Councilor in Systematics/Evolution Nominee
Alija Mujic is in his fifth year as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Biology at California State University, Fresno. He is broadly trained in many aspects of mycology and my particular areas of research interest are in fungal systematics, ecology, and genomics/transcriptomics. He has worked with several lineages of fungi, but his area of particular interest is the evolutionary biology of ectomycorrhizal symbioses, with the genus Rhizopogon being his particular taxon of focus. Alija utilizes molecular genetic techniques in his research to characterize the systematics, biochemistry, and ecological interactions of fungi in both in-vitro culture and the natural environment. He earned an undergraduate degree in computer science with the expressed intention of using this knowledge through his graduate education and research career. Today, his research and teaching programs at Fresno State are intrinsically linked to computational biology, and he routinely works with both Sanger sequence data as well as large next-generation sequence datasets in his research and teaching.
Alija has been an active member of the MSA since 2011, when he attended his first MSA meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, as a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Joseph Spatafora at Oregon State University. Since that time, he has been continuously impressed with the warm, egalitarian, and supportive community represented by the MSA. His own career has been indelibly shaped by the interactions and advice he has received as a member of this community. The MSA continues to play a pivotal role in the development of his graduate students as well as his own research and teaching programs. He is excited to serve as a councilor of systematics/evolution to the MSA so that he might return some of the support he has received from this community and also to help build the future of the society that it may continue to serve many future generations of mycologists.