Researcher Who Discovered Role Fungi Play in Restoring Salt Marshes to Give UA’s Darden Lecture April 8

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Dr. Jinx Campbell, a leading investigator on the role of fungi in salt marsh and sea grass plants, will give the annual Darden Lecture at 7 p.m. April 8 in The University of Alabama’s Biology Building, room 127.

Research by Campbell, a mycologist at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and The University of Southern Mississippi, has provided fundamental new insights into the diversity of marine fungi, how they can aid in the restoration of salt marshes, and their economical potential as producers of novel organic compounds and chemical processes.

Healthy salt marsh habitats are important for sustained production of life in the coastal food chain, or food web. Salt marshes are considered by many as the most productive habitat for fish and wildlife in the nation. This zone between the ocean and land is the nursery for almost 90 percent of coastal fish species.

Salt marshes are easily damaged from hurricane and human impact. As a consequence, learning how to restore salt marshes requires understanding how all organisms, including microscopic ones, interact.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is titled “Born on the Bayou: What Fish, Fungi and Saltmarsh have in Common.” It is the 11th annual William Darden Lecture and is co-sponsored by UA’s department of biological sciences and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Program Award.

In her research, Campbell uses modern molecular methods to discover the structure of the fungal community.

Campbell earned her doctorate in biology from the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois. She serves as secretary/treasurer of the Mycology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Societies and editor of Inoculum: Mycological Society of America Newsletter.

The annual William Darden Lecture is named after the professor emeritus of biological sciences and long-time chair of the department in UA’s College of Arts and Sciences who completed 31 years of service to the University. Ilouise Hill and friends established the lecture fund.


Chris Bryant, Assistant Director of Media Relations, 205/348-8323,


Dr. Martha Powell, professor of biological sciences, 205/348-5960,