February Nature Night: Lichens - The extreme fungi

Have you ever wondered what the neon tufts growing on our local junipers are? Then, join us for an illuminating evening about lichens! That neon green is actually a lichen: a fungus growing together with an alga to make a specialized growth form.

Lichenologist Daphne Stone will take us on a tour of lichens: what they are, how they survive in diverse and often extreme habitats, and how they are different from other fungi. Then we will take a tour of interesting lichens around the Pacific Northwest, including lush lichens in coastal Oregon, lichens that fix nitrogen from the air in the Cascades, brilliant crustose lichens on rocks in dry areas, and delicate soil crust lichens that protect the deserts of eastern Oregon.

Daphne Stone Daphne Stone has been studying lichens, bryophytes and fungi in the northwest for 40 years. She holds a PhD in ecology from the University of Oregon and is the founder of Stone Ecosurveys, a small business that specializes in lichen and other ecological surveys. Daphne works with a variety of agencies and organizations around the world to further interest, knowledge and protection of lichens. Her work with the Forest Service has helped use lichens to monitor air quality. Daphne is the president of Northwest Lichenologists and is an expert on the lichen genus Leptogium.

In her spare time, Daphne likes to hike, garden, raise sheep and dye their wool with natural dyes, including lichens.