Topics For Independent Mycology Research

Today at the mycology reading group, @glyph and I discussed the past cycle of eleven meetings, and our hopes for the next cycle.

One thing we discussed, was to explore possible “themes” through mini-series or research topics that we might go into more depth with, even at some point coming up with a research question that we could use to guide the reading group, and see if we could someday write an independent paper and get it published (even if the question were a small one).

I’m starting this thread to share possible ideas/questions/topics, others are welcome to share as well and/or to join for the future reading groups & research.

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One topic we discussed was Compost.

I was thinking, one nice thing about compost, is we could both probably have access to a compost. Could be interesting to somehow measure what we put into the compost (banana peels etc.) and somehow take samples to see what fungi grow, or even what “community assemblies” occur in the compost over time.

This also inspired by concern/question if a yard compost pile has any chance of breeding some super fungi that could actually harm the local ecosystem (perhaps remote, but I’m curious !)

Haven’t done a search yet to see what other compost research people have done, I’d imagine there’s a lot, but I’d also guess it’s mostly oriented around farms and compost centers, not individual homes.

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Another thing I find interesting about Compost is it’s a sort of unique anthropocene ecosystem — without global supply chains, fungi and bacteria would be hard-pressed to find a place with the specific combos of plants and materials you might find in a modern compost. But perhaps it shares similarities to other things you do find (dead animals, decomposing wood)

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