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Dr Genevieve Gates

profile_gates_thumbDr Genevieve Gates
PhD student - COMPLETED

Topic: macrofungal biodiversity as a tool for the sustainable management of coarse woody debris in the forest landscape

University of Tasmania

Fungi are important in the interactions of living organisms that make up the biodiversity of a forest. However, in ecological projects, macrofungi are often ignored when assessing changes in biodiversity. Therefore it is important that a baseline be established to indicate the potential role of fungi in the dynamics of forest ecosystems and to monitor the changes effected by disturbances (both natural and artificial) to ecosystems.

My study was within the framework of the wildfire chronosequencing trial established jointly by Forestry Tasmania, the Bushfire CRC and the School of Plant Science of the University of Tasmania. The project looked at any differences in fungal communities at a macro level on the fungal communities that form an integral part of these forests.

The project involved mapping coarse woody debris on each of four plots and surveying for epixylic macrofungi. The data obtained from surveying will be valuable for long-term monitoring and landscape management decisions.

For eight years prior to starting her PhD project Genevieve was an Honorary Research Associate with the School of Plant Science studying macrofungal taxonomy. She has a special interest in the family Entolomataceae and is collaborating with Professor Tim Baroni of the State University of New York (Cortland, USA) and Dr Machiel Noordeloos from the National Herbarium of the Netherlands (Leiden, Holland). She was fortunate to receive a Holsworth Wildlife grant, which allowed her to study in Sweden for four weeks in October 2007 with Drs Nils Hallenberg and Björn Nordén, both of whom are experts in corticioid taxonomy, which is the taxonomy of a group of fungi important in wood rotting processes. Before heading to Sweden, Genevieve attended the Congress of European Mycologists in St Petersburg, Russia, where she presented her ecological work.

Two subsequent Holsworth Wildlife grants enabled Genevieve to study in New Zealand in 2008 and South America in 2009.

Read about her research in the article 'Forests full of fungi' by Kathy Grube on page 5 of the University of Tasmania publication Unitas, November 2009.



A very rare Entoloma sp. nov. which grows on sassafras wood. Genevieve found it in her Warra Old growth plot and has only found it at three other sites in Tasmania


A pink Entoloma austroroseum. found by Genevieve at the Warra Long Term Ecological Research Site

Gen Gates graduation

Genevieve at graduation, with her family