Huzefa Raja

University of North Carolina, Greensboro, USA

Huzefa Raja serves as a mycologist with extensive training in the study of freshwater ascomycetes, which are an ecological assemblage of fungi that occur on submerged or partially submerged substrates in freshwater habitats. The focus of his research has been developing and addressing questions concerning the ecology, biodiversity, biogeography, taxonomy, molecular systematics, and bioactive secondary metabolite chemistry of freshwater ascomycetes and their anamorphic states (asexual or mitosporic fungi). His major research goals are (i) to understand how the species composition and biodiversity of freshwater ascomycetes are influenced by latitude, longitude, elevation, habitat, substrate type, or environmental variables such as pH and water nutrient concentrations, (2) to understand and resolve the molecular phylogenetic relationships among terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ascomycetes and the evolution of morphological adaptations of ascomycetes to aquatic habitats by employing both ribosomal and protein coding genetic sequence data and constructing single and multigene phylogenies, (3) to isolate and identify bioactive compounds from axenic cultures of freshwater fungi, (4) to make the connection between in vitro enzyme production of freshwater ascomycetes to their in situ function as decomposers of organic matter and their role in carbon turnover.

Biography Updated on 1 April 2012

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