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P. Brandon Matheny

Professor and Curator of Fungi

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 2019)

  • Romera M, Matheny PB. Inocybe distans, a new species native to Australia but introduced in Europe and South America with planted Eucalyptus. Boletín de la Sociedad Micológica de Madrid, 47: 67-78. 


    Justo A, Hood AW, Swenie RA, Matheny PB. Hydnum atlanticum, a new species from eastern North America. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 11: 63-70. 


    Swenie RA, Matheny PB (2023) New reports, new species, and high diversity of Cantharellus in the southern Appalachians. Mycologia 115: 44-68 (cover of issue). 


    Aignon HL, Jabeen S, Verbeken A, Matheny PB, Yorou NS, Ryberg M (2022) Four new nodulose-spored species of Inocybe from tropical Africa. Fungal Systematics and Evolution 10: 1-18. 


    Matheny PB, Corrales A, Graddy MG, Halling RE, Kalichman J, Kudzma LV, Ovrebo CL, Swenie RA, Walker NC (2022) A revision of the Inocybe grammata group in North America including four new taxa. Brittonia 74: 436-464(cover of issue). 


    Chen K-H, Liao H-L, Arnold AE, Korotkin HB, Wu SH, Matheny PB, Lutzoni F (2022) Comparative transcriptomics of fungal endophytes in co-culture with their host plant reveals fungal trophic lability and neutral to slight increase in plant growth. New Phytologist 234: 1832-1847. 


    Trudell SA, Matheny PB, Parker AD, Gordon M, Dougil DB, Cline ET (2022) Pacific Northwest Tricholomas: Are we using the right names? Published by the authors: Seattle, Washington. 103 p. 


    Looney BP, Manz C, Matheny PB, Adamčik S (2022) Systematic revision of the Roseinae clade of Russula with a focus on eastern North American taxa. Mycologia 114: 270-302. 


    Looney B, Miyauchi S, Morin E, Drula E, Courty PE, Chicoki N, Fauchery L, Kohler A, Lindquist E, Kuo A, LaButti K, Pangilinan J, Lipzen A, Riley R, Adreopoulos W, He G, Johnson J, Barry KW, Grigoriev IV, Nagy L, Hibbett D, Henrissat B, Matheny PB, Labbé J, Martin F (2022) Evolutionary transition to the ectomycorrhizal habit in the genomes of a hyper-diverse lineage of mushroom-forming fungi. New Phytologist 233: 2294-2309. 


    Wells DG, Raudabaugh DB, Matheny PB, Hughes KW, Sargent M, Iturriaga T, Miller AN (2021) In vitro observations of the interactions between Pholiota carbonaria and Polytrichum commune. Life 11(6): 518. 


    Beker H, Eberhardt U, Grilli E, Ammirati JF, Matheny PB, Hawksworth DL (2021) (2793) Proposal to conserve the name Hebeloma velutipes against H. bakeri (Fungi, Agaricales, Hymenogastraceae). Taxon 70: 202-203. 


    Aïgnon HL, Naseer A, Matheny PB, Yorou NS, Ryberg M (2021) Mallocybe africana (Inocybaceae, Fungi), the first species of Mallocybe described from Africa. Phytotaxa 478: 49-60. 


    Caiafa MV, Sandoval-Leiva P, Matheny PB, Calle A, Smith ME (2021) New species of secotioid and sequestrate Inocybe from Chilean Nothofagaceae forests. Mycologia 113: 629-642. 


    Sánchez-García M, Adamčíkova K, Moreau P-A, Vizzini A, Jančovičová S, Kiran M, Caboň M, Matheny PB, Adamčík S (2021) The genus Dermoloma is more diverse than expected and forms a monophyletic lineage in the Tricholomataceae. Mycological Progress 20: 11-25. 


    Tian E, Matheny PB (2021) A phylogenetic assessment of Pholiota and the new genus Pyrrhulomyces. Mycologia 113: 146-167. 


    Ramírez Cruz V, da Silva PS, Vallalobos-Arámbula AR, Matheny PB, Noordeloos M, Morgado L, Borges da Silveria RM, Guzmán Dávalos L (2020) Two new species of Deconica from Australia and Mexico. Mycological Progress 19:1317-1328. 


    Matheny PB, Hughes KW, Kalichman J, Lebeuf R (2020) Pulverulina, a new genus of Agaricales for Clitocybe ulmicola. Southeastern Naturalist 19: 447-459. 


    Looney BP, Adamćik S, Matheny PB (2020) Coalescent-based delimitation and species-tree estimations reveal Appalachian orign and Neogene diversification in Russula subsection Roseinae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 147: 106787. 


    Hughes KW, Matheny PB, Miller AN, Petersen RH, Iturriaga TM, Johnson KD, Methven AS, Raudabaugh DB, Swenie RA, Bruns TD (2020) Pyrophilous fungi detected after wildfires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park expands known species ranges and biodiversity estimates. Mycologia 112: 677-698. 


    Hughes KW, Case A, Matheny PB, Miller AN, Petersen RH, Iturriaga T (2020) Secret lifestyles of pyrophilous fungi in the genus Sphaerosporella. American Journal of Botany 107: 876-885. 


    Kalichman J, Kirk P, Matheny PB (2020) A compendium of generic names of agarics and Agaricales. Taxon 69: 425-447. 


    Liimatainen K, Niskanen T, San-Fabia B, Mujic AB, Peintner U, Dresch P, Furci G, Nouhra E, Matheny PB, Smith ME (2020) Cortinarius section Thaumasti in South American Nothofagaceae forests. Mycologia 112: 329-341. 


    Matheny PB, Hobbs AM, Esteve-Raventós F (2020) Genera of Inocybaceae: New skin for the old ceremony. Mycologia 112: 83-120. 


    Raudabaugh DB, Matheny PB, Hughes KW, Iturriaga TM, Sargent M, Miller AN (2020) Where are they hiding? Testing the body snatcher hypothesis in fire-associated fungi. Fungal Ecology 43: 100870. 


    Ramírez-Cruz V, Cortés-Pérez A, Borovička J, Villalobos Arámbula AR, Matheny PB, Guzmán-Dávalos L (2019) Deconica cokeriana (Agaricales, Strophariaceae), a new combination. Mycoscience 61: 95-100. 


    Kuhar F, Truong C, Smith ME, Matheny PB, Nouhra E (2019) Molecular and morphological evidence place Pholiota psathyrelloides from Patagonia within the ectomycorrhizal genus Psathyloma (Agaricales). New Zealand Journal of Botany 57: 261-270. 


    Matheny PB, Fordyce JA (2019) Not all ectomycorrhizal fungal lineages are equal. New Phytologist (invited commentary) 222: 1670-1672. 


    Matheny PB, Kudzma L (2019) New species of Inocybe (Agaricales) from eastern North America. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 146: 213-235. 

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