We are very excited to announce the winners of ACSA’s 2021 Seed Grants; MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology and 2 Bent Rods! Each will be provided with $1000 to assist the growth and development of their citizen science projects.
MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology will use the money to train volunteers in taking herbarium specimens of fungi and in the use of basic laboratory equipment and techniques related to environmental DNA and DNA sequencing. The Wild Fungi DNA Project is a very exciting initiative and has the potential to have a big impact and greatly enhance our knowledge of the distribution of Australian fungi. With only 5% of the estimated 250,000 species of Australian fungi being described, and the infrequent sightings and recording of fungi fruiting bodies, the use of eDNA has the potential to rapidly increase our baseline knowledge of our fungi. MYCOmmunity Applied Mycology has been developing eDNA methods that can be used by citizen mycologists, this includes LAMP (a colour change test to see if DNA of a specific species is in an environmental sample) and working with a MinION portable DNA sequencer. We wish them all the best with the development of these techniques and the training of citizen scientists.
2 Bent Rods, a fishing school, is planning to create a video & QR code flyers to promote the free fishing app they have developed in partnership with experts. This grant will allow them to promote the app more widely to recreational & professional fishers across Australia and encourage them to upload photos to collect data about the size, species and health of the fish in their catch. 2 Bent Rods will also survey users to collect feedback on how well the platform is working, to maximise its effectiveness. It is great to see the co-design of this project with industry experts and the partnership 2 Bent Rods have with the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water & Environment to assist with the analysis of the data collected through the app.
2022 Seed Grants
The ACSA Management Committee has decided to bring the ACSA Seed Grants forward next year, in an attempt to avoid the traditional end-of-year busy-ness and burnout. Please keep an eye on our website and socials for details, but we will most likely launch the grants in May 2022.