Professor Lynne Boddy

Fungal ecologist

A colour photograph of a woman with white hair wearing a purple raincoat in open, hilly grassland. There are trees behind her and fenced-off saplings. She is down on one knee, behind a large brown mushroom which is visible in the foreground of the photo.

Image kindly provided by Lynne Boddy

  • BORN 1955, Worcester, England
  • WORKED Cardiff University since 1983, prior to this University of Bath for 3 years, and before Queen Mary College, London for 3.5 years
  • HONOURS MBE BSC PHD DSc
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Voices for the Future – Beatrix Potter 2021 

Artistic Connections

I collaborate with an artist who is now fascinated by fungal biology and the interactions of fungi with other organisms. I have also advised several artists on various aspects of fungal lives.

MUSIC

Title: Without Fungi
Composer: Frances M Lynch
Words: in collaboration with Prof. Boddy
Written in: 26th July 2021
For: acapella female voices
Performed by: the composer

This is a work in progress which is part of our Voices for the Future – Beatrix Potter project. It examines the ideas behind fungi as the basis for life on this planet and an important part of the struggle to save the planet. The music will be finished and the final version posted here after our Zoom performance for UK Fungus Day on 2nd October 2021.

Professor Boddy at work (Image kindly provided by Lynne Boddy)

Education

As a child I was always interested in science and the natural world. While at junior school I told people that when I grew up I wanted to be a scientist or a teacher, and have been lucky enough to do both at the same time. I did a combined honours degree in Biology and Mathematical Statistics at the University of Exeter. The course focused on ecology, and I was interested in any and every aspect of ecology. I was the lucky enough to get a position working on the Ecology of wood decomposition at Queen Mary College London, and then had a post doc fellowship at Bath investigating fungal communities in attached oak branches.

Occupations

As a student I had jobs delivering post at Christmas, and I worked in a shop and office, and several factories, as well as fruit picking.

After my post doc I went to Cardiff, where I have taught, written extensively, and studied many aspects of wood decay fungi and the relationship between fungi and trees.

Scientific Achievements

I have taught thousands of students about the importance and fascinating nature of fungi. I have revealed much about how basidiomycete fungal communities develop in wood, how they search for food, how they compete with each other, how their mycelia operate as networks and how global change is affecting them – but, as ever, my work has posed far more questions than it has answered.

Did You Know?

I am a 4th dan black belt in karate.

An Inspiring Woman

Marie Curie – she was determined to be a scientist despite huge obstacles.

Links