I am an Assistant Professor of Biology at Acadia University, studying the taxonomy and ecology of fungal endophytes of coastal and marine plants. Research in the Walker lab includes field collecting in coastal habitats (seagrass, saltmarsh, intertidal, Acadian forest) and traditional culture-based and microscopic identification of fungi, combined with modern molecular systematic and phylogenetic methods, DNA community fingerprinting, ITS barcoding, qPCR probe design and genomics. Recent collaborative projects have discovered a new fungal species Ophiognomonia acadiensis and a new source of the antifungal compound griseofulvin, both from the Acadian forest. I welcome inquiries from students interested in pursuing Honours or Master’s research in coastal plant-fungal interactions, marine mycology or fungal community ecology on the Bay of Fundy. Come explore and help document this fascinating and little-known component of Canada’s biodiversity, where many discoveries await!

saltmarsh fungi

Saprotrophic marine fungi on saltmarsh plant Spartina alterniflora. A. Ascospores of Phaeosphaeria halima. B. Ascospore of Mycosphaerella species I. C. Ascospore of Buergenerula spartinae. D. Ascospore of Mycosphaerella species II. E. Ascospores of Mycosphaerella sp. I. Young hyaline ascospore at left, on right older germinating ascospore is turning brown. F–L. Saprotrophic marine fungi on Juncus roemerianus. F. Ascoma and asci with ascospores of Massarina ricifera, the dominant saprotroph on J. roemerianus. G. Asci and ascospores of Massarina ricifera. H. Squash mount showing asci and ascospores of Leptosphaeria sp. I. Ascospores of Leptosphaeria sp. J. Squash mount of ascoma of Phaeosphaeria roemeriani. K. Ascospores of Phaeosphaeria roemeriani. L. Ascospores of Anthostomella poecila.

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