Tracy Debenport UP269

Tracy Debenport is a research mycologist with a passion for science communication. A practitioner working at the intersection of science and art, Tracy fuses the two together by sharing the aesthetic qualities of her lab work via photography and design. She specialises in conducting research on fungi (specifically molds, yeasts and mushrooms), as well as working with pathogens and beneficial microbes, primarily relating to agriculture. Her art pieces are often created in the spur of the moment when certain microbes grow to produce unexpected patterns or compositions.

"There is so much we can learn from these amazing organisms. So much untapped potential. Fungi play vital roles in our ecosystems. Many of you have probably heard them referred to as ‘Nature’s recyclers.’ In addition to recycling nutrients, fungi are integral members of plant, animal and human microbiomes. They also produce many important molecules that we use in medicine, industry and food production. I want to inspire curiosity in all ages and hopefully draw more people to the incredible world of mycology."