Nicola Day

Dr. Nicola Day is a Senior Lecturer (tenured) at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. She runs the plant and soil microbial ecology group in the School of Biological Sciences. Her research focusses on how plant and soil fungal communities are impacted by disturbance and investigating mechanisms that facilitate ecological resilience through global change. 

Dr. Day received her Ph.D. from the University of Guelph, Ontario, studying the role of root-associated fungi in plant invasions. As an NSERC postdoc at Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Dr. Day worked in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary research programme investigating the effects of wildfires on resilience in boreal forests throughout the Northwest Territories, Canada. Through this research she described effects of fires of different severity on soil fungal communities and assessed effects of heat-resistant fungi on decomposition and plant regeneration. Dr. Day then moved to Aotearoa New Zealand for a Rutherford Foundation postdoc at the Auckland University of Technology before subsequently establishing her own research group in Wellington. She has moved her attention towards plants and soil fungi in native grasslands, which are experiencing increased fire activity due to climate change.  

Dr. Day attended her first MSA meeting in 2017, where she joined the Student Section as the postdoc representative, and then attended IMC in 2018. Dr. Day began attending the Great Lakes Mycology meeting every year from 2012 until she left Canada and co-organised the meeting in 2017. Dr. Day enjoys the enthusiasm and friendliness she has experienced from other mycologists in the MSA, which stimulated her to join the Australasian Mycological Society, the Fungal Network of New Zealand, and the organising committee for ICOM 2026. She is in the middle of her second term as an elected councillor of the New Zealand Ecological Society where she serves as the awards convenor. Dr. Day would be honoured to serve the MSA as councillor to aid the global reach of MSA’s goals.