SPS Colloquium: Mucoromycota

Thursday, May 4, 2023, 9am – 10 am EDT via Zoom


Alicia Kock

I am a doctoral candidate at the North-West University in South Africa. I am a part of the research group that focuses on Environmental Microbiology and Agricultural Biotechnology. My research interest is on Environmental Mycology. At the moment, I am working on diversity of early divergent fungi (Mucoromycota) and drivers influencing their distribution and abundance.

Nicole Reynolds

As a postdoc in Dr. Teresa Palowska’s lab at Cornell University, I have been studying communities of Mucoromycota fungi and their bacterial endosymbionts. Our sampling locations include four sites in California within the Desert and Mediterranean biomes. Previously, I obtained my PhD from the University of Florida under the supervision of Dr. Matt Smith, studying Zoopagomycota fungi which are close relatives of Mucoromycota.

Synmycanthrosium: Symposium Submissions Open

Dr. Tom Volk (front left) was an inspiration to generations of mycologists, author of Tom Volk’s Fungi, and a beloved member of the UW-La Crosse biology faculty (pictured).


A Symposium in Honor of the Mycological Life of Dr. Tom Volk 


We are currently welcoming submission of abstracts for presentations at the Synmycanthrosium  (“Together-fungus-people-place”) to be held at UW-La Crosse May 21–22, 2023. This symposium will honor Dr. Volk’s profound and enduring scientific impacts in the field of mycology and beyond. The symposium agenda is available here

  • Submissions should focus on work that was carried out in collaboration with Dr. Volk or that has been informed by his findings or example. This could include, for example, if Dr. Volk was a role model or inspiration to you.
  • Descriptions of work in progress, presentations of new results, and retrospectives of previous work are all welcome.
  • Poster presentations and short talks (15 min.) are available.
  • Student researchers whose studies have been inspired by Dr. Volk are especially encouraged to apply. 
  • Amateur mycologists who wish to disseminate their findings to a scientific audience are welcome to submit, either individually or as an organization. 
  • Abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length and should clearly articulate Dr. Volk’s influence on the work, be it intellectual, personal, direct, or indirect. 

Abstracts should be submitted online.  Detailed instructions for abstract submission are available at the submission site. 

The deadline for abstract submissions is 11:59 p.m. on April 14, 2023 (original deadline has been extended).  Applicants will be informed of the status of their abstract by April 24, 2023.  We expect to be able to accommodate all poster presentations; slots for oral presentations are limited and will be chosen on the basis of their articulated relationship to Dr. Volk’s work and with the goal of creating a thematically broad program.  Applicants who are not selected for a talk will be assigned a poster presentation. 

Please note that submitting an abstract does not automatically register you for the conference. You must register separately. Registration and travel information is available here. Note that there is a discount for registration by April 14, 2023. Opportunities for sponsors or exhibitors are forthcoming. 

Please email Dr. Alder Yu (ayu@uwlax.edu) with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in La Crosse! 

MSA SPS 2023 Art contest

The Mycological Society of America (MSA) – Student and Postdoc Section is excited to announce our annual Fungal Art Contest open to ALL members of the MSA community (students, post-docs, professors and fungal enthusiasts). Moreover, to raise awareness of the importance of elevating diversity in mycology, MSA SPS has partnered with MSA-Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and have created two separate entries for the 2023 Art contest (see below).  

Goal: The winning design(s) will be featured on this year’s MSA-SPS merchandise which will be sold at the MSA 2023 annual conference and on our online swag store (bonfire). All proceeds from this sale will be used for student recruitment and to fund the MSA-SPS student membership scholarship. 

Theme: Elevating Mycology

Submissions: Open from March 1st – May 12th 2023

Winners will be announced in the end of May 2023

Submit your designs to this Google Form

Award: Winners will be given a $50 dollar gift card or one item of their choice with their design. Furthermore, the winners artwork will be this year’s MSA-SPS design and will be showcased in our booth at the 2023 MSA conference in Arizona. 

