Fungi support all life on Earth. They are the primary decomposers of dead material that recycle carbon and essential nutrients in ecosystems. Some species form beneficial associations with plants, known as mycorrhizae, while other species are harmful parasites of plants, animals and even other fungi.

With more than 5 million estimated species, the kingdom Fungi is one of the most diverse groups of organisms on Earth and among the largest reservoir of new discoveries. Yet mycology is often neglected in biological sciences programs.

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria hosts one of the largest collections of fungi specimens in the southern hemisphere, and provides a unique setting to conduct research in mycology, including new species discoveries, understanding key functions of fungi in terrestrial ecosystems, and conserving the unique fungal biodiversity of Australia.