Matthew Nelsen, Research Scientist at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago
Join us for an introduction to the world of lichens, symbiotic associations between fungi and algae. Learn more about those bright splashes of color on rocks and trees, the "reindeer moss" along the side of the road, and the "old man's beard" hanging from trees. We’ll discuss the biology and diversity of the lichen symbiosis; the roles lichens play in ecosystem functioning and how lichens are used to monitor air quality and forest health. You will gain an appreciation for the abundance and diversity of these often-overlooked associations!