Dr Tom May, Senior Mycologist, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Australian Natural History Medallion.
The Australian Natural History Medallion is awarded each year to the person judged to have made the most meritorious contribution to the understanding of Australian Natural History.
Dr May’s contribution stems not only from scientific research at the National Herbarium of Victoria, but also his crucial role in the founding and continued growth of Fungimap, a community mapping scheme for fungi and one of the largest citizen science groups in Australia.
“I am so thrilled to receive this award from the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, which has a rich heritage and a long‐standing, wonderful relationship with the Royal Botanic Gardens,” said Dr May.
As Dr May explains, Fungimap has been bringing together fungi enthusiasts from all over the country since its humble beginnings in 1995.
“When I had the idea for Fungimap, I thought that a handful of field naturalists would contribute, and the mapping scheme would run for a couple of years,” he said.
“Almost 20 years later, more than 100,000 fungi records have been submitted, from almost 1,000 people and organisations from around Australia.”
Prof Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens, congratulated Dr May on his achievement.
"This is richly deserved recognition for the importance of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, and for one of our most passionate and influential scientists. Great for Tom and great for fungi!"