Are we Prepared for the Zombie (Fungi) Apocalypse?
Zombie fungi are a group of ascomycetes, all formerly in the genus Cordyceps, that parasitize insects (and a few other organisms). The fungi often alter the behaviour of the insects, to the benefit of the fungi, essentially turning the insects into ‘zombies’ under the control of the fungi. Though zombie fungi are best known from tropical and subtropical ecosystems, there are a number of species known from BC, and from Clayoquot Sound. These zombi fungi are the basis of the popular video game, and subsequent television series, ‘The Last of Us’.
About our Speaker: Dr. Andy MacKinnon is a forest ecologist who lives in Metchosin BC. His fields of study include BC’s native plants, fungi and lichens. Andy is co-authorof Mushrooms of British Columbia , and of six field guides to plants of western North America. He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University, and past President of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society. Andy is going on the 11th year of co-teaching RES’s “Mushrooms of the West Coast’ with the RES.