BMS Talks

Monthly online talks, open to everyone!

The topics and speakers of recent BMS Talks are listed below.  Further details and video recordings of the talks can be found in the menu on the left.

  • Progress and challenges in advancing fungal conservation (June 2021)

The perception that fungi are not amenable to conservation assessments is changing and progress in assessing the conservation status of fungi has been made over the past 10 years.  But much work remains and challenges persist.  Dr Greg Mueller's research focuses on the evolution, ecology, and conservation of fungi. He has conducted fieldwork throughout the world and is active in international fungal conservation efforts, chairing the IUCN SSC Fungal Conservation Committee and the Specialist Group on mushrooms, brackets and puffballs, and (with a colleague) coordinating the Global Fungal Red List Initiative. 

  • The impact of fire on fungal diversity (May 2021) 

Dr Sydney Glassman (Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology, University of California) had a rare opportunity to study the impacts of fire on fungi when her research plots burned down in two catastrophic Californian mega-fires.  Fires generally have a negative impact on fungal diversity but certain pyrophilous (fire-loving) fungi increase in frequency after such events. (BMS Members only: contact us for access to the recording)

  • Survival of the fittest: The life and struggles of Helen Gwynne-Vaughan (April 2021)

Dr Patricia Fara, Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and former President of the British Society for the History of Science, delves into the life and career of fungal geneticist and former BMS President Helen Gwynne-Vaughan (1879-1967).  Dr Fara discusses Gwynne-Vaughan's successes and setbacks, set within the context of contemporary attitudes. 

  • Entoloma revised: What is left of the traditional species concepts? (March 2021)

Machiel Noordeloos gives an impression of the impact of ITS barcoding on the taxonomic concepts in the genus Entoloma: shifting species concepts, surprising new insights in the value of morphological and microscopical characters, and the advantages and limitations of these new insights. 

  • Killer Fungi: A Clear and Present Danger to Life on Earth (February 2021)

We share our planet with millions of different types of fungi, which perform numerous functions that make our planet habitable. However, there is a dark side to this Fungal Kingdom. In this talk, Prof Janet Quinn (University of Newcastle; BMS President) gives an overview of some of the planet’s fungal foes and how we can tackle emerging fungal infections.