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P. Brandon Matheny

Professor and Chair of Graduate Affairs

Research Interest

mushroom-forming fungi, diversification, systematics, phylogeny, taxonomy


2003 PhD, University of Washington


My group’s research interests include fungal systematics, species recognition, historical biogeography, taxonomy of mushroom-forming fungi, and fungal interactions with plants. We do a lot of field work!

We use field specimens and natural history collections of mushroom-forming fungi to investigate their systematic and evolutionary relationships. We reconstruct molecular phylogenies to test classifications, species concepts, and patterns of diversification. We are also interested in the evolution of the ectomycorrhizal (ECM) symbiosis, an important ecological feature, and how this trait has influenced biogeographic distributions and speciation patterns of the fungi involved. Research in our lab also focuses on the identification and taxonomic revision of selected groups of Agaricomycetes. We have done field work throughout North America, especially in the southern Appalachians, and in Australasia and southern South America.


Visit Google Scholar for more publications. (Since 2015)

  • Adamčík S, Jančovičová S, Looney BP, Adamčíková K, Griffith G, Birkebak JM, Læssøe T, Moreau P-A, Vizzini A, Matheny PB (2017) Hodophilus (Clavariaceae, Agaricales) species with dark dots on the stipe: more than one species in Europe. Mycological Progress, in press.
  • Matheny PB, Baroni TJ, Simoni A, Holgado Rojas ME, Sánchez-García M, Gates GM. The wild edible Pleurocollbyia cibaria is a species of Gerhardtia (Lyophyllaceae). Cryptogamie, Mycologie 38(2): 1-8.
  • Truong C, Mujic AB, Healy R, Kuhar F, Furci G, Tores D, Niskanen T, Sandoval-Leiva PA, Fernández N, Escobar JM, Moretto A, Palfner G, Pfister D, Houhra E, Swenie R, Sánchez-García M, Matheny PB, Smith ME (2017). How to know fungi: combining field inventories and DNA-barcoding to document fungal diversity. New Phytologist 214: 913-919.
  • Sánchez-García M, Matheny PB (2017) Is the switch to an ectomycorrhizal state an evolutionary key innovation in mushroom-forming fungi? A case study of the Tricholomatineae (Agaricales). Evolution 71: 51-65 (cover issue).
  • Matheny PB, Bougher NL (2017) Fungi of Australia: Inocybaceae. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra; CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. 582 pp.
  • Adamčík S, Jančovičová S, Looney BP, Adamčíková K, Birkebak JM, Moreau PA, Vizzini A, Matheny PB (2017) Circumscription of species in the Hodophilus foetens complex (Clavariaceae, Agaricales) in Europe. Mycological Progress 16: 47-62.
  • Peay KG, Matheny PB (2017) The biogeography of ectomycorrhizal fungi – a history of life in the subterranean. In Molecular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis (ed.) Martin F. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: 341-362.
  • Sheedy EM, Ryberg M, Lebel T, May TW, Bougher NL, Matheny PB. Dating the emergence of truffle-like fungi in Australia using an augmented meta-analysis. Australian Systematic Botany, 29: 284-302 (cover issue).
  • Sánchez-García M, Aime MC, Smith ME, Matheny PB, Henkel TW. A new genus of ectomycorrhizal fungi (Guyanagarika, Agaricales) from the neotropics. Fungal Biology 120: 1540-1553.
  • Deepna Latha KP, Manimohan P, Matheny PB (2016) A new species of Inocybe representing the Nothocybe lineage. Phytotaxa 267: 040-050.
  • Adamčík S, Looney BP, Birkebak JM, Jančovičová S, Adamčíková K, Marhold K, Matheny PB (2016) Circumscription of species of Hodophilus (Clavariaceae, Agaricales) in North America with naphthalene odours. Botany 94: 941-956.
  • Birkebak JM, Adamčík S, Looney PB, Matheny PB (2016) Multilocus phylogenetic reconstruction of the Clavariaceae (Agaricales) reveals polyphyly of the agaricoid members. Mycologia 108: 860-868.
  • Pradeep CK, Vrinda KB, Varghese S, Korotkin HB, Matheny PB (2016) New and noteworthy species of Inocybe (Agaricales) from tropical India. Mycological Progress 15: article 24.
  • Looney BP, Ryberg M, Hampe F, Sánchez-García M, Matheny PB (2016) Into and out of the tropics: global diversification patterns in a hyperdiverse clade of ectomycorrhizal fungi. Molecular Ecology 25: 630-647 (cover issue).
  • Vellinga EC, Kuyper TW, Ammirati J, Desjardin DE, Halling RE, Justo A, Læssøe T, Lebel T, Lodge DJ, Matheny PB, Methven AS, Moreau P-A, Mueller GM, Noordeloos ME, Nuytinck J, Ovrebo CL, Verbeken A (2015) Six simple guidelines for introducing new genera of fungi. IMA Fungus 6(2): (65)-(68)
  • Kuo M, Matheny PB (2015) Contemporary documentation of the rare eastern North American species Inocybe insignis (Inocybaceae, Agaricales). MycoKeys 11: 23-31.
  • Horak E, Matheny PB, Desjardin DE, Soytong K (2015) The genus Inocybe (Inocybaceae, Agaricales, Basidiomycota) in Thailand and Malaysia. Phytotaxa 230 (3): 201-238.
  • Harrower E, Bougher NL, Winterbottom C, Henkel TW, Horak E, Matheny PB (2015) New species in Cortinarius section Cortinarius (Agaricales) from the Americas and Australasia. MycoKeys 11: 1-21.
  • Harrower E, Bougher NL, Henkel TW, Horak E, Matheny PB (2015) Long-distance dispersal and speciation of Cortinarius sect. Cortinarius in Australasia and the Americas. Mycologia 107: 697-709 (cover issue).
  • Matheny PB, Moreau P-A, Vizzini A, Harrower E, de Haan A, Contu M, Curti M (2015) Crassisporium and Romagnesiella, two new genera of dark-spored Agaricales. Systematics and Biodiversity 13: 28-41.

Contact Information

  • 334 Hesler
  • Mailing Address: 569 Dabney Hall, 1416 Circle Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: (865) 974-8896
  • Fax: (865) 974-3067
  • E-mail:
  • Lab Website