Jerry Cooper Curator

Joined: May 30, 2011 Last Active: Sep 20, 2019

Looking for fungi was an interest that got me out of a window-less physics lab as a grad student in the UK in the 80s. Over the years it turned into an obsession and eventually a job. As a hobby I started looking at macro-fungi, but too many people did them already in the UK, and so I turned to more obscure and challenging groups - slime moulds, plant pathogens, aquatic fungi, micro-fungi. My succession of jobs drifted away from physics and towards biology via computing. The jobs gave me access to the technical literature, major collections and professional experts at RBG Kew, IMI and RBGE. I worked at the International Mycological Institute (IMI) near London (now CABI), and currently at Manaaki Whenua-Landcare Research in New Zealand. These days I am a professional fungal systematist/informatician. After emigrating to NZ many years ago I still do a bit of everything, but increasingly macro-fungi, because here they are so poorly known. All my records are associated with specimens (associated with collecting permits) that go to our national fungarium, PDD, and so you will find my data there (online through NZFUNGI2). I'm posting species examples on iNat as I get time. As an informatician/analyst/programmer I've been involved in designing and developing many biological information systems. In the UK - IndexFungorum, SpeciesFungorum, the British Basidiomycete checklist, and the BMS Foray records database. In New Zealand - NZFUNGI, the New Zealand Organisms Register (NZOR - NZ national digital checklist). Internationally I was the NZ Node Manager for the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and a past member of the global team of the Catalogue of Life/Species2000. I was involved in developing early versions of data exchange standards for Taxon Names and Concepts (TCS) and Invasive Alien Species (IAS), both through the TDWG Biodiversity Information Standards Group. I'm one of the board members of NZBRN (NZ Biodiversity Recording Network) who coordinate iNaturalist.NZ which is the New Zealand instance of iNaturalist.

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