Wednesday, February 15, saw the kickoff of our first citizen science project, “worldwide fame, a fungus with your own name”. KNAW President Prof. Dr. José van Dijck took a soil sample in her own garden and handed it over to our director Pedro Crous, thereby becoming our first participant.
At the opening of the beautiful and inspiring SchimmelLAB exhibition of the Universiteitsmuseum Utrecht (a visit is strongly recommended!), we also officially opened our citizen science project, “worldwide fame, a fungus with your own name”. In the Spring Holiday (from 25 February until 5 March) every family visiting the SchimmelLAB exhibition may participate, take a soil sample from their garden and send them to the Westerdijk Institute. There the samples will be investigated by our researchers. The soil will be dissolved and diluted in sterile water and then plated on petri dishes with special culture medium (special fungus food). Then it is up to the fungi to eat and grow. When the fungi have grown enough, our researchers will determine the species that where present in your soil sample. If we find a new species in your sample you will gain worldwide fame with a fungus with your own name!
José van Dijck is keeping her fingers crossed, hoping her sample will contain a new fungus.