By SuperUser Account on
9/30/2013 11:54 AM
This summer a number of peregrine mycologists gathered at the MSA-APS Joint Meeting
in Austin, Texas. The local weather was more than warm - traveling outside was like walking through an overheated, humid incubator full of thermophilic Candida. But once inside the conference center, the air conditioned halls lichened to a giant walk-in fridge, creating a chilled and pleasant environment for communicating all things Mycology.
It was my first time attending MSA, and from what I’ve been told, the joint conference was much larger than typical MSA meetings. It was impossible to attend everything of interest, such that I wished I was more fungal in nature, capable of asexual reproduction via breaking, becoming several smaller individuals and dispersing to more talks simultaneously. The following are highlights of some of the symposia and events I was able to witness in my entirety.
Early afternoon on Sunday, August 11th found me in the Technical Session on Fungal Molecular Systematics and Evolution, moderated by David Hibbett
. I discovered that I may be able to impress people at parties by referring to wood as “lignocellulose”, and that the phrase “rot plots” exists. I also learned about new techniques for examining fossil fungi, that perylene is just one of many fungal biomarkers, and soft rot is relatively common in extreme environments. That evening, two labmates and I ventured to Amy’s Ice Cream, an ice cream parlor whose shtick is throwing ice cream at their guests. I successfully caught not only the small sample spoon, but also a scoop of ice cream thrown across two lanes of traffic, at night, and was awarded my ice cream free of charge.