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Fire Lovers and Body Snatchers: How Fungi Survive Fires, Friday, February 1

Brandon Matheny, associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology will present “Fire Lovers and Body Snatchers: How Fungi Survive Fires” Friday, February 1.

Some fungi have a unique response to forest fires. These so-called ‘pyrophilous fungi’ can literally carpet the forest floor with fruiting structures, like mushrooms, following a major fire event, then disappear. Little is known, however, about the response of fungi and how post-fire fungal diversity is maintained in eastern North American systems. Professor Brandon Matheny will share results from a review of the literature that summarizes post-fire taxonomic diversity with an emphasis on species that appeared literally from the ashes after the 2016 fires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and present several hypotheses that could explain the maintenance of fungal diversity in post-fire systems.

The UT Science Forum takes place Friday, February 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thompson-Boling Arena Cafe (located at 1600 Phillip Fulmer Way), Room A.

Guests are encouraged to bring their lunch or purchase it from the arena. Each presentation is followed by a Q&A. The event is free and open to the public.

We have temporary parking passes available for our guests who do not have UT parking passes. An RSVP is required for the pass. To request a pass, please email Amanda Womac. If you would like to receive a permit by US mail in advance of the meeting, please send an email before 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 29 and include your mailing address.