Fungal systematics and ecology research

Our research uses morphological and molecular data in an integrated approach to understanding the diversity of New Zealand’s fungi.

Basket fungi
Image by Brendan Spragg

Our work across regional and global scales seeks to enhance understanding of New Zealand’s fungal diversity and place it in a global phylogenetic context. We apply systematic data to understanding the origin and ecology of New Zealand’s fungi, and the impacts that the diversity of these organisms have on ecosystem functioning.

Our current research 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 new endemic species, while also protecting threatened species.

Mycologists also study fungi that cause plant diseases, such as Colletotrichum on a range of horticultural crops, Botrytis on grapes, and rust fungi on native and exotic plants. We research the biogeography of New Zealand fungi.

Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research is custodian of the nationally significant collections of fungal specimens (NZ Fungarium - PDD) and of living plant-associated fungi and bacteria (International Collection of Microorganisms from Plants - ICMP).

Useful resources

NZ Fungarium

International Collection of Microorganisms from Plants

Beyond Myrtle Rust - A research programme with funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Endeavour fund

Potential supervisors

Co-appointed staff

Dr Mahajabeen Padamsee

University of Auckland staff

Associate Professor Bruce Burns
Dr Austen Ganley

Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research staff

Dr Peter Buchanan
Dr Peter Johnston
Dr Bevan Weir