XVIII Congress of European Mycologists | Fungi in nature and culture
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Welcome Speach

The Polish Mycological Society and European Mycological Association  extend a warm invitation to all the participants across Europe and the whole globe to attend the 18th Congress of European Mycologists which is going to be held September, 16th-21st 2019 in Warsaw and Białowieża, Poland. The congress will include prompt keynote presentations, talks, poster presentations on fungal biodiversity, genomics, metabolomics, evolution, phytopathology, fungal conservation. We will  discuss different strategies for  bioremediation and biocontrol. Special emphasis will be put on applying basic science and molecular techniques from diverse areas of mycology use towards solving biomedical problems.

Meeting overview

The venue of the meeting will be The Old University Library, a convention center of the University of Warsaw located in the old part of the city, easily accessed by public transportation and at short walking distance from restaurants, cafes and hotels.

On September 18th we will relocate by buses to Białowieża – the heart of the most famous deciduous primeval forest in Europe. We will be hosted by Białowieża hotels and the convention center of Białowieża National Park. Due to space constraints, attendance will be limited to 300 participants, on a first-come, first-served basis.

The official program, beginning on Monday, September 16th, will largely follow the traditional organization of a CEM meeting: it will consist of plenary sessions and two parallel sessions during the 2 days in Warsaw, and 2 days in Białowieża.  We propose also forest excursion with the possibility of fungi specimens collection. In Białowieża, a special laboratory with microscopic staff will be prepared for individual work and available for every participant. In Białowieża we will also visit the Bison Reserve and BNP Reserve – the part of the forest which is most natural and undisturbed by human activity.

We expect to have approximately 60 oral presentations as part of a diverse array of symposia selected by our Scientific Committee consisting of session leaders. The poster session will take place in Warsaw, on the second and third day of the congress.

During the Warsaw part of the congress the EMA general assembly will take place.

In Warsaw we will have the possibility to listen to a Chopin concert and visit the exhibition of fungal pictures taken by both amateur and professional Polish photographers. The exhibition titled “Fungi – masterpieces of art made by nature” prepared by the Polish Mycological Society and Silesian Botanic Garden will be held in the Faculty of Sculpture of the Polish Academy of Fine Arts.

The conference dinner will take place on the evening of Friday, September 20th, at the Żubrówka Hotel in Białowieża. The Institute of Forestry Research which will be our host will offer us famous local food (and special drinks – some of them with rare and aromatic grass).

On the occasion of the XVIII Congress of European Mycologists we have the ambition for Warsaw to become a great showcase for the study of mycology. As such, several outreach activities, aimed at the general public, will take place in the city during the congress. A special open lecture about forensic mycology will be prepared and presented by Patricia Wiltshire known in Europe as the Queen of forensic science.  It will take place in Nicolaus Copernicus Center – the biggest educational center in Warsaw.  An exhibition in the NCC space about the biodiversity of dead wood is also planned.

The call for contributed presentations is now open. Proposals will be evaluated by sessions organizers (see Scientific Committee). Session organizers will favor a diversity of presenters and must be thanked for their huge, difficult and essential work in selecting abstracts for this meeting.

Because of the cap on the total number of participants for our conference (300), registration will be closed once this number is reached. There will be a period where presenters will have priority to register. However, after that registration is open for all and we will apply a first-come, first served rule.

This site will be updated as soon as relevant information becomes available. Visit it regularly!

We look forward to seeing you in Warsaw and Białowieża

Marta Wrzosek & Magdalena Frąc
on behalf of the Organizing Committee

Welcome Speach

Fungi are incredibly important. Plants produce and animals consume, but fungi recycle. Without them, life on this planet could not exist. That’s why we study them. That’s why we have meetings to communicate our discoveries and discuss what they mean. The Congress of European Mycologists is the world’s oldest continuously running series of international meetings about fungi. The first was in 1956 and, up to now, every subsequent Congress has been in a different and new country. The next one – the eighteenth – is different. With it, we return to a country which has already hosted the event. That country is Poland.

The XVIII Congress of European Mycologists will be held from 16-21 September 2019 with two venues. The first is Warsaw. In the historic old town and academic environment of its ancient university we will consider, debate and review the current state of fungal science in Europe and beyond. The second venue is Białowieża. There, in Europe’s greatest and most famous primaeval forest, the emphasis will be on fungi in nature.

