Manuela Dal Forno, Ph.D.

Research Botanist

Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy, George Mason University
M.S. in Botany, Universidade Federal do Paraná
B.S., in Biology, Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul
Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology, National Science Foundation
Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Botany, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Manuela Dal Forno is originally from Santa Cruz do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where she also went to school for a B.S. in Biology. Later she did her masters in Botany in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil working on the diversity of Graphidaceae (a family of crustose lichen-forming fungi in Ascomycota) in Restinga (a type of coastal vegetation) in Southern Brazil. She moved to the United Stated in 2009 to become a land management intern at the Audubon Center of the North Woods, Sandstone, MN. While there, she applied and was selected for a PhD at George Mason University to work with the systematics of the Dictyonema clade (a group of lichen-forming fungi in Basidiomycota). She completed her degree in 2015 and in 2016 was awarded a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology to work on the microbiome of lichen specimens.  Before joining BRIT in late 2019, Manu was a Peter Buck Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Botany Department at the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution) working with whole genome sequencing of both symbionts of the lichen symbiosis Cora-Rhizonema.

Her work focuses on multiple aspects of the evolution, diversity, genome and microbiome of lichens. She has carried out fieldwork in Brazil (South, Southeast, Northeast); Colombia (Central Andes); Costa Rica; Ecuador (Continental and Galapagos Islands); Jamaica; Puerto Rico; United States; and Thailand.


Select Publications:

Dal-Forno M, Bungartz F, Lücking R, Yánez-Ayabaca A, Lawrey JD. 2017. High levels of endemism in Galapagos basidiolichens. Fungal Diversity 85: 45–73.

Lücking R, Dal-Forno M, Moncada B, et al. (50 more authors). 2016. Turbo-taxonomy to assemble a megadiverse lichen genus: seventy new species of Cora (Basidiomycota: Agaricales: Hygrophoraceae), honouring David Leslie Hawksworth's seventieth birthday. Fungal Diversity. Fungal Diversity 84: 139–207.

Dal-Forno M, Lücking R, Bungartz F, Yánez-Ayabaca A, Marcelli MP, Spielmann AA, Coca LF, Chaves JL, Aptroot A, Sikaroodi M, Gillevet PM, Sipman HJM, Lawrey JD. 2016. From one to six: unrecognized species diversity in the genus Acantholichen P. M. Jørg. (lichenized Basidiomycota: Hygrophoraceae). Mycologia 108(1): 38–55.

Lücking R, Dal-Forno M, Sikaroodi M, Gillevet PM, Bungartz F, Moncada B, Yánez-Ayabaca A, Coca LF, Chaves JD, Lawrey JD 2014. A single macrolichen constitutes hundreds of unrecognized species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111 (30): 11091–11096.

Dal-Forno M, Lawrey JD, Sikaroodi M, Bhattarai S, Gillevet PM, Sulzbacher M, Lücking R. 2013. Starting from scratch: evolution and diversification of the lichen thallus in the basidiolichen Dictyonema (Agaricales: Hygrophoraceae). Fungal Biology 117 (9): 584598.



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