Rules and expectations for the competition:

Open to all artists (students, professors, postdoc) and fungal enthusiast

The artwork has to be an original piece

  1. Art categories 
    1. MSA-SPS 
      • Open design (Feel free to be creative and depict any of your favorite things about mycology)
      • Two submission options
        • Color limited (<4 colors)
        • Color unlimited (express yourself)
    2. MSA-SPS & DEI: Importance of diversity for mycology and the mycological society
      • Design must include artwork depicting the importance of diversity to mycology. 
      • Two submission options
        • Color limited (<4 colors)
        • Color unlimited (express yourself)
  2. Method of entry: Art submission can be made here
    1. File name: CategoryName_YourName_ArtPieceTitle.pdf
    2. Please include a small description of your art piece during submission
      • Please upload a high-resolution image of your artwork
      • Ensure images are in full color (see specifications below), not blurry, and artwork should be signed. 
  3. Requirements: 
    1. Design should be your original artwork.
    2. Submissions should be made as a single pdf file. 
      • Please note that there are 2 categories per section, one category is color limited (< 4 colors). This design will be used for multiple items including t-shirts, sweaters, totes, etc. 
      • The second category is color unlimited and can include as many colors as the artist desires. If selected, this design will be used for smaller items, such as cups, stickers, notebooks, magnets etc.  
      • If your design is selected as the winning design, the design should then be submitted as a final “.svg” file (more information will be provided to the winner)
  4. Winners will be announced at the end of May 2023
    1. If selected as the winner, submit a picture and small bio to include in Inoculum and to have on our booth at MSA 2023 conference. 
    2. The winners will produce finished art according to the specifications in the entry call. 
      • Artwork will not be altered in any way without the artist’s express permission.

All entries and rights to the artwork remain the property of the artist unless a separate written transfer and payment for the original has been negotiated, but we have the right to use the image for merchandise, as stated above. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our merchandise chair, 

Fabiola  Pulido-Chavez at mpuli011@ucr.edu 

MSA SPS 2023-2024 Exec Board Nominations

Are you a student or postdoc studying mycology who is interested in serving on the executive board of the Student and Postdoc Section of the Mycological Society of America? We are looking for nominees for the upcoming 2023-2024 board. If you are interested in a position please read about them and their responsibilities here (https://msastudents.org/student-section-bylaws/) and fill out this nomination form! In addition to working with your peers, elected members have their MSA membership fee waived. 

Self nominations are encouraged. You can be nominated for more than one position, but can only be elected to one. 

  • Send any questions to MSA Student section email (students.msa@gmail.com)
  • Nominees will be contacted before elections are opened

We look forward to hearing from you!

Deadline for nominations is May 12th at 11:59 pm PST.

Nomination form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeEZraDnRcNUKz4tXwpJfJ8Y8vbGCWarFb9Fn6IF9NfrOdkvQ/viewform?usp=sharing 

Symposium 3/28: The Last of Us? Science, Fiction, and Fungi

Link to the recording: https://youtu.be/4hpIo6IoL-o

Date: March 28, 2023

Time: 1:00 PM EDT

Location: Zoom (link in attached file)

Presenters: Matt Kasson, PhD, Bridget Marie Barker, PhD, and João Araújo, PhD

Description: The MSA SPS is hosting a symposium over Zoom on 3/28 at 1:00 pm Eastern focusing on mycology in the context of the hit show The Last of Us. Join us as Matt Kasson, PhD, Bridget Marie Barker, PhD, and João Araújo, PhD present their views on arthropod-associated fungi and real-world fungal pathogens. How do fungi pathogens actually interact with insects? How is coccidioidomycosis, a real-world pathogen, expanding its range in response to climate change? Tune in to Zoom on Tuesday 3/28 for a mycologist’s perspective!

Link to the recording: https://youtu.be/4hpIo6IoL-o