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Awards and Personalia

IMA Medals awarded at IMC9

The highest honour that the International Mycological Association can bestow on any mycologist, is embodied in two highly prestigious medals, namely the de Bary Medal for outstanding career research in mycology, and the Ainsworth Medal for extraordinary service to world mycology. The last time these awards were made was in 1996, when the de Bary award was made to John Corner (for lifetime achievement in mycological research, particularly, contributions to ecology and the systematics of wood-decaying basidiomycetes), and Terence Ingold (for lifetime achievement in mycological research, particularly, contributions to our knowledge of fungal spore release and dispersal and the recognition of aquatic fungi as ecological specialists). The Ainsworth award was made to John Webster (for extraordinary service to international mycology through the IMA).

In several meetings held by the Executive Committee (EC) during 2006–2010, these awards were discussed in detail, and finally a call was posted on the IMA website for proposals for potential candidates to receive the awards at the IMC9 in Edinburgh. An IMA Awards Committee was established to evaluate the proposals. The committee consisted of the Officers (Mike Wingfield, Susumu Takamatsu, John Taylor, Wieland Meyer, Karen Hansen and Geoff Robson), and up to three members from the EC (Keith Seifert, David Hawksworth and Dominik Begerow), and was chaired by the President (Pedro Crous). In a short period of time, several excellent applications were received, and then the more difficult part of the discussion started.

Three candidates were proposed for each of the two medals. The committee debated for several weeks, and actually voted twice, as it first had to agree on how many awards could be made, and the secondly, on who the best candidates were to receive these awards. Several committee members felt that all six candidates deserved to be recognised, but eventually a compromise was made, and based on the fact that no awards were made since 1996, the committee agreed to (as an exception) make two awards for a lifetime contribution to mycology (Ainsworth), and one for career research in mycology (de Bary).

De Bary Medal: Franz Oberwinkler

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Franz Oberwinkler receiving the De Bary Medal from IMA President Pedro Crous.

Extracts from the nomination letter submitted by Micheal Weiß and Robert Bauer are the following: “Franz Oberwinkler has contributed to science for almost 50 years in various fields of fungal research. Besides his overwhelming scientific output he is a great teacher and many of his scholars have become influential mycologists as well. Franz Oberwinkler had a major impact on our understanding of the systematics of basidiomycetes. Inspired by a deep interest in detailed morphology and anatomy of basidia and basidiocarp ontogeny and their comparative analysis his work revolutionarised basidiomycete systematics in wide parts. He investigated not only morphology, but included all relevant characters ranging from physiology to genetics to understand the main evolutionary trends in basidiomycetes. Our modern view on Basidiomycota is highly influenced by his work. He was participant on all International Mycological Congresses. He was President of the IMA from 1994–1998 and holds memberships of many mycological societies worldwide. Therefore, we would like to nominate Prof. dr Franz Oberwinkler for the De Bary Medal of the International Mycological Association in 2010”.

For me personally, the awards were the highlight of IMC9. It was truly a privilege to share the stage with such mycological greats, to congratulate Franz Oberwinkler, to see the movie clip of Dick Korf (after I upgraded to the Mac platform, thanks to John Taylor!), and to hear Emory’s parting words “Save your dollars, your Euros, your Pounds, save whatever currency you have and come to Bangkok for the IMCX.” See you there!

