Pringle Laboratory

Links and Photos
Amanita Genomes

Principle Investigator

Madison Graduate Students and Post-Docs:

  • Daniel Levitis levitis[at]

    I am an evolutionary demographer interested in the evolution and biology of patterns of mortality over age. I synthesize the concepts and methods of evolutionary biology and demography with data from a wide variety of taxa, including fungi such as Neurospora crassa, and lichens, to understand phenomena including pre-reproductive mortality, post-reproductive survival and aging.

    Dan's Personal Page


  • Jacob Golan jgolan[at]

    I am generally interested in how fungi move - from across landscapes to across continents. I approach questions on dispersal from a genetic, biophysical, and ecological perspective in order to better understand fungal biogeography and population dynamics. I am also interested in the intersection of fungal biology and intellectual property rights.

    Jacob's Personal Page

  • Nora Duncritts duncritts[at]

    I am interested in how fungi function in ecosystems, namely saprotrophs and ectomycorrhizal fungi, and how they interact with nutrient cycling. I am using isotopes to try to ascertain the functional role of fungi in diverse ecosystems, currently using the genus Russula. I am also researching the nitrogen use of decomposer fungi and how they adapt to increased nitrogen loads due to human pollution and fertilizers. I am interested in the conservation of fungi and mitigating human-induced introductions of invasive species. As a side project, I am using genome sequences recently produced by the Pringle lab of multiple Amanita species to try to answer questions about their ecological functions. I joined the Pringle lab in fall 2016 as a graduate student in the Botany department.

    Nora's Personal Page

  • Denny (Yen Wen) Wang ywang883[at]

    I am interested in all aspect of fungi, but particularly host-fungi interaction. I want to use bioinformatics to decipher the genomic cause and result of ectomycorrhizal mutualism and fungal host specificity. I am also considering using genetic approaches to understand the mechanism of mutualism.

  • Savannah Gentry sgentry[at]

    New to the Pringle lab, I am interested in various facets of pathogenic fungi: their evolution, ecology, host interactions, etc. I am primarily drawn to their interactions with animal hosts on both a molecular and behavioral level; I will be focusing on Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola that targets snakes.

    Savannah's Personal Page

  • Sam Harrow harrow2[at]

    I am a Ph.D. student in the Pringle lab in the Department of Botany at UW-Madison. My primary interests are the ecology and biochemistry of plant/fungal secondary compounds. My current research focuses on the biosynthesis and population genomics of toxins in Amanita phalloides.

  • Madison Undgergraduates:

  • John Zuber jzuber[at]

    I am an undergraduate majoring in botany and environmental studies. I am assisting Jacob with his biophysical experiments, and Nora with her research on sustainable urban forestry.


  • Distributed Pringle Lab:

  • Holly Elmore m.holly.elmore[at]

    I am broadly interested in the evolution of eukaryotic genomes. I study genome organization in fungi, particularly as it relates to the bizarre diversity of fungal mating systems. For my thesis, I am investigating the mating loci of several species of Amanita mushrooms in order to learn more about the organization of this genome region and how it may be related to the evolution of the mushroom life cycle. I am currently building and populating Amanitabase, a database of Amanita genomes that will serve as the basis of my dissertation and hopefully lots of other research!

  • Cat Adams catadams[at]

    Cat Adams is now a PhD student in the department of Plant and Microbial Biology at UC Berkeley, researching the role of secondary metabolites in plant-fungal interactions. Her Masters work with Anne examined the evolution of spice tolerance in fungal pathogens of wild chili peppers. For her PhD, Cat is studying the invasion of the deadly poisonous death cap mushroom, Amanita phalloides. She hopes to discover what about this peculiar mushroom has made it such a successful species. Cat also works with researchers in China studying how mycorrhizal fungi can alleviate phytotoxicity from heavy metal nanoparticles. She has an ongoing collaboration in Uruguay with Weyerhaeuser, investigating the effects of Pine and Eucalyptus plantations on the native grassland diversity. She is also passionate about science communication, and has written for Slate and BBC Earth. You can read her personal blog

    Catherine Adams
  • Susana C. Gonçalves at scgoncal[at]

    I am broadly interested in the ecology and evolution of ectomycorrhizal fungi, focusing on the population dynamics of Amanita phalloides and Amanita muscaria, in particular. For my postdoctoral project, I am investigating what might turn an exotic ectomycorrhizal fungus into a successful invader. I am also very involved in fungal conservation and, as of Autumn 2015, I have served as co-chair of the ECCF (European Council for Fungal Conservation).

  • Friends of the Pringle Lab:

  • Karen Vanderwolf at vanderwolf[at]

    I started my PhD in 2016 in the department of comparative pathobiological sciences. I study the epidemiology of white-nose syndrome in bats of North America, particularly the fungal aspect of the disease in caves and on bats. I am interested in using ecology to explain patterns of species occurrence.


  • Grant Morton at wmorton[at]

    Grant is especially interested in the germination of North American orchid seeds, and the role of fungi in orchid seed germination. He hopes that his research will allow for the propagation and reintroduction of endangered orchids back into the wild. He was a student and lecturer at Illinois College for several years, and earned his MS degree at Southern Illinois University. The title of my dissertation is Conservation of North America’s native Vanilla species: Population genetics, in vitro seed germination, red listing, and demographics, and is currently in development.


  • Alden Dirks at aldendirks[at]

    I am interested in the mutualistic relationships between fungi and agronomically important plants. Currently, I am researching how arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increase the nitrogen-use efficiency of Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), a Department of Energy top-priority biofuel feedstock and forage crop. In addition, I like to collect and identify all sorts of fungi, and I am currently engaged in two fungal biodiversity inventories: one at the Boston Harbor Islands National Park in Massachusetts and another at the UW-Madison Arboretum.


  • Tomás Rush at trush[at]

    Coming Soon!


Ejected Spores