Prof Lynne Boddy - PhD, DSc
Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 74776
Fax:+44 (0)29 208 74116
Location:Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Education and Outreach
As part of my continuing outreach activities, I was again a prime mover in the British Mycological Society (BMS) display in the continuous learning section of the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea show. Following our Silver Gilt in 2008, this year we achieved the coveted gold for our exhibit ‘Out of Sight Out of Mind’. Our message was that fungi, though hidden, are crucial to the functioning of the terrestrial ecosystems of this planet, being:
(1) the major agents of decomposition;
(2) mycorrhizal with 85% of plants; and
(3) the non-photosynthesising partner in lichens.
As decomposers they make nutrients available for continued plant growth. As mycorrhizas they directly supply plants with water and mineral nutrients, e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus. As lichens they are the main primary producers in some extreme environments, including lichen-heath in the tundra, where they form the main vegetation type.
As well as being a hit with the judges, the display received wide acclaim from the public, and the 3.5 min TV slot on the importance of fungi and interview with Alan Titchmarsh, and several radio interviews spread the message nationwide. Further, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spent 7 or 8 minutes viewing the display and discussing the importance of fungi to our planet, as well as considering culinary delights
Lynne Boddy displaying the Gold Certificate in one hand and a celebratory fungal product in the other
It is difficult to see how we can top this success. Next year the BMS is joining with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) to put on a huge exhibition on all aspects of fungi that are important to natural ecosystems and to man, in the new RBGE exhibition centre, lasting for 4-5 months. We are hoping this exhibition will then travel to other venues in Britain and even Europe, including to South Wales.