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This profile was last updated on 5/7/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin

Wrong Dr. Dennis E. Desjardin?

Professor In Ecology and Evolutio...

Phone: (415) ***-****  
Email: d***@***.edu
Local Address:  California , United States
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue Cesar Chavez Student Center M-100D
San Francisco , California 94132
United States

Company Description: Founded in 1899, San Francisco State University is one of the nation's most highly diverse, public, urban universities. Offering more than 200 undergraduate and...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Master's degree , Ecology and Systematic Biology
    San Francisco State University
132 Total References
Web References
Blueswami - Spongiforma squarepantsii - Spongiforma squarepantsii, 9 Jan 2014 [cached]
Its discovery in the forests of Borneo, says San Francisco State University researcher Dennis Desjardin, suggests that even some of the most charismatic characters in the fungal kingdom are yet to be identified. Shaped like a sea sponge, S. squarepantsii was found in 2010 in the Lambir Hills in Sarawak, Malaysia. It is bright orange-although it can turn purple when sprinkled with a strong chemical base-and smells "vaguely fruity or strongly musty," according to Desjardin and colleagues' description published in the journal Mycologia.
"We expect that it has a wider range than these two areas," said Desjardin, a professor in ecology and evolution in the SFSU Biology Department. "But perhaps we haven't seen it in more places because we haven't collected it yet in some of the underexplored forests of the region."
Desjardin said Spongiforma are related to a group of mushrooms that includes the tasty porcini. But the genus sports an unusual look that is far from the expected cap and stem style.
"It's just like a sponge with these big hollow holes," he explained. "When it's wet and moist and fresh, you can wring water out of it and it will spring back to its original size. Most mushrooms don't do that."
Spongiforma's ancestors had a cap and stem, but these characters have been lost over time -- a common occurrence in fungi, Desjardin noted. The cap and stem design is an elegant evolutionary solution to a fungal problem. The stem lifts the fungus' reproductive spores off the ground so that they can be dispersed more easily by wind and passing animals, while the cap protects the spores from drying out in their lofty but exposed position. In its humid home, Spongiforma has taken a different approach to keeping its spores wet. "It's become gelatinous or rubbery," Desjardin said.
Spongiforma squarepantsii spores -- photos by Dennis Desjardin
"Most of these are very cryptic, molds and little things, most of them are not mushrooms," Desjardin said.
But even mushrooms-which are sort of like the big game of the fungal world-are mostly unknown. "We go to underexplored forests around the world, and we spend months at a time collecting all the mushrooms and focusing on various groups," Desjardin said. "And when we do that type of work, on average, anywhere from 25 percent to 30 percent of the species are new to science."
Desjardin and his colleague Don Hemmes of the University of Hawaii at Hilo will describe five new white-spored species of mushrooms from the native mountain forests of Hawaii in an upcoming issue of Mycologia.
Desjardin and his colleagues are racing to discover and study the islands' fungi before native forests succumb to agriculture and grazing.
"We don't know what's there, and that keeps us from truly understanding how these habitats function," Desjardin said.
Dennis E. ... [cached]
Dennis E. Desjardin
Dennis E. Desjardin is professor of biology at San Francisco State University. He received a master's degree from San Francisco State University studying with Harry D. Thiers, and a PhD from the University of Tennessee under the tutelage of Ronald H. Petersen. He also trained with Alexander H. Smith, Rolf Singer, Meinhard Moser, and Egon Horak.
Desjardin is a Fellow of the Mycological Society of America, which awarded him the Alexopoulos Prize for outstanding research and the William H. Weston Award for teaching excellence, and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. He has published over 120 scientific papers on the taxonomy and evolution of mushroom-forming fungi, in which he described 225 new species and seven new genera. He has active research projects in the Hawaiian Islands, Micronesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil, and the African islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. A recent interest is in the origin and evolution of bioluminescent fungi.
Born and raised in Crescent City, California, he has been collecting and studying California mushrooms for over 50 years.
Books by Dennis E. Desjardin
Sonoma County Mycological Association | Monthly Speakers, 25 May 2015 [cached]
Dr. Denis Desjardin
Dr. Dennis Desjardin, Ph.D., San Francisco State University, Mycological Society of San Francisco. "Why I Am A Mycologist."
MykoWeb—Mushrooms of Hawai'i, 2 April 2010 [cached]
By Don E. Hemmes & Dennis E. Desjardin
During times when there is a dearth of good new mushroom books, it is a pleasure to peruse the fine new book by Don E. Hemmes and Dennis E. Desjardin, Mushrooms of Hawai'i: an identification guide.
Dr. Hemmes is professor of biology at the University of Hawai'i in Hilo and Dr. Desjardin is professor of biology at San Francisco State University and scientific advisor for the Mycological Society of San Francisco.
A research project funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation formed the basis of Desjardin & Hemmes' knowledge of the mycota of Hawaiian Islands. Before this project, relatively little was known about the mushrooms and other macrofungi of Hawai'i.
SOMA - Speakers and Mushroom Topics, 18 May 2006 [cached]
Dr. Dennis Desjardin not only told us the reasons why he is a mycologist, but why YOU should be one too!He had new species and new genera that he showed such as a coralloid jelly fungus, a sponge-like bolete without a stipe and mushrooms that fruit under water and even under ice!He has recorded six new species of bioluminescent mushrooms and all of them were collected from the same habitat in the Atlantic Forest area of Brazil.So why are mushrooms bioluminescent? (To attract insects at night!) He also had an invitation to explore the wonders of the spring fungi of the high Sierra Nevada this June 5-10, 2005.
Dennis studied with Dr. Harry Thiers at San Francisco State University from 1981-1985 (B.S.-1983, M.A.-1985), then studied with Dr. Ron Petersen at the University of Tennessee from 1985-1989 (Ph.D.-1989).
For the past 15 years Dennis has been at San Francisco State University, where he is currently a Professor of Biology and Director of the H.D. Thiers Herbarium.He has been a member of the Mycological Society of San Francisco for nearly 25 years and its Scientific Advisor for the past 14 years. As one of the top Mycologists in North America, he has published over 75 papers on mushroom taxonomy in refereed-scientific journals, and received over $1.6 million from the National Science Foundation to support his research.He currently has nine graduate students, 4 at SFSU and 5 in Asia where he supervises their doctoral research at Chiang Mai University, Ramkhamhaeng University and King Monkut's Institute of Technology in Thailand, and at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.Dr. Desjardin has published over 140 new species and 3 new genera.His list of accolades include the Alexopoulos Award for scholarly work and the Weston Award for teaching excellence from the Mycological Society of America.He currently spends most of his "research time" in southeast Asia. (4/21/05)
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