Ainsworth Medal: Richard P Korf

Extracts from the nomination letter submitted by Donald Pfister are the following: “Korf has focused his research on taxonomy of discomycetes and on nomenclature. Most of the more than 340 papers he has published over his more than 60 active years concentrate on the taxonomy of these fungi. His 1973 keys in The Fungi: an advanced treatise remain the only comprehensive keys for the inoperculate discomycetes and has been influential in training generations of systematists but also in pointing to problem areas. No less important than his taxonomic papers are his nomenclatural papers. Here he gives insight into the intricacies of the rules of naming and has sought to stabilize the use and application of names. In his series Nomenclatural notes, which now number 12 contributions, he has outlined and solved various issues related to the proper application of the Code. In 1974 he was motivated by several realities of the publication scene to found a new independent, international, mycological journal — Mycotaxon. Taking the model of a camera-ready journal of the time he improved the methods and established the journal that is now in its 111th volume accounting for about 60 000 published pages. In the early volumes he did all the editorial work and related correspondence and at the same time was the business manager. Dick is at heart a teacher and devoted himself to instruction both in and out of the classroom. He has been honored as the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, given the Distinguished Teaching Award by Gamma Sigma Delta, and the William H. Weston Distinguished teaching award. Teaching and outreach build on his interest in the theatre. He has had an active career as an actor participating in local performances and in professional productions. We mycologists know him best for his impersonation of our father in mycology, Elias Fries. He served the Mycological Society of America in many ways, as Councilor, as secretary-treasurer, as vice president and president in 1970–71. He attended nearly all of the International Mycological Congresses and before that he generally attended the International Botanical Congresses. At these he was an active participant and looked to as a leader. His is a long and distinguished career highlighted by engagement in his science, excellence in teaching, and service to the international mycological community. The Ainsworth medal would be a fitting recognition of this mycological great”.

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Richard P Korf as “Elias Fries” and Karen Hansen. Inlay: Don Pfister accepting the Award on behalf of Richard P Korf.

Ainsworth Medal: Emory G Simmons

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Emory G Simmons receiving the Ainsworth Medal from IMA President Pedro Crous.

Extracts from the nomination letter submitted by Mary E. Palm are the following:

“It is with great pleasure that I write this letter to nominate Dr Emory G. Simmons for the IMA Ainsworth Medal recognizing his truly extraordinary service to world mycology. Throughout his career he has directly and indirectly, officially and unofficially, intentionally and unintentionally been a strong voice and a driving force for international mycology. In this letter I will highlight his significant international mycological activities over the past half century, especially his tireless efforts in the development, maintenance and preservation of biological resource collections. I also will discuss his significant role in the establishment and success of the community to which I write this letter, the International Mycological Association (IMA). From 1953–74 Emory was the Director of the US Army Quartermaster Culture Collection of Fungi. The collection was an essential component of U.S. studies on the resistance of fabric, glass, wood and other surfaces to degradation by fungi. Emory also was an active member, Secretary and part of the Executive Board of the World Federation for Culture Collections to which he was elected an Honorary Life Member. He is a Centennial Fellow of the British Mycological Society. He has served in an advisory capacity to the American Type Culture Collection, President of the U.S. Federation for Culture Collections, and numerous other positions in which he positively influenced the development of collections and educated administrators, politicians, and others on the importance of those collections for industrial, economic, and biological uses. Dr Simmons played a major role in the founding and development of the IMA. His involvement started in 1967, while he was President of the Mycological Society of America, in the form of correspondence with G. C. Ainsworth whose brainchild became the IMA. As a testament to the esteem in which Dr Simmons is held by the IMA, he was elected in 2002 as Honorary President of the IMA for life. It is impossible to close this nomination letter without mentioning the publication of his recent tome “Alternaria: An Identification Manual” in 2007 in the CBS Biodiversity Series, which he finished several years after his 80th birthday. Thank you for considering this nomination of Dr. Emory Simmons for the Ainsworth Medal. This would be the ultimate honor for the man who helped Ainsworth make an idea become a reality in the form of the IMA”.

Order of Canada: Stanley J Hughes

The Order of Canada is the centrepiece of Canada’s system of public honours, which serves to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication, and service to the nation. Welshman Stanley ‘Stan’ J Hughes was amongst those made a Member of the Order in 2010. Stan needs little introduction to mycologists working with microfungi worldwide. Having cut his mycological teeth at the Commonwealth Mycological Institute in 1945–1952, where he came under the influence of Edmund W Mason, Stan moved to what is now Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa in 1952, ‘retiring’ in 1985. He is best known for his novel and groundbreaking scheme for distinguishing methods of conidiogenesis in asexual fungi published in 1953, the resolution of many uncertainties in the application of generic names of conidial fungi in 1958, and his masterly overview of sooty moulds and their asexual stages in 1976.