It is no mere chance that Poland is the first country to welcome a return of our Congress. The Polish Mycological Society is young and vibrant. Its members are passionate about fungi and ardent in studying these remarkable organisms. In their company, we can explore the benefits fungi bring to human life. Those benefits are enormous and wide-ranging, and results from traditional mycology and the new molecular technologies bring more every day. Just one example from the proposed programme highlights that perfectly: the important role of fungi in forensic science – who could have imagined that? We must also, however, consider the harm done by fungi, for example in damaging crops. But our reflections must be intelligent. There is a paradox. The damage done by fungi has a positive side: “harmful” fungi are vital as checks and balances in the complex interactions which make the world’s ecosystems. They are like cog-wheels in an old clock, or digital chips in a new one: without them, the clock cannot work.

In keeping with the tradition of our Congresses, fungal conservation will be a major consideration. Conservation is not just about animals and plants. Fungi too are threatened by climate change, exploitation, habitat loss, persecution and pollution. They have no magic charm protecting them from these dangers. If mycologists don’t shout about this, who in the conservation movement will remember the fungi? The Poles can be proud that so many of the great pioneers in fungal conservation have come from their country. They need our support to help maintain the impetus of their conservation work in Poland.

Since 2003, all Congresses of European Mycologists have been organized under the auspices of the European Mycological Association. As its President, it is an honour and an enormous pleasure to invite you to participate. And that invitation goes to everyone with an interest in these beautiful and fascinating organisms, not just in Europe, but throughout the world. Like the mycelium they study, mycologists form an invisible but complex and effective network: when you come to this Congress you will be helping to form the fruitbody of our science from which the spores of learning are dispersed.

David Minter on behalf of the European Mycological Association




16.09 From genome to function – Ekaterina Schelest

16.09 Taxonomy and systematics – Pedro Crous

17.09 Fungi in biotechnology – Katarzyna Turnau

17.09 Fungal interactions – Martin Bidartondo

18.09 Medical Mycology – Michaela Lackner

18.09 Fungal diversity – Kadri Runnel

19.09 Fungi in primaeval forests and other natural habitats – Anders Dahlberg

20.09 Hypogeous mycorrhizal fungi – Giovanni Pacioni

20.09 Global fungal red-listing – will be confirmed

21.09 Fungal conservation – Susana Gonçalves

Sessions leaders

Ekaterina Schelest

is haed of bioinformatics Unit in  German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig, Germany. Her main scientific interests include mechanisms of transcription regulation and methods for their modelling, evolution and adaptation of transcription regulation systems, epigenetic regulation, eukaryotic (fungal) secondary metabolism, gene clustering in eukaryotic genomes, comparative genomics and evolution of fungal protein families.

Michaela Lackner

Michaela Lackner is Assistant Professor at the Division of Hygiene and Medical Microbiology (HMM) at the Medical University of Innsbruck (MUI), Innsbruck. Austria. Since 2017, she heads the Mycological Research Group at the HMM. She completed her Master in natural sciences and her PhD with excellence at the University of Innsbruck (LFU) in 2007 and 2010, respectively. Since 2007, she has a strong interest in fungal pathogens, particularly in the development of novel diagnostic tools, taxonomy of fungal pathogens and in understanding antifungal resistance mechanisms. She is convenor of the ECMM-ISHAM working group on Pseudallescheria/Scedosporium infections and the ISHAM working group of ISHAM Working Group Nomenclature of Clinical Fungi. Lackner has authored more than 60 publications in peer reviewed articles and is involved in the training of medical and science graduates and undergraduates in Social Medicine, Hygiene and Medical Microbiology. In 2016 she completed her habilitation in Hygiene and Medical Microbiology at the MUI.

Anders Dahlberg

works as Professor at the Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology; Division of Forest Pathology in University of Upsalla. He’s a fungal conservation expert at the Swedish Species Information Centre being in charge of fungal red-listing in Sweden, active in issues of international fungal conservation. His research interests include fungal population biology with its patterns, processes and genetics, fungal conservation biology, fungal community ecology with functional impacts on ecosystem processes.

