Ep. 134: Life in Amber - 50-Million-Year-Old Cordyceps & Other Fossilized Fungi (feat. George Poinar Jr. PhD)
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Today on Mushroom Hour we are joined by the distinguished and prolific George Poinar, Jr. PhD. George received his Ph.D. in biology from Cornell University and spent most of his career in the Department of Entomology at the University of California at Berkeley before moving to Oregon State University, where he is a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology. His interest in the tropics, along with a passion for paleontology, culminated in the book The Amber Forest, co-authored with his wife, Roberta, and published by Princeton University Press. He is also the author of other books, including Life in Amber. In addition, he is a founder of The Amber Institute. He is a pioneer when it comes to studying associations between invertebrates and other organisms in amber. One of his projects was recently all over the news as he discovered a new genus and species of fungal entomoparasite growing out of a fossilized ant – the older mushroom growing from an ant that has ever been found!    TOPICS COVERED:    Young Naturalist Inspired by Walden and Thoreau   Entering Entomology   Research Tours through Southeast AsiaInsect Vectors of Disease-Carrying Parasites in Africa   Insect Diseases in Russia   Pivoting to Vertebrate Parasites in France, Germany & Holland   Ancient History of Insect Pathogens and Their Parasites   The Basics of Amber Preservation   Preparing and Cutting Amber for Examination   Determining the Age of Specimens in Amber   Phylogeny and Ancestry in Family CordycipitaceaeExtracting Genetic Information from Amber Specimens   Meeting Michael Creighton and Jurassic Park Inspirations   Evolutionary Insights from Ancient to Modern Fungi   EPISODE RESOURCES: George Poinar Jr PhD: https://science.oregonstate.edu/directory/george-o-poinar-jr   Family Cordycipitaceae: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordycipitaceae   Richard Korf (Inspiration): https://ecommons.cornell.edu/handle/1813/28593   Rhinoceros Beetles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynastinae   "Laboratory Guide to Insect Pathogens and Parasites": https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4288060-laboratory-guide-to-insect-pathogens-and-parasites   Hermitage Museum (Russia): https://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/portal/hermitage/   Hymenaea (Tree Genus): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymenaea   Paleoclaviceps parasiticus (fungus): https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publication/?seqNo115=310964   Allocordyceps baltica (fungus): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1878614621000799   
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