The Project

MIND.Funga comprises scientific concerns that lead us to develop research of short- and long- term, mainly from unexplored and threatened areas. For that, we use an integrative approach (systematics, phylogeny, taxonomy, ecology, metagenomics, etc.) in our studies with macro- and microfungi. In general, our research objects are wood associated fungi, as polypores (Hymenochaetales and Polyporales), which play an important role in the maintenance of natural ecosystems. We also have interest in the Cordyceps s.l. (Hypocreales), a fantastic group of entomopathogenic organisms, which mainly use insects to develop part of their life cycle. More recently, we are devoting ourselves to the recognition of fungal communities associated with plants (endophytes) and soil, in order to understand the ecology and real magnitude of fungal diversity in the ecosystems.

Much of our studies are focused on systematics, based on molecular, morphological and ecological characters. Therefore, we use phylogenetic analysis to understand the evolutionary history of different lineages and for taxonomical species delimitation. On the other hand, we are interested in the fungi importance in ecological process, how fungi respond to climate changes and its conservation purposes.

Our activities:

1) Research exploration of unique and endangered ecosystems (cloud forests, for example) in order to document also particular funga;

2) Fungi and plants inventories, recording the species distribution and its conservation status;

3) Resolution of taxonomical complexes and description of new taxa;

4) Recognition of fungal communities across vegetation types (plants and soil), monitoring over time those funga;

5) Development and use of digital tools that assist in the identification of macrofungi, as well as for popularization of fungi and education in biology and mycology;

6) Publication and scientific diffusion of fungi novelties and curiosities.