Got awarded a Newton Fund prime pump grant as PI with Ester Gaya as Senior-PI in collaboration with a large part of the RBG Kew mycologists (Paul Cannon, Laura Martinez-Suz, Tuula Niskanen, Begoña Aguirre-Hudson, Lee Davies and Rowena Hill). The grant is part of the ColombiaBio project in the department Boyacá (BoyacáBIO) and aims to investigate the fungal biodiversity in the department and strengthening the local knowledge on fungal biodiversity and taxonomy.



I gave a seminar at my old lab (Centre for Social Evolution) in Copenhagen entitled "On ants, fungus and hormigas culonas: phylogenetic studies of fungus-farming ants" presenting some of my new preliminary results.



New paper out in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution lead by Thais Vasconcelos entitled "Myrteae phylogeny, calibration, biogeography and diversification patterns: Increased understanding in the most species rich tribe of Myrtaceae"



My new Kew Science Blog is online. Both available here and at the Kew website.



Tomorrow I will be presenting some of my phylogenetic work, both fungi and ants, at the Universidad del Rosario, Bogota, Colombia.



Presented how RBG Kew is using the collections with regards to science, outreach and education at a workshop in Barranquilla, Colombia, organised by the British Research Council and Colciencias. And, all in Spanish!



Presented some of my newer fungal phylogenetic work at the 8th Brazilian Mycological Congress, in Florianopolis, alongside André Rodrigues, Bryn Dentinger, Fernando Pagnocca and Cristiano Menezes.



Working hard on a newly designed website. Stay tuned for more soon!



New paper out in PNAS lead by Jon Shik entitled "Nutrition mediates the expression of cultivar–farmer conflict in a fungus-growing ant"



New paper out in BMC Microbiology entitled "Ant mediated redistribution of a xyloglucanase enzyme in fungus gardens of Acromyrmex echinatior"



Giving a seminar at QUML today at the group of Yannick Wurm



I will be giving a seminar at RBG Kew 1st February and to talk about fungus-growing ants. For details please email kewscience(at)



I have been awarded a large BES grant to investigate possible roles of a virus infecting the fungus-growing ant fungal symbionts!



I wrote a blog about the mycological research we do at RBG Kew. Read it here!



New Scientist featured the paper on polyploidy in domesticated fungi in Journal of Evolutionary Biology. Link



My paper on somatic incompatibility and possible speciation in leaf-cutting ant fungi is now online at Fungal Ecology



My paper on polyploidy in domesticated fungi is now online at Journal of Evolutionary Biology



Two new papers accepted for publication (Journal of Evolutionary Biology and Fungal Ecology). I will post links to full versions as soon as they are online.



Today is the first official day at my new position at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Still trying to settle in, but soon I will be growing Leucoagaricus at full speed!



It’s official, today I signed a 3-year contract at the department of Comparative Plant and Fungal Biology (lead by Dr. Paula Rudall) Jodrell Laboratory, Kew Gardens, to work in the Comparative Fungal Biology section lead by Dr. Bryn Dentinger. I will continue my research on the fungal symbiont of fungus-growing ants, and will focus on the role and mechanisms of the asexuality of the fungus is this wonderful mutualism.



It’s been a while since last update. I’ve been working on some new projects in collaboration with Jon Shik. This Monday (the 15th) I will present some of our new results at the Northwest European section IUSSI winter meeting.



Back in Copenhagen, had a great conference in Australia.



Soon off to Cairns, Australia, for the IUSSI2014 world conference. I will present data on ploidy levels in the fungal symbionts on Monday 14 July, at 16.45, at the “Social insect host-microbe interactions”.



Two of my pictures got featured in a little story and interview with Rachelle Adams about leaf-cutting and other farming ants. Link here



In Gamboa, Panama, for 2 weeks of fieldwork



Paper entitled “Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants” now online at PLoS ONE



Successfully defended my PhD-thesis. PDF available at publications



Field work in Panama is planned from May 1 to 17



Paper entitled “Differences in forage-acquisition and fungal enzyme activity contribute to niche segregation in Panamanian leaf-cutting ants” accepted for publication at PLoS ONE



Date, time and location for PhD defense are set. For information please visit:



Abstract accepted for oral presentation at the IUSSI2014 world conference in Cairns, Australia



Website launched!



Now online at the ISME Journal: Leucoagaricus gongylophorus uses leaf-cutting ants to vector proteolytic enzymes towards new plant substrate.



PhD-thesis submitted



Paper Acromyrmex echinatior fecal fluid proteases accepted for publication in the ISME Journal



Awarded best oral presentation at the 1st annual PhD-Day of the Department of Biology, Copenhagen University


©Copyright 2017 Pepijn Kooij

p.kooij (at)

pepijn.kooij (at)