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MSA Student Section 2013

Jun 19

Written by: SuperUser Account
6/19/2013 5:51 AM 

During this year’s annual meeting in Austin TX, the Mycological Society of America will continue to develop its Student Section. This student-run group within the MSA has as its goal to facilitate communication among students of the Society as well as provide opportunities for them to network with other students in their own fields and beyond. It will also be valuable in stimulating future collaborative research among student members of MSA, involved in different areas of study. The Student Section is open and inclusive, welcoming the participation of all students in strengthening this group. We look forward to your participation in our mixer and hope you can also join us at our future events.


The Student Section was initiated in Fairbanks 2011 and launched in 2012 at the annual MSA meeting in New Haven CT. The very first Student Section event in 2012 was a professional development workshop led by Harvard University mycology professor Anne Pringle: Using fungi to get a job. At New Haven 2012, we organized a mentorship pairing where all interested MSA students were assigned a senior mycologist serving as their mentor for the duration of the New Haven meeting. We plan to organize another mentor-mentee pairing in East Lansing, MI during MSA’s annual meeting in 2014.

Upcoming events


At the 2013 APS-MSA Joint Meeting in Austin, we plan to host a mixer social event for MSA students at Max’s Wine Dive from 6:00pm to 7:00pm on Monday August 12, 2013  (Max’s Wine Dive 207 San Jacinto Blvd). This location is two blocks away from the Hilton Hotel and the Austin Convention Center. Food and complementary refreshments will be provided. Come join us!


On Tuesday, August 13 at MSA Austin, we are presenting a poster about the Student Section. The poster viewing, with authors present, will be
held at the Tuesday poster session from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. Stop by, introduce yourself, and check out our poster.

Board meeting no. 1

Any student who is member of the Mycological Society of America automatically becomes a member of the Student Section and is more than welcome at Board Meetings of the Student Section. The Student Section will organize its first official Board Meeting concurrently with this year’s APS-MSA Joint Meeting. Time and location: Tuesday, Aug. 13, 12-12:45pm in Hilton room 401

During this Board Meeting, we will discuss administrative business and introduce student candidates running for office. Please contact us via students.msa[at]gmail.com if you want to join us at the Board Meeting or nominate anyone for office on the MSA Student Section’s Executive Board.

Engaging graduate students (and faculty!)

The MSA Student Section proposes a multi-faceted solution using new technology and social media to create digital resources that engage graduate students while increasing their access to electronic information. At MSA Austin, we plan to implement an electronic poster invitation software program (PotterTM), which can help increase successful networking; it provides incentive for students to identify potential mentors and prepare their research dissemination strategy in advance.

An important aspect in our continuously changing world is the social media – Facebook, Twitter, and others – and their use in our field of mycology. Active incorporation of social media such as Facebook and Twitter at MSA would be helpful in increasing student engagement and collaboration, and in notifying students and providing them with first-hand information. Social media platforms have been shown to serve as functional tools during conferences in other fields, so why not in mycology?

Visit our Facebook page and Twitter feed!

Diversity and cross-pollination

We, members of the Executive and Non-executive Board of MSA’s Student Section, all graduate students, have been working throughout the past two years to shape the group’s basic structure. So far, we represent diverse research topics, but there’s always room for more. We study patterns and processes shaping ectomycorrhizal fungal ecology; plant-microbial interaction genomics; fungi, ecosystems and global change; physiology of filamentous fungi; interactions between insects, fungi and plants; mechanisms of aging and communication within filamentous fungal networks; and as for myself, I study Laboulbeniales parasites, with special interest to taxonomy and general biology.

Current MSA students are working in these and many other fields of study. Future students will be exploring new areas, such as medical mycology, state-of-the-art developments in the field of fungal pathogenesis, and industrial mycology. The funny thing is that many of these different topics can be linked to each other. Communication, collaboration, and cross-pollination can help us all to develop our MSA student culture.

We appreciate your involvement in the continuation of the MSA Student Section and look forward to meeting all of you in Austin!

This article was originally written for Inoculum, volume 64 (3).


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