Martin Bidartondo

works on the ecology and evolution of mycorrhizas, one of the dominant symbioses of terrestrial ecosystems.  The systems that he has studied include arbuscular, ectomycorrhizal, monotropoid and orchid mycorrhizas, and mycorrhiza-like associations of bryophytes. Following his ground-breaking research on the evolutionary ecology of the diverse plants that cheat mycorrhizal mutualisms, his team has investigated:  1) the mycorrhizal ecology of heathlands first revealing the mechanisms of tree invasions and then uncovering nutritional links among vascular plants, fungi and non-vascular plants, 2) the environmental drivers of forest mycorrhizas at large scales, revealing the impacts of nitrogen pollution across European forests in collaboration with ICP Forests, and 3) the ecology and evolution of their newly discovered, yet ancient and globally-widespread, symbioses between lineages of plants and fungi.

Giovanni Pacioni

is a Full Professor of Applied and Environmental Plant Biology at University of L’Aquila, Italy.  Since 1972  he has conducted research in the field of Biology of the higher fungi, first at the I.S.S. (Higher Institute for Health) of Rome, then at the University of L’Aquila, dedicating himself mostly to the mycorrhizal fungi. He has enjoyed two NATO semiannual scholarships at the INRA of Paris (the 1978-79) and University of Michigan (1983). He has been responsible for the research units of the National Council for Research grants engaged in the field of the mycorrhizal symbioses and their biotechnological applications.  He conceived and organized the CRAMF (Center Searches and Forest Application of the Mycorrhizae) of L’Aquila, funded by European grants. He is Author of patents for “Procedure for the production of truffle plants”, “An edible film made for preserving the vitality and characteristics of fresh truffles” and “Use of cold and pesticides for enhancing the mycorrhization of truffle plants”.  He’s been a F.A.O. consultant for the field “Mushrooms and No-Woody Forestry Products” 1987-1996, as well as referee of several international journals, proposal projects and university positions.  In 1992 he organized the International Conference on Truffles in L’Aquila. In the period 1975-2018 he has published, as author and co-author, 199 original full papers, including the truffle genome master paper on Nature (2010), and 30 between books, handbooks and review articles.

Plenary Speakers

Annegret Kohler

David Hawksworth

Geoffrey Gadd

Duur K. Aanen

Marc-André Sellose

Dominik Begerow

Bogdan Jaroszewicz

Open lecturer

Patricia Wiltshire


Organizing Comitee
Scientific Comitee

The information will be given soon

Dates to remember

1st September 2018

Registration opens


Registration closes


Deadline of abstracts submission


Registration page will open September 2018.

Abstracts Submission

Coming on September 2018.

Accommodation and location


The Warsaw Univeristy Library was founded in 1816.

The library housed mostly theological and historical books. In 1831 the library, which housed 134,000 volumes of books, stored in Kazimierzowski Palace. The collection was growing constantly, and a much needed new building was constructed in 1891-1894 at Krakowskie Przedmieście. During World War II part of the collection was damaged by fire.

The new library building (at Dobra street) opened on 15 December 1999 was design by architects Marek Budzyński and Zbigniew Badowski.

The distinct new building includes a botanical garden, located on the roof. The garden has an area of one hectare, and is one of the largest roof gardens in Europe. It is easily accessible for both the academia and the public. The main facade of the building side contains large blocks of classical texts in various scripts, including the Old Polish text of Jan KochanowskiClassical Greek text by Plato and Hebrew script from the Book of Ezekiel.

The library is the place of many spectacular events.


The Białowieża Forest is named after the Polish village of Białowieża (which means “White Tower” in Polish).

Białowieski National Park is one of the oldest nature reserves and last remaining primeval  forest in Europe. It covers the area of over 1500 km2. The park constitutes an area of mixed forests with an unusual abundance of diverse tree varieties which grow in their natural state, untouched by man, with many of the trees reaching heights seldom seen elsewhere in Europe.

Białowieża forest became home for several rare species of birds, hundreds of insects and thousands of mushrooms. It is also a home to the bison. The Bialowieski National Park has been recorded on the UNESCO list of World Biosphere Reserves and on the UNESCO list of World Heritage.

The most protected part of the park is a special conservation area with access to this area only in the company of a guide.

Exhibitors and Sponsors

The information will be given soon


Polish Mycological Society

Al. Ujazdowskie 4

00-478 Warsaw, Poland

+48 22 552 67 27