June webinar: Dr Susan Nuske

For the final webinar in this series of six, this month we are lucky enough to welcome Dr Susan Nuske, an Australian ecologist who specialises in truffles and fungal dispersal by mammals. Just a reminder, the webinars are free for paid Fungimap members (click here if you would like to join), while non-members are requested to make a donation towards running costs. Each webinar must be booked in separately via TryBooking (use link below). The webinars are held over Zoom, and Zoom links will be sent out on the day.

Tuesday 22 June 2021
11.00am – 12.00noon (AEST-Melbourne time)
Speaker: Dr Susan Nuske
Bookings here

The word ‘truffle’ can mean different things to different people. While I am a fan of the chocolate variety, I also love the many different fungal truffles from all over the world. For this lecture I will be going through what a truffle is and how they derived from mushroom or above-ground ancestors, truffle diversity and some common truffle families. I will also talk about how important truffles are as a food source, including for endangered native Australian mammals. Mammals perform a service too; they disperse truffle spores around the ecosystem. Many truffles are also symbiotic with native vegetation (ectomycorrhizal) making them a very important part of our ecosystems.

Susan Nuske’s most recent position was as a postdoctoral researcher at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Umeå, Sweden, where she investigated how fungi in the soil and in needles interact with lodgepole pine invasions. She has also recently done some lecturing as part of a truffle course at Uppsala University. She got her PhD from James Cook University in Cairns. Susan’s PhD investigated fungal dispersal by mammals, and specifically studying the endangered Northern Bettong and their unique role in dispersing a high abundance and diversity of truffles. Prior to this she got her Honours and Bachelor from the University of Queensland, majoring in Ecology and Zoology. It wasn’t until her PhD that she discovered the fascinating world of fungi!