What’s in a Name? Understanding nomenclature and name changes with Patrick Leacock PhD

Our current system of naming started 267 years ago with Carl Linnaeus. He gave us Agaricus (gilled fungi) and Boletus (pored fungi) and nine other genus names for 89 species of fungi.

Later, Fries and Persoon and others published lots more scientific names. The proliferation of names got messy. So 177 years ago folks started developing rules for using names that became a code for nomenclature. Today we have about 100,000 species with more named every year. We will look at scientific names and the basic requirements for their publication. Examples will show the various reasons for names to change; splitting and lumping and splitting is common for genera and species.

Patrick is a mycologist documenting the mushrooms of the Chicago Region. He teaches botany and mycology at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He assists with forays and programs for the Illinois Mycological Association. He started his mushroom activities with the Minnesota Mycological Society before moving to Chicago. Patrick ran the Voucher Program for 20 years with the North American Mycological Association. Visit Patrick’s website at www.mycoguide.com where he is trying to keep up with some of the name changes.


Catherine Lambrecht
IMA Events Chair

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