Who's doing the identification?

Michael.Chamberland 23274MJC at MSU.EDU
Tue Oct 22 13:50:00 CDT 1996

Recently I had a discussion with a mycologist who has moved from industry
to academia.  She mentioned that pharmaceutical companies are engaged in
massive screening programs; collecting fungi from around the world and
testing them for potential active agents against human diseases.  She
mentioned that these collections were not being identified, only
tested for useful properties.  Seems a shame that vouchers are not
being made from this material (unless perhaps they strike paydirt).

I've also been led to suspect that environmental consulting companies are
doing more and more of the plant identification in the USA.  I'm not
aware of any taxonomy students I've known who've gone into this line
of work.  I wonder about the level of competency in their identifications,
especially if they don't have a herbarium.  They're not interacting with

Michael Chamberland
Michigan State University Herbarium

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