Joint Graduate School in Biodiversity and Biosecurity


Fungal systematics and ecology

Find below a description of our research in this area, and a list of potential supervisers.

Research utilises both morphological and molecular data in an integrated approach to understanding the diversity of New Zealand’s fungi. Work is undertaken at both regional and global scales, increasing the understanding of New Zealand’s fungal diversity and placing this diversity in a global phylogenetic context. Systematic data is applied to understanding the origin and ecology of New Zealand’s fungi, and the impacts that the diversity of these organisms have on ecosystem functioning. Current research expertise covers both basidiomycete and ascomycete groups with wood rotting, leaf endophytic, and plant pathogenic lifestyles. With less than half New Zealand’s expected fungal diversity currently recorded, we are keen to discover endemic species new to science, while also seeking protection for those assessed as threatened.

Mycologists also study fungi that cause plant diseases, in particular Colletotrichum on a range of horticultural crops, Botrytis on grapes, and Phytophthora on a broad range of host plants including Phytophthora taxon Agathis on kauri. We also research biocontrol of weeds using pathogenic fungi and bacteria and the biogeography of New Zealand collections of the cosmopolitan species Schizophyllum commune and to describe aspects of the fungal flora of the Cook Islands. Landcare Research is custodian of the national collections of fungal specimens (NZ Fungal and Plant Disease Herbarium - PDD) and of living strains of plant-associated fungi and bacteria (Culture Collection ICMP).

Staff who conduct research in this area


University of Auckland staff

Dr Bruce Burns
Email: b.burns@auckland.ac.nz

Dr Rebekah Fuller (Te Wheke a Toi Post Doctoral Fellow)
Email: r.fuller@auckland.ac.nz

 

Landcare Research staff

Dr Stan Bellgard
Email:
bellgards@landcareresearch.co.nz

Dr Peter Buchanan
Email: buchananp@landcareresearch.co.nz

Dr Sarah Dodd
Email: dodds@landcareresearch.co.nz

Dr Peter Johnston
Email: johnstonp@landcareresearch.co.nz

Dr Eric McKenzie
Email: mckenziee@landcareresearch.co.nz

Dr Maj Padamsee
Email: padamseem@landcareresearch.co.nz

Dr Bevan Weir
Email: weirb@landcareresearch.co.nz