On September 22-23, the Alfred P Sloan Foundation sponsored a workshop at UC Berkeley entitled: Workshop to advance fungi in the built environment. It was the second workshop the Foundation sponsored to strengthen specific areas within their Microbiology of the Built Environment, the first workshop being on Building Science that Brent Stephens wrote about previously.
The workshop offered a chance for Sloan-funded researchers to meet with a larger community of researchers and practitioners to discuss various topics with one common denominator: fungi. The workshop centered around speakers with some time for discussion. The agenda is below, and many speakers have made their slides available for viewing.
[Have people heard there are two new described fungal species out there: Penicillium alfredii and Aspergillus sloanii?!]
Meredith Blackwell – Fungi in the built environment: next steps
Fungi and fungal products indoors:
Robert Samson – New insights into the biodiversity and ecology of the indoor mycobiota
Birgitte Andersen – Chaetomium and Stachybotrys indoors and their metabolites
Olaf Adan – On water and indoor fungi
Fungi and health:
Joan Bennett – Bad air and good air revisited
Tiina Reponen – Findings on Fungi and Health in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS)
Karen Dannemiller – Fungi: A link between the built environment and childhood asthma
David Hibbett – Phyloinformatics of Fungi in the built (and other) environment(s)
Henrik Nilsson – NGS and molecular identification of fungi
Mark Golembiewski – Environmental sampling and analysis
Lynn Schriml – Genomic metadata standards pertinent to fungi in the built environment
The workshop was a great opportunity to hear from a variety of researchers from all over the world who study fungi from many different perspectives. Based on the presentations, we identified several key areas in need of development. We’ll flush out these areas in the months ahead.
- The unrecognized negative and positive health effects of fungi
- Sampling fungi: including, identifying the nature of the material (fragment, spore), identifying indoor/outdoor derived taxa, knowing and recording key metadata
- Databases: metabolites, volatiles, taxonomy, and phylogeny
- Fungal physiological responses to conditions representative of the built environment