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Mary Catherine Aime

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Professor
Lilly Hall Room 1-335

Researchers in the Aime lab study all aspects of mycology, from genomics to pathology, although at its core the lab focuses on the earliest diverging lineages of Basidiomycota (Pucciniomycotina, Ustilaginomycotina, and Wallemiomycetes) and on basidiomycetes in tropical ecosystems. Our primary focus is on: (1) Systematics, biology, and evolution of rust fungi; the rust fungi represent the single largest group of plant pathogens with incredibly complex life cycles. Our work in this area uses phylogenetics and genomics to try and understand how these fungi became so successful and to provide tools for their identification. (2) Biodiversity of tropical fungi; it is conservatively estimated that more than 1 million fungal species have yet to be discovered and described by science and that many of these may reside in tropical world regions that have not yet been explored for fungi. Dr. Aime has spent 15 years documenting and describing new species and genera from a very remote region in Guyana and other tropical forests worldwide. (3) Systematics and biology of earliest diverging Basidiomycota, which includes the rust and smut fungal lineages and their non-pathogenic yeast and yeast-like relatives.

More information is available on the Aime lab page:

Awards & Honors

(2010) Tomas Rush, Best student poster presentation. Mycological Society of America annual meeting.

(2013) Tomas Rush, U.S. Student Fulbright Award.

(2012) Rachel Koch, Forest Fungal Ecology Award. Mycological Society of America annual meeting.

(2012) Rachel Koch, Best student poster presentation. Mycological Society of America annual meeting.

(2014) Rachel Koch, Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award. Botany and Plant Pathology.

(2014) Hannah Rugenstein, Undergraduate Research Scholarship.

(2014) Rachel Koch, Best student talk (3rd Place). VIII Latin American Mycological Congress, Medellin Colombia.

(2015) Rachel Koch, NSF-Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.

(2012) Fellow. Mycological Society of America.

Selected Publications

A co-evolutionary relationship exists between Endoraecium (Pucciniales) and its Acacia hosts in Australia. (2015). Persoonia, 35, 50-62.

Cibaomyces and Cyptotrama, two new genera for Europe, and an emendation of Rhizomarasmius (Basidiomycota, Physalacriaceae). (2015). Mycological Progress, 14, 1-16.

Distribution of Tranzschelia Mexicana on black cherry (Prunus serotina) in the United States. (2015). Plant Disease.

On the generic names Kriegeria. (2015). Mycotaxon, 130, 321-328.

Reassessment of rust fungi on weeping willows in the Americas and description of Melampsora ferrinii sp. nov. (2015). Plant Pathology, 64, 216-224.

Sequestrate fungi from Guyana I. Jimtrappea guyanensis gen et sp. nov. Castellanea pakaraimorphila gen. et ap. Nov., and Costatisporus caerulescens gen. et sp. nov. (Boletaceae, Boletales). (2015). Ima Fungus, 6, 297-317.

Tales from the crypt: Genome mining from fungarium specimens improves resolution of the mushroom tree of life. (2015). Biological Journal of The Linnaean Society. Retrieved from

Violaceomyces palustris gen. et sp. nov. and a new monotypic lineage, Violaceomycetales ord. nov. in Ustilaginomycetes. (2015). Mycologia. Retrieved from :

Henkel, T., Wilson, A., Aime, M., Dierks, J., Uehling, J., Roy, M., . . . Mueller, G. (2014). Cantharellaceae of Guyana II. New species of Craterellus, new South American records for Cantherellus guyanensis and Craterellus excelsus, and a key to the Neotropical taxa. Mycologia, 106, 307-322.

Toome, M., Kuo, A., Henrissant, B., Lipzen, A., Tritt, A., Yoshinaga, Y., . . . Aime, M. (2014). Draft genome sequence of a rare smut relative, Tilletiaria anomala UBC 951. Genome Announcements, 3,