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Harold H. Burdsall, Jr. Ph.D.

Mycologist / Forest Pathologist


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  Harold H. Burdsall, Jr. is a research and consulting mycologist.

Dr Burdsall at microscopeHis educational background includes an A.B. degree in botany from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio (1962) and a Ph.D. degree in mycology and plant pathology from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York (1967).

For nearly 35 years he specialized in the biology and taxonomy of wood decay fungi as a staff member and Project Leader in the Center for Forest Mycology Research (CFMR) at the Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, USDA in Madison, Wisconsin. His work included studies of decay fungi from all parts of the world and all aspects of their biology including taxonomy, ecology, genetics and molecular biology.

Since 1990 he has broadened his scope to include identifying molds, especially those on wood, and at one point was called on to identify more than 2100 isolates from wood chips imported from Chile. He was involved with describing nearly 50 new species, several new genera and in altering the major concepts on fungi that cause wood decay. This research has resulted in more than 100 scientific publications and more than 50 abstracts of oral presentations to scientific meetings.

In addition to the research on decay fungi while at the CFMR, Dr. Burdsall held an Adjunct Professor (now Emeritus) appointment and taught advanced mycology in the Plant Pathology Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He also holds a Senior Research Associate appointment at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, in the Institute of Arctic Biology. He lectures to academic classes, lay groups and professional societies and advises graduate students on the biology and taxonomy of fungi.

USDA Silver Plow AwardDr. Burdsall has been recognized nationally and internationally by election and appointment to national and international mycological committees and serving as president, vice-president and secretary of the Mycological Society of America.

He has also received several major awards including the USDA Forest Service Chief’s Superior Science Award, the USDA’s Silver Plow Award for exceptional research in mycology, and election as a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science for a career of contributions to the knowledge of wood decay fungi.

Dr. Burdsall maintains active presence in the world mycological community through his association with the Mycological Society of America, the International Association of Wood Scientists and the Latin American Mycological Association.

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