About Dr. Smyth
I am a mycologist and microbial ecologist working on my Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Biogeochemistry in the Geiser Lab at Penn State University.
I am broadly interested in fungal taxonomy, ecology and evolution, as well as emerging fungal wildlife diseases. Specifically, I focus on human and animal infecting Fusarium species. Several of the fusaria commonly implicated in human infections were recently identified in association with mass mortalities in sea turtle nests. Fusarium is a taxonomically and ecologically diverse genus of ascomycete fungus. Apart from human and animal infections, fusaria are very well known as decomposers and as plant pathogens, causing diseases in a wide array of agriculturally important crops.
I am also very interested in science communication, outreach & education. I do my best to incorporate these interests into my research activities.
Current research projects:
Elucidating the structure and function of filamentous fungal biofilm formation – the Fusarium model
Fusarium systematics and taxonomy – describing a new species of marine animal-pathogenic Fusarium species
Using population genetics to unravel the ecology and epidemiology of infectious Fusarium species in humans and animals
Find more information on my research here.
Follow me on twitter: @marinemycoholic
And on Research Gate