Media report on Longcore’s research, AAAS award

Popular SciencePBS NewsHour and the Bangor Daily News reported Joyce Longcore, a mycologist and associate research professor at the University of Maine, was awarded the 2017 Golden Goose Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The award recognizes the people and stories of unexpected, incredible scientific breakthroughs. It highlights federally funded research, which at the surface may seem odd or obscure, that has made important contributions to society. Longcore found a species of fungus called chytrids was annihilating frogs across the globe by hitching a ride with traveling humans, according to PBS NewsHour. She also found the chytrids were killing more than frogs. “These fungi were inadvertently introduced to where they were not native and decimated biota,” Longcore said. In 2012, Longcore was elected as a AAAS Fellow for her groundbreaking chytrid research. The discovery of the frog-killing chytrid and its role in the mass die-offs of frog populations worldwide thrust her research into the spotlight. Longcore said she and collaborators will continue to work, and their next step is to treat any afflicted frog species and sustain biodiversity, PBS NewsHour reported. A quote from Longcore also was featured as the “quote for the day” in Nature’s Sept. 29 “Nature Briefing” email newsletter. “You never know when something that is found will become important. I was content to study a group nobody had much interest in,” Longcore said.