In an NSF-funded project over the past five years, Field Museum Adjunct Curator Robert Lücking held 42 workshops on tropical mycology and lichenology (the study of fungi and lichens) in 16 countries throughout Latin America, with a total of 648 participants from 24 countries. The workshops provided training in fungal and lichen taxonomy, quantitative methods for ecological studies, and molecular tools. Over 50 thesis works were supported through the project, both at graduate (PhD, Master) and undergraduate level (Licenciatura, Grado, Scientific Initiation), and about 20 have been completed thus far. In addition, more than 50 collaborative scientific papers have so far resulted from this project, among other topics featuring the discovery of more than one hundred species new to science.
The project was featured in a 3-page article in the international science business journal International Innovation in its August 2012 issue. International Innovation is the leading global dissemination resource for the wider scientific, technology and research communities, dedicated to disseminating the latest science, research and technological innovations on a global level. More information and a complimentary subscription offer to the publication can be found at: www.researchmedia.eu. The complete article is posted below as pdf file for free download. It focuses especially on the situation in Colombia, where the project has had substantial impact in the formation of the next generation of mycologists and lichenologists studying tropical ecosystems.