The Mycology Research Project aims to train citizen scientists to:

  • study, research and contribute data on the taxonomy and ecosystem function of Queensland fungi
  • raise awareness about the benefits of mycology (the studying of fungi)
  • make this science easily accessible to the Queensland community.

You can learn a variety of field and laboratory techniques from expert mycologists to harness and understand the power of fungi through:

Participants using magnifying glasses and digital microscopes

  • surveying
  • collection of species
  • isolation
  • identification
  • cultivation
  • data collection and recording
  • experimental applications of beneficial fungi in the field and nurseries
  • product development using fungi

Spiral-shaped mushroomFungi play critical roles in the functioning of healthy ecosystems

  • driving nutrient cycling
  • providing food for a variety of wildlife
  • maintaining the health of plants and
  • sequestering carbon into soils.

However, fungi are one of the least studied groups of organisms in Australia.

The total estimated number of fungi occurring in Australia is at around 250,000 species with only about 5% described so far. Fungi are often not considered in fauna and flora surveys, and mycology as a degree has not been provided in Australian universities since the 70s. Yet fungi are primary indicators of ecosystem health and offer tremendous solutions to pollution clean-up, ecological restoration, food security and climate change.

Woodfordia Inc. has a strong focus on community education and citizen science, collaborating with the Queensland Mycological Society (QMS), Soil C Quest and the Australasian Mycological Society in delivering the project, to develop

  • Opportunities to study mycology
  • Programs in applied mycology
  • Deeper understanding of the role of beneficial fungi in ecosystems
  • Application of fungi to restore degraded landscapes

Scientific drawing activity

All activities will take place at Woodfordia and other selected sites and will include:

  • Educational presentations
  • Fungal forays
  • Recording of data in the field
  • Botanical photography
  • Specimen identification, preparation for submission to the Qld Herbarium
  • Recording collection details and submission to iNaturalist
Button mushroom spores x400 magnification

Button mushroom spores at 400 times magnification

Laboratory safety and techniques

  • safety and personal protection equipment
  • sterile laboratory techniques
  • safe chemical usage
  • media preparation methods
  • planning and construction of DIY laboratory

Fungal study techniques

  • microscopy
  • isolation of fungi from decaying wood and plants
  • culturing techniques

Gills of button mushroom viewed through a digital microscope

Experimental methodologies

  • hypothesis testing
  • experimental design
  • data gathering, recording and presentation methods
  • data assessment and statistical analysis

Growth trials and documentation in:

  • microcosms, Petri dishes and terrariums
  • nursery pots
  • field studies

Field foray

Improved awareness of citizen science in mycological studies

    • Easily accessible communication and data sharing for citizen science projects
    • Growing citizen scientist community through collaboration with scientists
    • Engaging scientists with citizen scientists during training in gathering data using scientific methods
    • Applying scientific methodologies and equipment in the study of fungi by citizen scientists
    • Understanding of the role of fungi in land restoration, plant health, cropping systems and revegetation efforts
Mycorrhizal fungi under microscope

Mycorrhizal fungi (root symbiotic)

  • Providing methodologies and expertise in citizen mycology developing DIY mycology projects
  • Anticipated discovery of new species of fungi during forays
  • Isolating native species of plant-beneficial fungi for use in nurseries and land restoration
  • Researching beneficial plant-symbiotic fungi to combat climate change through carbon sequestration into soils
  • Creation of a documentary video covering the project and its outcomes

Fungi class activityThe Mycology Research Project day is held at Woodfordia on the Saturday before the last Sunday of the month. You will receive an invitation a week or so before each event.

Check out the dates in the Events Calendar

Group discussionRegister if you are

  • interested in the study of fungi
  • own land you would like to regenerate
  • part of a Landcare group
  • a farmer who wants to improve the farm
  • interested in land regeneration

Join The Mycology Research Project