In addition he has produced meticulous accounts of numerous microfungi, especially ones arising from studies of New Zealand material, which he embarked on in 1963 and continue …. Stan has received numerous honours and awards over the years, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1974, and continues to help and inspire aspiring mycologists, not least myself. Although still active at 92 years, Stan donated his personal library to the National Botanic Garden of Wales and attended a reception in his honour at the Garden in April 2009. All mycologists will wish to not only congratulate Stan on this additional honour, but also trust he will continue to enjoy good health and elucidate further fascinating aspects of his beloved ‘soots’.

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Stanley J Hughes.

Obituary: C Terence Ingold (1905–2010)

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C Terence Ingold.

It is with deep regret that we record the death of Cecil Terence Ingold on 31 May 2010 at the age of almost 105 years. Terence is best-known amongst mycologists for his pioneering work on spore discharge and dispersal in fungi, the five editions of his textbook The Biology of Fungi (1961–84) on which so many students cut their mycological teeth, and his discovery of the fascinating helicoid and tetraradiate spores of aquatic hyphomycetes — of which over 300 species are now known. After periods at the University of Reading and what is now the University of Leicester, from 1944 until retirement in 1972 he held a professorship at Birkbeck College of the University of London — where the laboratory he used to work in is now named after him. Birkbeck is unusual in concentrating on part-time mature students, and there he inspired or supervised numerous mycologists, including Richard Bailey, Hilda Canter, Steve Moss, David Pegler, Bryan Plunkett, and Guy Willoughby. In his ‘retirement’, Terence conducted numerous studies from his home in Benson (Oxfordshire) on spore germination in diverse fungi until 1998, mostly published in The Mycologist, aided and abetted by supplies organized by Jane Nicklin who is now responsible for mycological work at Birkbeck. He also continued to attend field meetings of the British Mycological Society whenever he could. In later life he moved to Wooler (Northumberland) where he lived with one of his daughters. His numerous honours and awards include appointment as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1970 for work in higher education, especially in Africa and Jamaica, but also in the UK where he was involved in establishing universities in Belfast and Canterbury. A special double-issue of the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society was published as a tribute to Terence in 1985, and that includes a full list of his 174 publications to that date; about 100 appeared after that date. The IMA is especially indebted to Terence for agreeing to serve as the President of IMC1 in Exeter in 1971, and he was one of the two first recipients of the IMA’s de Bary medal in 1996. For further information on this remarkable man and his achievements, see the references listed below.

New IMA Awards

To honor the accomplishments of those who are the future of our field, the IMA Executive Committee has initiated IMA Young Mycologist Awards. Awards such as the IMA Young Mycologist Awards do more than honor the recipients, they also promote mycology by helping to advance young mycologists. The accomplishments that we celebrate can be no greater than the pool of nominees. Therefore, I encourage everyone in the IMA to take the time to consider candidates and initiate nominations. Note that there will be two sets of IMA Young Mycologist Awards, one for the past IMC9 and another for the upcoming IMC10. Note, also, that the award includes 500 euros.

IMA Young Mycologist Awards

The IMA has established six IMA Young Mycologist Awards to mark outstanding research accomplishment by young mycologists from each of the six IMA Regional Mycological Organizations.

  • Ethel Mary Doidge Medal — African Regional Mycological Member Organization

  • Keisuke Tubaki Medal — Asian Regional Mycological Member Organization

  • Daniel McAlpine Medal — Australasian Regional Mycological Member Organization

  • Elias Magnus Fries Medal — European Regional Mycological Member Organization

  • Carlos Luis Spegazzini Medal — Latin American Regional Mycological Member Organization

  • Arthur Henry Reginald Buller Medal — North American Regional Mycological Member Organization


To be eligible to be nominated for an IMA Young Mycologist Award, a member of the IMA must, at the time of the next International Mycological Congress, be within ten years of his or her PhD degree, e.g. for IMC10 in 2014, a nominee must have received his or her PhD degree no earlier than 2004.

