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2017 Sir Julian Huxley Lecture


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Fungi in the Oceans deep

Professor Tom Richards
Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at the University of Exeter

Tom Richards is a Royal Society University Research Fellow, an EMBO Young Investigator, a Professor of Evolutionary Genomics at the University of Exeter and a 2017 Miller Visiting Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His interests include the diversity and evolution of eukaryotic microbes. His work focuses on the role of endosymbiosis and horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of the eukaryotes and understanding how the vast diversity of microbial forms fit on to the tree of life. He lives in Devon with his wife and two children

6.00pm Thursday 2 November 2017
Linnean Society, London, UK

The meeting is open to visitors and wine will be served after the lecture to members and guests


The Fungi is a hugely diverse kingdom made up mainly of microbial forms. A large diversity of fungi dominates many terrestrial environments such as soil, leaf litter and plant associated environments, forming key interactions with plants as both friend and foe. One of their chief functions on land is to decompose and recycle biological material. In contrast, the diversity and function of fungi in the oceans is largely a mystery. Yet the process of biological decomposition in the marine system is a key factor in understanding global biogeochemical cycles and carbon storage. In this talk I will discuss recent data demonstrating that aquatic environments host a huge diversity of fungal-like organisms and show our approaches for investigating the role of fungi in the marine system, including the development of new approaches for exploring deep-sea environments.

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