Fungal bioluminescence was first described by Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.), and continues to fascinate and puzzle scientists today. While over 100 species of fungi are known to produce luminescent mushrooms or mycelium, the chemical and genetic basis of the light-producing reaction was only recently discovered, and the reason these fungi glow remains somewhat of a mystery. Come learn about our current understanding of the evolution, ecology and biochemistry of this phenomenon. And yes, there will be lots of pictures of glowing mushrooms!
Bio: “Brian Perry is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University, East Bay. He received his Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University under the guidance of Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin, and his Ph.D. from Harvard University where he studied with Dr. Donald H. Pfister. Brian has been studying fungi since 1995, and has published over 45 papers in scientific journals. In addition to studying the evolution of fungal bioluminescence, he also conducts research on mushrooms and other fungi of Vanuatu, the assembly and biogeography of island fungal communities, endophytic fungi of Hawaiian plants, and the systematics of Mycena and allied genera. Brian teaches several mycology courses at Cal State East Bay and the Sierra Nevada Field Campus, and recently launched a Sierra Nevada Mycoflora project.”
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