fusarium species able to detoxify antimicrobial compounds in planta. With Marion Andrew, we have provided evidence for a molecular “toolbox”  for host specificity in the Sclerotiniaceae. Current projects include studies on evolution in field populations of Saccharomyces paradoxus, the wild sister species of the domesticated, lab model, S. cerevisiae.

Anne Pringle

Anne Pringle was educated at the University of Chicago and Duke University. After completing her Ph.D., she trained as a Miller Fellow for Basic Research in Science at the University of California at Berkeley. She taught at Harvard University for nearly a decade before moving to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she serves as Professor in the Departments of Botany and Bacteriology. Dr. Pringle’s research focuses on dispersal, invasive species, and the evolution of fungi in contexts of global change. She has won various teaching, mentoring and research awards, including the Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Harvard University Graduate Student Council, and published in journals ranging from the Auk to PNAS. She was recently elected President of the Mycological Society of America.

Matthias C. Rillig

Matthias Rillig is the Director of the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB) and Professor of Plant Ecology at Freie Universität Berlin. He worked as an Assistant, then Associate Professor at the University of Montana after he did his PhD at the University of California Davis and the San Diego State University.
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