Entomopathogenic Fungi of Eastern North America

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Date(s) - Sunday, March 17, 2024
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Biotech Without Borders

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A talk about the world’s creepiest fungi

Discover a niche evolutionary group of fungi that infect and kill insects, resulting in incredible ecological interactions and beautiful, almost sculptural fruiting bodies. This may sound exotic, but over the last three years Rowan Nygard has found 15 undescribed species in Southeastern Pennsylvania and further south in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. The most rewarding part of it for him has been teaching others how to get out into their backyards and find these incredible organisms. Come hear his talk and learn where to look for them!

About the speaker

Rowan Nygard grew up exploring the creeks and forests around the Eno River State Park in Durham, North Carolina. There he found a deep appreciation of nature, and a desire to know more about the natural world around him. This search led him to a career in horticulture, and to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the Professional Horticulture Program at Longwood Gardens and hopes to bring his skillset to the gardens and ecosystems of Southern Appalachia. During this process of discovery, he has immersed himself in the study of ecology, with a focus on mycology and the ways that plants, animals, and fungi interact. He is a passionate citizen scientist and educator and hopes to demystify the world of ecology so that everyone can see deeper into the natural world around them.