Postdoctoral researcher, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre (Netherlands), 2008-2010
Research and teaching assistant, Duke University (USA), 2003-2007
Supervisor of environmental studies, Observatoire Mycologique (France), 1994-2001
2002-2007 Ph.D. in Systematic Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA
1998-1999 DEA Animal and Plant Systematics, MNHN, Paris, France
1997-1998 Maitrise (Biology), Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France
1995-1997 Licence (Biology), Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France
1992-1994 DEUG (Biology), Louis Pasteur University, Strasbourg, France
Elias Magnus Fries medal from the International Mycological Association (2012)
Graduate Fellowship Award from the Mycological Society of America (2006)
Centre for Ecology and Evolution Research grant (2012)
Synthesys Grant for a research visit to the Natural History Museum in London (2008)
Mycological Society of America Mentor Student Travel Award (2006 & 2007)
Mycological Society of America International Travel Award (2006)
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (2005)
Karling Graduate Student Research Award from the Botanical Society of America (2004)
Biology Grant-In-Aid from Duke University (2004)
Graduate Award for International Research from Duke University (2004)
Mini-PEET Award from the Society of Systematic Biologists (2003)
Society of Systematic Biologists Award for Graduate Student Research (2003)
American Society of Plant Taxonomists Graduate Research Award (2003)
Mellon Foundation Award in Plant Systematics (2002 & 2003)
The marine species Wahlenbergiella striatula © C. Gueidan
Verrucariaceae is a large family of lichenized ascomycetes comprising about 45 genera and 750 species. They are ecologically quite diverse, with species colonizing many different substrates (rock, soil, wood, bark, mosses and lichens) and living in various habitats (on arid and exposed rock surfaces, on permanently immerged boulders in streams, in the intertidal zone on rocky shores). My research aims at re-assessing generic delimitation in this family using molecular data and investigating the evolutionary history of some morphological and ecological traits using ancestral state reconstruction methods.
This collaborative project has involved several lichen researchers interested in the family Verrucariaceae, among whom Sanja Savić and Leif Tibell (Uppsala University), Lucia Muggia and Martin Grube (Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz), Holger Thüs (NHM), Claude Roux (Faculté St-Jérôme), Francois Lutzoni (Duke University).
Photobiont cells inside the fruiting body of Staurothele areolata © C. Gueidan
Most lichens form associations either with green algae from the genera Trebouxia and Trentepohlia or with Cyanobacteria (e.g., Nostoc). In the lichen family Verrucariaceae, photobionts mostly belong to other genera of green algae, such as Dilabifilum, Myrmecia, and Stichococcus. More strikingly, members of this lichen family can also associate with yellow-green algae (Heterococcus) and brown algae (Petroderma maculifore). I am interested in looking at the diversity of photobionts in this family and understanding the cause of this diversity.
This project is the result of a collaborative effort from several colleagues: Holger Thüs and Juliet Brodie (NHM), Martin Grube and Lucia Muggia (Karl-Franzens Universität Graz), François Lutzoni (Duke University), Sergio Pérez-Ortega (Centro de Ciencias Medioambientales), Suzanne Joneson (University of Idaho), Heath O’Brien (University of Toronto).
The rock-inhabiting species Coniosporium perforans in culture on MEA (strain A95 from Anna Gorbushina) © C. Gueidan
Rock-inhabiting fungi (also called microcolonial fungi) are poorly known organisms forming compact, melanized colonies on bare rock surfaces. Discovered in the early eighties, they have first been isolated from Antarctica and the Negev and Mojave deserts. Subsequently, they were shown to be ubiquitous on rock surfaces, in extreme and temperate climates. They are well adapted to nutrient-poor and dry habitats where they are particularly successful colonizers due to their extremotolerance and restricted competition with other microbes. Because some rock-inhabiting fungi seem to be able to interact with lichen photobionts, I am interested in elucidating their phylogenetic placements in the fungal tree of life and investigating their evolutionary history.
For these projects, I had the chance to collaborate with several experts on rock-inhabiting fungi, including Constantino Ruibal (University of Madrid), Anna Gorbushina (Free University of Berlin and BAM) and Sybren de Hoog (CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Center).
Conidiospores of Rhinocladiella mackenziei © H. Badali
Black-yeast fungi include melanized fungi, which occasionally have a yeast-like growth. Many of them belong to the order Chaetothyriales, the sister group of the lichen order Verrucariales. This order includes human and animal pathogens, saprobes and rock-inhabiting fungi. The number of species of Chaetothyriales able to cause symptoms in human (ranging from cutaneous lesions to systemic infections) is quite large. As a postdoctoral researcher at the CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Center, my work aimed at investigating phylogenetic relationships within Chaetothyriales and exploring the evolution of pathogenicity in this order.
For this research, I collaborated with Sybren de Hoog (CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Center), the world expert in black-yeast fungi, and his Ph.D. student Hamid Badali.