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19–22 September 2023 IUBMB Focused Meeting on Extremophilic Fungi

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Extreme environments are hostile to most life as we know it. Only a small selection of species have adapted to survive and thrive in some of the most extreme conditions on our planet. Research on extremophiles has traditionally been focused on prokaryotes, but this focus has been repeatedly challenged by the discovery of various fungi as part of the extreme microbiome. Despite their much more complex cell structure, fungi approach, and in some cases surpass, the stress tolerance of bacteria and archaea.

The study of fungi from various extreme environments, from arid and hypersaline to cold and acidic, attracts a vibrant and ever-growing scientific community. Although the topic is receiving increasing attention at some of the most prestigious international meetings, a dedicated international conference has been lacking.

So far, research on extremophilic fungi has been presented as a minor part of specialized congresses, dedicated to hypersaline or polar environments, where the vast majority of talks was focused on bacteria and archaea. Extremophilic fungi are also increasingly presented as separate “exotic” topics at major mycological congresses, where they attract much attention because they expand the boundaries of eukaryotic life in general. Today, it is clear that fungi represent an integral part of microbial communities in ecological niches that were previously considered either abiotic or exclusively populated by prokaryotes.  

Therefore, the first IUBMB-Focused Meeting on Extremophilic Fungi will be held from 19 to 22 September 2023 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It will bring together world-renowned experts, young scientists, and students who explore the diversity, adaptations, and potential applications of extremophilic fungi and help to usher in the next era of extreme mycology.

Since this is a first-time event, we would like to encourage as many researchers as possible to attend in person, with particular emphasis on young researchers and early-career scientists.

Twitter handle: @extremefungi

Hashtag: #funextremophiles

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