Head of Laboratory, Chief Researcher
The research interests of the laboratory focus on the taxonomy, diversity, distribution, ecology and conservation problems of Oomycota, Basidiomycota and Ascomycota (including lichens). The laboratory holds and maintains the largest collection of fungi in Lithuania (as part of the BILAS herbarium): lichens and allied fungi (over 11,000 specimens), myxomycetes (over 4,500 specimens), saprotrophic and plant and animal disease-causing myxomycetes and oomycetes (over 12,000 specimens), and macromycetes (Basidiomycota and Ascomycota; over 26,000 specimens).
The laboratory continues pursuing research on fungi in ecosystems affected by natural and anthropogenic disturbances: effects of forest fire of different intensities on pine forest mycobiota, impacts of cormorant colony on various forest ecosystem elements, effects of geographical gradient and forest management on coniferous forest mycobiota, distribution and population status of pine needle pathogens (including newly emerging species) in Lithuania and surrounding regions, and the impact of oomycetes on the health of fish in Lithuanian fish farms. It also focuses on the links between fungi and ecosystem services and the impact of mycobiota on various aspects of society’s culture: traditions, language, educational processes and citizen science. Ethnomycological research is carried out in cooperation with other Lithuanian scientific institutions. Extensive and varied activities are carried out to promote mycological research among general public through information provided to various media, popular science articles, lectures, excursions and consultations. The laboratory staff is involved in shaping the policy of nature conservation (especially in connection with mycobiota) in Lithuania and worldwide.
Between 1992 and 2021, in collaboration with mycologists from other institutions in Lithuania and other countries, researchers of the laboratory described 30 fungal taxa new to science.