Lois Hattery Tiffany (1924–2009) was a mycologist who taught for over 50 years at Iowa State University (ISU) and was known as "Iowa's mushroom lady". She won a number of awards, including becoming the first recipient of both the Mycological Society of America's Weston Award and the Iowa Governor’s Medal for Science Teaching. She published on many different aspects of fungal life, but her special area of research was Iowa's prairie fungi.
Lois Hattery was born March 8, 1924, near Collins, Iowa, to Charles Hattery and Blanche (Brown) Hattery.She attended Iowa State College, earning a B.S. in botany in 1945, and went on to get both M.S. (1947) and Ph.D. (1950) degrees in mycology at the same institution.
In 1945, she married Fremont Henry (Hank) Tiffany and they had three children: Ray, David, and Jean.
Tiffany got her first teaching job in 1950 at Iowa State College (later to become Iowa State University), as an instructor in the Botany and Plant Pathology Department. Despite initial difficulties related to her gender—the university at first did not want to pay her at all, for example, and when she refused, underpaid her at the level of a teaching assistant—she rose to become a full professor in the department in 1965, and she also served as the department's chair for six years (1990–96).She was the first woman in the ISU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to be awarded the title of Distinguished Professor (1994). She taught a range of courses in mycology at ISU and at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, and her general mycology course has been termed the best graduate mycology course in the country.
She published over 100 scientific papers and several books on various aspects of fungi, especially soil fungi, plant pathogens, mycotoxins, morels, and lichens.For making scholarly contributions on each of the major groups of the fungus kingdom, she has been referred to as the Renaissance woman of mycological research. She was particularly interested in Iowa prairie fungi, their fungal diseases, and their relationship to environmental changes (such as those resulting from fires). The work Tiffany and her students did on prairie fungi is considered unique among biosurveys. She also carried out long-term studies of Iowa morels and false morels, and of the fungi of Big Bend National Park, making the latter one of the very few national parks to have had such extensive research carried out on its fungi. She was a co-author of the second edition of Mushrooms and Other Fungi of the Mid-Continental United States (2008).
Tiffany helped to integrate the university's mycology collection into its existing herbarium, in the process donating more than 8000 speciments from her own collection.
Tiffany also worked to educate the public about fungi, giving talks and leading field trips with amateur mushroom hunters. In addition, she co-led annual field trips with the university's Botany Club to various national and state parks.It was these outreach efforts that led to her becoming known as "Iowa's mushroom lady", and some of the people who learned from her through these events went on to become active in Iowa savanna conservation efforts.
Tiffany was a member of the American Phytopathological Society and of the Iowa Academy of Science, serving as the IAS's first woman president in 1977–78.She was a member of the editorial board of the journal Mycopathologia , and she was appointed by the Iowa governor to serve on the State Preserves Advisory Board.
Tiffany formally retired from the university in 2002 but maintained a small lab there and continued teaching until 2005. She died Sept. 6, 2009, in Ames, Iowa.
Tiffany was honored with a number of awards during her lifetime. A member of the Mycological Society of America, she was given the first W. H. Weston Award for Teaching Excellence in Mycology in 1980.She also received the first Iowa Governor’s Medal for Science Teaching (1982). Other honors included the Distinguished Iowa Scientist Award from the Iowa Academy of Science (1982), the ISU Regents Award for Faculty (1990), an Honorary Outstanding Career Award from the North Central Division of the American Phytopathological Society (2009), and several distinguished service awards from scientific organizations. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1991.
In recognition of Tiffany's work on Iowa truffles, a Mediterranean truffle species was named after her, Mattirolomyces tiffanyae.
After her death, a paving stone with her name was placed in the Plaze of Heroines at the entrance to ISU's Center for Women and Politics.
In 2013, the Nature Conservancy named a piece of recently acquired prairie land in northwest Iowa the Dr. Lois Tiffany Prairie in her honor. It is an 80-acre parcel in the Glacial Hills of Little Sioux Valley.
Tiffany's papers are held by Iowa State University.
Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales. These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance due to the network of ridges with pits composing their caps. Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. Due to difficulties in cultivation, commercial harvesting of wild morels has become a multimillion-dollar industry in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in particular North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan, where these highly prized fungi are found in abundance.
Joan Marjorie Dingley,, was one of the pioneer women of New Zealand science. She worked for the DSIR Plant Diseases Division from 1941 to 1976, becoming the head of mycology. She was a major research scientist in New Zealand for both laboratory and field-based plant pathology, and for taxonomic mycology.
Joseph Charles Arthur was a pioneer American plant pathologist and mycologist best known for his work with the parasitic rust fungi (Pucciniales). He was a charter member of the Botanical Society of America, the Mycological Society of America, and the American Phytopathological Society. He was a recipient of the first Doctorate in Sciences awarded by Cornell University. The standard author abbreviation Arthur is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
The North American Mycological Association (NAMA), is a non-profit organization of amateurs and professionals who are interested in fungi, including mushrooms, morels, truffles, molds, and related organisms. NAMA aims "to promote, pursue, and advance the science of mycology."
Verpa is a genus of ascomycete fungi related to the morels. Resembling the latter genus in edibility and form, the common name early morels is popular. There are five species in the widespread genus.
