Diversity, ecology of fungi topic of Jan. 15 ‘Science Café’

January 2nd, 2013

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Learn how large fungi can grow and what types eat insects at the Florida Museum of Natural History’s first “Science Cafe” of the spring series Jan. 15.

The event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Chef Brothers Custom Catering, 5240 NW 34th St., (across from the YMCA), includes a limited menu for participants. Guest speaker Matthew E. Smith, assistant professor with the University of Florida department of plant pathology will discuss “Fungus Among Us: Knowing the Diversity and Ecology of Fungi.”

“In general, people know very little about fungi,” Smith said. “Fungi constitute a big chunk of diversity on the planet. There are estimated to be more than 5 million species.”

This is the second year of the program in which community members and guest speakers gather at local establishments or the museum to discuss contemporary science issues over food.

“Having it in an informal setting as opposed to a lecture hall makes it a social occasion,” said Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum’s Center for Science Learning. “We really want to offer a variety of topics for participants to learn about and discuss.”

To help plan for these free programs, please RSVP at least one week in advance of the café date with your name and the number attending by emailing aerickson@flmnh.ufl.edu or calling Amanda Harvey, 352-273-2062.

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Source: Betty Dunckel, bdunckel@flmnh.ufl.edu, 352-273-2088
Writer: Kate Schofield, kschofield@flmnh.ufl.edu
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu