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Donald Pfister – The Uses of Herbaria/Fungaria

Using examples from research that has been done on specimens from the Farlow fungarium I
will outline how these specimens contribute to modern taxonomic and systematic studies and
how curatorial practices contribute to or distract from accurate study of collections. How was it possible to determine that a species suspected to be extinct was found to be widespread in
eastern North America? What can collections tell us about the high and unexpected diversity of
species of an often-collected genus of tropical fungi? Where was Charles Wright when he
collected Puccinia triarticulata and how did he get there? These and other questions will be
examined through the eye of a long serving curator.