Establishment of Award Regional Committees

The President of each IMA Regional Mycological Member Organization is asked to establish an IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committee consisting of at least two members (although the appointment of more members to represent the diversity of mycology in the region is encouraged) and a chair, who will serve from one International Mycological Congress to the next. To ensure a broad pool of nominees, nine months prior to the next International Mycological Congress, this committee will notify the members of the IMA Regional Mycological Member Organization of the award, solicit nominations and vote to select a candidate. To ensure a breadth of experience on the IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committee, the chair and members of this committee should be senior mycologists with distinguished records and should represent the diversity of Mycological Member Organizations and Sustaining Mycological Member Organizations from the region. The chair will vote only in the event of a tie vote by the other members.

Responsibilities of the Award Regional Committees

  1. 1.

    Nine months prior to the next International Mycological Congress and three months prior to the deadline for receiving nominations, members of each IMA Regional Mycological Member Organization shall be notified of the call for nominations for the relevant IMA Young Mycologist Award through the IMA website and the IMA Regional Mycological Member Organization website and through emails sent to delegates from the region who attended the preceding International Mycological Congress.

  2. 2.

    Nomination of candidates for each IMA Young Mycologist Award shall consist of a letter of nomination, two letters of support from mycologists familiar with the candidate, and a current curriculum vitae of the candidate. Candidates are expected to have contributed appreciably to mycology and they should have achieved international recognition based on several criteria: (a) The quality, innovation, thoroughness, and impact on science of their published research, with consideration given to the contribution of the nominee to multi-authored publications. (b) Service as editors of journals or as officers of societies. (c) Membership on national or international policy committees. (d) Invitations to present research at national or international meetings.

  3. 3.

    The committee will forward the nomination material for each nominee and the committee’s choice for the award to the IMA Young Mycologist Awards Committee convened by the IMA President no more than one month following the deadline for nominations and no less than five months prior to the next IMC. The IMA Young Mycologist Awards Committee is charged with ratifying the choices made by the IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committees.

To reiterate, the timeline for the IMA Young Mycologist Awards, the notification to the members of the call for nominations shall be nine months prior to the IMC, the deadline for receipt of nominations by the IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committees shall be six months prior to the IMC, and the receipt of the IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committee’s choice by the IMA Young Mycologist Awards Committee shall be five months prior to the IMC. In this way, recipients can be notified of their award at least four months prior to the IMC to encourage their attendance at the IMC.

Presentation of the IMA Young Mycologist Awards

The IMA Young Mycologist Awards for IMC9 and IMC10 will be presented by the President of the IMA at the Closing Ceremony of the International Mycological Congress. They shall consist of a certificate and 500 euros.

Special instructions for the IMC9 awards

The IMA Executive Committee has voted to make awards for both IMC9 and the upcoming IMC10, both of which will be awarded at IMC10 in Thailand. To be eligible for the IMC9 awards, the nominee must have received his or her Ph.D. degree no earlier than 2000 and, for the IMC10 award, no earlier than 2004.

For the special case of the IMA Young Mycologist Awards for IMC9, each IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committee must be organized and announced to the IMA Executive Committee by May 1, 2011. The membership of each Regional Mycological Member Organization must be notified of the nomination procedure by June 1, 2011. Nominations must be received by each IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committee by September 1, 2011. The IMA Young Mycologist Award Regional Committees must communicate their nomination materials and their choice to the IMA Young Mycologist Awards Committee by October 1, 2011. The IMA Young Mycologist Awards Committee shall announce the awards by November 1, 2011. The awards will be presented at IMC10 in Thailand in 2014.

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Mycologists attending the general meeting and awards ceremony of the IMC9 in the Usher Hall, Edinburgh.


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Crous, P.W., Hawksworth, D.L. & Taylor, J.W. Awards and Personalia. IMA Fungus 1, A15–A19 (2010).

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