Fons Debets

In research and education at the Laboratory of Genetics, since the early 1980’s, I have focussed on many aspects of Biology that are relevant in ‘the struggle for life’. Especially causes and consequences of natural variation for genetic transmission systems in fungi interested me throughout the years. E.g., what is the role of genetic parasites (virusses, plasmids, selfish genes) in shaping the life cycle? Why do some fungi produce ‘expensive’ sexual spores by selfing as well as asexual spores that are genetically identical? How and why has cheating on the Mendelian segregation evolved?

Sensing the environment is important for every organism to make the right decisions, but the role of sound in fitness has never been much of an issue in fungal research. The only research that comes to mind is about the acoustic effect of fungal growth for preparing superior wood for ‘Stradivari’ violins…
For animals however, production, perception and interpretation of sound can be crucial. E.g. for interactions between predator and prey and for communication between members of a population.

I am looking forward to learn more about the topic in the symposium organised by BVW Biologica. And, with a title ‘Nature calls”: You have got to go!