Assistant Professor, Louisiana Tech University

Laura Sims is an Assistant Professor of Forest Health at Louisiana Tech University. She has been working with fungi for over a decade. Her area of expertise is in water molds and she is considered a world expert on Phytophthora species. In the labs she has worked in, part of her job has always been to identify fungal samples especially cryptic ones. She has done extensive work with wildland restoration nurseries to remove and keep pathogens out of their plant growing facilities without pesticides. She has developed and will be teaching a new Mycology course this spring at Louisiana Tech. She also really enjoys collecting and cooking with the fungal forest flora.

Topic: Fungal Foray, Saturday, March 9, 8:30 – 10:00 am

Learn how to look for and properly collect fungi in the forest. Learn how to identify a few mushrooms that are choice edibles and how to recognize inedible, and less delectable look-a-likes. Then take a walk in the woods with Dr. Sims, collect fungi including edible ones (depending on availability), and take notes for the fungal diversity lab in the afternoon.

Fungal Diversity Lab, Saturday, March 9, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Peruse and learn about the different types of fungi in Louisiana’s forests! The forests abound with fungal fruitifications; take a close and personal look at their beautiful fruiting bodies and spores, and learn a little about how to identify them. Then learn about the many uses of fungi in food.