Mysterious, magical world of fungi explored in free public science lecture

October 16, 1997 - 5:00pm

Mushrooms, toadstools and fungi will be put under a microscope in a free public lecture, Wednesday, October 22, at Malaspina University-College.

The lecture takes place at 7 p.m. in the Student Services lecture theatre, room 203, building 200.

World-renowned mycologist Dr. Bryce Kendrick will explore the vast, mysterious world of fungi, which are more than mushrooms and consist of hundreds of thousands of species, most of which are microscopic. Fewer than 10 per cent of them have ever been described.

This illustrated talk details the myriad ways fungi interact with other life-forms, including humans.

Fungi are the prime decomposers of plant debris. They are parasites and symbionts of plants and animals. They are flavourers and spoilers of human and animal food. And they are important producers of biochemicals such as antibiotics and immunosuppressants.

Dr. Kendrick, based in Sidney, B.C., is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He speaks at universities and natural history societies in Europe, Asia and North America.

He has introduced students of all ages to the wonders of science for more than 32 years.

His mycology textbookThe Fifth Kingdom has been adopted by university biology departments throughout North America.

Kendrick is also the author of A Young Person's Guide to the Fungi, an introductory book for aspiring young biologists and educators. Between speaking engagements and writing, Dr. Kendrick performs research with his two University of Victoria graduate students and is a director of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society.

The lecture is presented as a public service by Malaspina University-College Science and Technology department and the Mid-Island Science, Technology and Innovation Council.

A reception with refreshments will follow the lecture.

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