Verpa bohemica is a species of fungus in the family Morchellaceae. Commonly known as the early morel or the wrinkled thimble-cap, it is one of several species known informally as a "false morel". The mushroom has a pale yellow or brown thimble-shaped cap—2 to 4 cm in diameter by 2 to 5 cm long—that has a surface wrinkled and ribbed with brain-like convolutions. The cap hangs from the top of a lighter-colored, brittle stem that measures up to 12 cm (4.7 in) long by 1 to 2.5 cm thick. Microscopically, the mushroom is distinguished by its large spores, typically 60–80 by 15–18 µm, and the presence of only two spores per ascus.
Ruth Florence Allen (1879–1963) was an American botanist and plant pathologist and the first woman to earn her Ph.D. in botany from the University of Wisconsin. Her doctorate research focused on the reproduction and cell biology of ferns, particularly the phenomenon of apogamy. Later in her career, Dr. Allen shifted her focus to plant pathology. Her major contribution to the field of mycology was furthering the understanding of rust fungi, a group of economically important plant pathogens. Dr. Allen completed many studies on Puccinia graminis, once considered a catastrophically damaging disease-causing agent in cereal crops before the discovery of current management measures.
Clark Thomas Rogerson,, was an American mycologist. He was known for his work in the Hypocreales (Ascomycota), particularly Hypomyces, a genus of fungi that parasitize other fungi. After receiving his doctorate from Cornell University in 1950, he went on to join the faculty of Kansas State University. In 1958, he became a curator at The New York Botanical Garden, and served as editor for various academic journals published by the Garden. Rogerson was involved with the Mycological Society of America, serving in various positions, including President in 1969. He was Managing Editor (1958–89) and Editor-in-chief (1960–65) of the scientific journal Mycologia.
Helen Margaret Gilkey (1886–1972) was an American mycologist and botanist, as well as a botanical illustrator and watercolor artist She was born on March 6, 1886 in Montesano, Washington and moved to Corvallis, Oregon with her family in 1903. She died in 1972 at the age of 86.
Daniel Elliot Stuntz was often called "Bud" by his family and colleagues. When Stuntz was young, his immediate and extended family moved from Ohio to Seattle. He had a sister named Alice Stuntz Marionneaux, whom he frequently visited in the later years. Stuntz's father, Chauncey Richards Stuntz, who worked in the sugarcane business, would be absent to work for most of the time. In 1920s, he was promoted as the general manager of a sugar mill, 'Jobabo' in Oriente Province in Cuba. During his father's absence, Stuntz' mother, Evelyn Elliot Stuntz, managed the family and arranged the children's summer vacations.
Lekh Raj Batra was a distinguished mycologist and linguist. He studied the symbiotic relationships of fungi and beetles focusing on ambrosia beetles and fungi, bio-systematics of hemiascomycetes and discomycetes and fungal diseases.
Gladys Elizabeth Baker was an American mycologist, teacher, and botanical illustrator, known for her extensive work in biological and mycological education, and the morphological study of myxomycete fructifications. She further contributed studies to the Island Ecosystems Integrated Research Program of the U. S. International Biological Program.
Vera Katherine Charles (1877–1954) was an American mycologist. She was one of the first women to be appointed to professional positions within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Charles coauthored several articles on mushrooms while working for the USDA.
Harry Morton Fitzpatrick,, was an American mycologist. He was professor of mycology at Cornell. He is known for his work on the Phycomycetes. His book on the Lower Fungi was the standard text and reference work on the Phycomycetes. He trained Clark Thomas Rogerson and Richard P. Korf, two prominent mycologists.
William Henry Weston Jr. (1890–1978) was an American botanist, mycologist, and first president of the Mycological Society of America. Weston was known for his research in the fungal group known as the phycomycetes, particularly the pathogenic genus Sclerospora. His nickname was "Cap", an insider joke among mycologists referring to the cap the fruit body of fungi, or mushroom. He received a BA from Dartmouth College in 1911, then received his MA in 1912 and PhD in 1915, both from Harvard University. He worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and at Western Reserve University, then became assistant professor of botany, professor of cryptogamic botany, and chairman of the botany department, all at Harvard. In 1962, he received the Civilian Distinguished Service Award from the United States Army for his work as a civilian consulting for the Quartermaster Corps. He was elected to fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Edith Katherine Cash was an American mycologist and lichenologist.
Robert W. Lichtwardt was a Brazilian-born American mycologist specializing in the study of arthropod-associated, gut-dwelling fungi (trichomycetes). He is known for his online monograph and interactive keys to trichomycete taxa.
Elizabeth Eaton Morse was an American mycologist. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts, she graduated from Ashland, Massachusetts, High School in 1882. For seven years she taught in elementary school before entering Wellesley College, from which she graduated with a diploma from the School of Art in 1891. After twenty years of teaching in the New York City schools Morris High School and Roosevelt High School, she returned to Wellesley College in 1924 and earned a degree in Botany in 1926. Shortly after, she registered as a part-time graduate student in the Department of Botany at the University of California, and was given storage and work space to pursue her interests in cryptogamic botany.
Dr. Martha Christensen was an American mycologist, botanist and educator known as an expert in fungal taxonomy and ecology, particularly for soil-dwelling fungi in the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium.
Meredith May Blackwell is an American mycologist, known as one of the world's leading experts on fungi associated with arthropods.