A large number of FABI staff, postdocs and students - both past and present - participated in the 11th International Mycological Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 16-21 July. FABI is recognised one of the world’s leading centres of mycological research and postgraduate training, and it is thus not surprising that a number of members of the team were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the field, receiving some of the most prestigious awards of the International Mycological Association (IMA) during the congress.  

Prof Mike Wingfield, the founding Director of FABI, was elected as a Fellow of the International Mycological Association for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of Mycology at an international level, through service to the IMA and excellence in research. He is the first South African and African to receive this honor.

Prof Pedro Crous, an extraordinary Professor in FABI, was awarded the Ainstworth Medal for extraordinary service to the IMA and world mycology, amongst others for his role as past President of the IMA and Director of the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, driving initiatives such as MycoBank, the journal IMA Fungus, amongst others.

Dr Irene Barnes, one of the core staff and research leaders at FABIreceived the prestigious Ethyl Mary Doidge Medal for her outstanding early career research in Mycology. Irene has also now been elected onto the Executive Committee of the IMA.

Dr Lorenzo Lombard, a former FABIan who is now based at the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, received the prestigious Elias Magnus Fries Medal, also for outstanding early career research in Mycology. 

Apart from the IMA awards, Ms Wilma Nel, a PhD student in FABI, received a Mentor Student Travel award from the Mycological Society of America. Her award was made in the name of Charles Kramer, a distinguished mycologist. The cash award contributes towards the costs of her attendance of the meeting, and required that she be involved in certain activities of the meeting, and that she will write an article about her research for the MSA.