CANCELED —Lichens 101 with Manuela Dal Forno


In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19, Brookhaven College is canceling the use of meeting space for groups. We regret that we are not able to hold our April NTMN meeting due to this understandable and sensible restriction. We will reschedule our speaker on lichens, Dr. Manuela Dal Forno, on a later date. Please review the links below and do a little self-study on the topic. Stay safe, everyone!

ALSO NOTE — NTMN-sponsored volunteer and training activities have been suspended through March 20th. Please contact all activity organizers before attending any event. Monitor our calendar page for updates as they become available:

Our presenter for April is Manuela Dal Forno, aka Manu, a research botanist at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT). In this presentation, you will learn what lichens are and what they are not, how to identify them, where to look for them, and so much more.

Lichens are complex symbiotic systems formed by a main fungal partner (the mycobiont), a green algal and/or a cyanobacterial partner (the photobiont), along with a diverse community of microorganisms formed primarily of bacteria and fungi (the microbiome). Lichenization is a fungal lifestyle, based on nutritional strategy, which has evolved multiple times throughout the fungal tree of life. There are approximately 20,000 species of lichenized fungi recognized so far and many more yet to be discovered.

After the program, you will get a chance to discuss more about lichens with a hands-on display and ask any further questions that may come up as you interact with the scientist and real lichen samples. You are encouraged to bring local lichens and hand lenses to view samples more closely.

For a preview of her research, check out her website and this 3-minute video.

For more information on local lichens, check out this iNaturalist page and BRIT’s Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States.

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