In terms of species numbers and ubiquity, rust fungi are an incredibly successful lineage. Together, the more than 7000 described species form the largest known group of plant pathogens, while also having incredibly complex life cycles. This talk will explore the biology of these fascinating organisms and discuss the contributions that molecular systematics have made to our understanding of their evolution.
Dr. M. Catherine Aime earned her doctorate in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2001 and completed her postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. She worked for four years as a research molecular biologist with the USDA-ARS, Systematic Botany and Mycology Lab in Beltsville, MD and then four years at Louisiana State University, before moving to Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, as Professor of Mycology and Director of the Arthur and Kriebel Herbaria. The Aime Lab at Purdue researches the systematics, evolution, and genomics of early diverging basidiomycetes and tropical fungi. Cathie is a Fellow of the Mycological Society of America, the Explorer’s Club, and the Linnaean Society of London; a former officer of the Mycological Society of America and Managing Editor of their journal, Mycologia; and a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and recipient of the Purdue Agricultural Research Award.