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It’s been raining for the last couple of days. With a touch of humidity. Perfect weather for fungi spotting.

Observed these ink caps in a flower bed on campus.

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A troupe of orange-brown mushrooms on a fallen tree trunk. The tree fell in a destructive summer storm in November 2014. The fungi mycelium must have colonised the wood rather quickly (I’m presuming as 6 months seems rather quick for a fungus to infiltrate a tree trunk and produce fruiting bodies – mushrooms). 



























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I partook of a bit of weekend fungi spotting on Saturday 28 February – while hanging out the washing and going for a late afternoon walk along a country road. I spotted some large pale brown mushroom-like specimens and pulled one out of the ground with a twig (I’m always cautious of touching fungal specimens with my bare hands). The specimen was quiet mature with greeny-grey spores leaving a smudge on the adjacent mushroom. I’m unsure what genus and species the specimens were, but I’m going to read some fungal identification books and websites to try and identify the specimens.

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biodiversity

An interesting post from one of my science communication classmates on biodiversity.

mining 4 science

Biodiversity Loss


B integrifolia 08 3 (2) B integrifolia 08 1 (2) B integrifolia 08 2 (2)

Biodiversity loss – what is all the fuss about? Perhaps the best place to start is through defining what biodiversity is and what it means across spectrums of environment and human society.  According to the Australian Museum, biodiversity refers to the variety of life, specifically:

“It is the variety of all living things; plants, animals and micro organisms, the genetic information they contain and the ecosystems they form. Biodiversity is usually explored at three levels – genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. These three levels work together to create the complexity of life on Earth.”

Australia has a high level of endemic biodiversity and is one of seventeen countries described as being ‘megadiverse’. This means that for only a small proportion of the globe’s surface (less than 10%), more than 70% of biological diversity is supported.

Over the last 200 years Australia’s biodiversity has suffered the…

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Coming Out as a Scientist

Lipstick On My Lab Coat

I just read a very interesting article by Tom Welton, a Professor of Sustainable Chemistry at Imperial College London, in the Guardian – Gay Prejudice? It’s not easy admitting you’re a scientist. Certainly raises a few points around LGBT scientists coming out to the LGBT community and seeming disinterest in science within that community. Out LGBT scientists are just as important role models as out out LGBT sports people, musicians, artists and activists. LGBT youth interested in science need to see that there are people like them that have chosen careers in science.

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A fascinating article and photo gallery of female Nobel Prize Winners – Women Nobel Prize Winners: 16 Women Who Defied Odds To Win Science’s Top Award (PHOTOS)

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