Botanist and mushroom researcher, Jean Lodge will describe her research on the ancestry, ecology and importance of the mysterious waxcap mushroom when the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society holds its next meeting.

The group meets Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m., at Sandy Creek Nature Center.

"The waxcap mushroom is really a group of fungi with species that can be found in Europe and North America," organizers state. "Prior to Jean’s research, scientists thought the European and North American species were one and the same. Jean will discuss her mammoth study uncovering the true ancestry of this mysterious mushroom group. She will also discuss the ecology of these fungi and their important relationship with plant roots."

Jean Lodge is currently an adjunct faculty member with the departments of Plant Pathology, Plant Biology and the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. She has also worked as a botanist with the United States Forest Service. Lodge has studied fungi all over the world, from the cloud forests of Belize to the mountains in Puerto Rico. She has co-authored over 100 papers on this mysterious and complex group of organisms.

The meeting will be held in the Nature Center’s Education and Visitor Center, 205 Old Commerce Rd. off Hwy. 441 north of Athens.

For more information, visit www.oconeeriversaudubon.org, or contact Audubon chapter president Lauren Gingerella at president@oconeeriversaudubon.org or publicity chair Paige Howell at publicity@oconeeriversaudubon.org.

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