Life-threatening fungi

23 September 2021 from 19:00 to 20:30 hrs
Online via Zoom
+31 20 551 0782
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Fungi are an increasing threat to plants, animals and people. Nowadays, antifungals are widely used to prevent fungal infections, but increasingly, fungi are becoming resistant to them.

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Beauveria loeiensis ascomata on leaf-rolling cricket, Gryllacrididae, Orthoptera (Picture: Biotec, Thailand)

The increasing number of fungal infections puts global biodiversity at great risk. As a result of human intervention, amphibians are seriously threatened by fungal diseases, and plants, trees and crops die as a result of fungal infections. The number of fungal species causing infections in humans is also increasing. Even completely new types of fungi are appearing in hospitals, and what is even more worrying is that these fungi are resistant to antifungals used in hospitals. What threats do we face, and what are the possible solutions?


  • Matthew Fisher, Professor of Fungal Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom – Costing the Earth: Catastrophic losses of amphibian biodiversity caused by chytrid fungi
  • Gert Kema, Professor of Phytopathology, Laboratory of Phytopathology, Department of Plant Sciences, Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen – Going bananas: the global fungal attack on bananas
  • Cornelia Lass-Flörl, Professor Hygiene and Microbiology, Division Hygiene and Medical Microbiology, Medical University of Innsbrück, Innsbrück, Austria – Unsolved: Public health challenges in fungal infections

Moderators: Ferry Hagen, group leader of Medical Mycology at the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute and Teun Boekhout, professor of Fungal Functional Diversity at University of Amsterdam and group leader Yeasts and Basidiomycetes at the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.


The symposium will be held under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands of Arts en Sciences and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute.