Council and Committees

BMS Council is the main decision making body of the Society and its members are Society Trustees. Council is chaired by the President. 

Council Members from 1st January 2024

  • President:  Prof Elaine Bignell
  • Vice President:  David Harries
  • General Secretary: Prof Janet Quinn
  • Treasurer: Prof Paul Dyer
  • Chair, Publications Committee:  Prof Matthias Brock 
  • Chair, FBR Committee:  Dr Dan Bebber
  • Chair, FEO Committee:  Dr Mark Ramsdale
  • Chair, FMC Committee:  Marcus Yeo
  • International Advisor:  Prof Anthony Whalley
  • Council Member: Linda Seward (elected 30 January 2024)
  • Council Member: vacant

(See profiles below)

BMS Committees

The BMS Committees are formed by Council and their roles, remits and functions are prescribed by Council.   The President,  President-Elect, Vice President, General Secretary and Treasurer are ex officio members of all committees.

Fungal Biology Research (FBR) Committee 

Fungal Education & Outreach (FEO) Committee 

Field Mycology & Conservation (FMC) Committee

Publications Committee


Meet the members of Council 

Elaine Bignell

Elaine Bignell

President

Elaine Bignell is an internationally recognised leader in the field of human fungal pathogen research and a Co-Director (Research) for the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology at the University of Exeter. Her work addresses the mechanistic basis of lung diseases caused by the major mould pathogen of humans, Aspergillus fumigatus. A  molecular geneticist by training, Elaine’s research seeks a mechanistic understanding of fungal lung disease with a view to developing novel diagnostics and antifungal therapies.

More about Elaine

David Harries

David Harries

Vice President

David joined the BMS in 2005 and became County fungus recorder for Pembrokeshire in 2008. From January 2013 to December 2020 he was the BMS Recording Network Coordinator, liaising with local fungus groups, and participating in meetings of the Field Mycology & Conservation Committee.  David’s main interest is in grassland fungi and the management and conservation of waxcap grasslands. More recently he has become actively involved in the BMS DNA barcoding programme which encourages and facilitates the use of barcoding by field groups across the UK.

Email David

Janet Quinn

Janet Quinn

General Secretary

Jan Quinn is Professor of Eukaryotic Microbiology within the Biosciences Institute at Newcastle University. Her laboratory’s primary research focus is on stress-sensing and signalling mechanisms in a range of pathogenic Candida species. In particular, they investigate how such fungal pathogens survive host-imposed stresses and how this knowledge can be exploited to identify compounds that inhibit this vital virulence trait. The group also studies bacterial-imposed antifungal stresses and how these bacterial-fungal interactions shape microbial communities relevant to human health.

More about Janet

Paul Dyer

Paul Dyer

TREASURER

Paul is Professor of Fungal Biology in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham and has longstanding experience in fungal research in the food, biotechnology and medical sectors.  He has a PhD in mycology from the University of Cambridge and received the BMS's Berkeley Award in 1999 for his outstanding contribution to mycology and pathology research. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in 2017. Paul has been a BMS member since 1987, has been a chair of the FEO and FBR Committees and has served on Council - on and off - since 1998. 

More about Paul

Matthias Brock

Matthias Brock

Chair, Publications Committee

Matthias has more than 25 years research experience on fungi with topics ranging from fungal physiology to fungal pathogenesis, natural product research and biotechnology. He started his work with Prof. Wolfgang Buckel and Reinhard Fischer at the Philipps-University Marburg (Germany), before he went to the University of Hannover (Germany) to join the Institute for Microbiology headed by Prof. Axel Brakhage. He then became group leader at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology in Jena (Germany). In 2015 he was appointed at the University of Nottingham (UK) where he continues his research with of focus on fungal NRPS-like enzymes.

More about Matthias

Dan Bebber

Dan Bebber

Chair, Fungal Biology Research Committee

Dan Bebber is Associate Professor of Ecology at the Department of Biosciences, University of Exeter. He studies the effects of climate change on plant pests and pathogens, with a particular focus on plant pathogenic fungi in agricultural crops. He has previously worked on saprotrophic fungi in forests, and is the proud winner of an Ig Nobel Prize for research into the efficiency and resilience of slime mould transport networks.

More about Dan

Mark Ramsdale

Mark Ramsdale

Chair, Fungal Education & Outreach Committee

Mark is an Associate Professor in Molecular Microbiology at the University of Exeter and is the Head of Training in Medical Mycology within the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology with responsibility for all aspects of mycology teaching from undergraduate to doctoral training.  He has a long-standing interest in all aspects of mycology from the field to the lab, with expertise in fungal programmed cell death and stress responses and the interactions of fungi with their hosts. He has been involved in many public mycology events and is a keen (and always learning) forayer.

Email Mark

Marcus Yeo

Marcus Yeo

Chair, Field Mycology & Conservation Committee

Until his retirement in 2021, Marcus Yeo spent his career working for government agencies as a nature conservationist. He has had an interest in higher plants and bryophytes since he was a teenager and has undertaken field recording in many parts of the UK. More recently his interests have expanded to include fungi, with a focus on ascomycetes.

Anthony Whalley

Anthony Whalley

International Advisor

Anthony Whalley is Emeritus Professor at Liverpool John Moores University.  He is a graduate of Liverpool University and was awarded his DSc for Mycological Studies in 1998.  Tony's research interests include ecology, taxonomy and biotechnological activities and future potential with focus on the Xylariaceae.  He enjoys extensive international collaboration especially in China and Southeast Asia, and is involved in the promotion of mycology in education and in public awareness, including government bodies. Tony is a former President, Treasurer and General Secretary of the British Mycological Society. 

Linda Seward

Linda Seward

Council Member

Linda joined the BMS as a member in February 2021. Until the pandemic, she had spent her career in magazine and book publishing, and is an internationally recognised quilt judge, lecturer, teacher and the author of 13 books on quilt making. The lockdown changed her life when she began to study the natural world in earnest, photographing and researching everything she found on daily walks. She discovered fungi in November 2020 and is now totally immersed in mycology. She runs the website and Facebook page for her local fungus group and writes articles for regional newspapers and magazines, hoping to interest newcomers to the world of fungi.