Bernard Lowy Mycological Herbarium (LSUM) History

It originally included only the fungi of Louisiana. About 50 years later, it had grown into a large neotropical collection and was moved into the Shirley C. Tucker Herbarium, but kept separately.


Bernard Lowy

– Bernard Lowy Herbarium's archive


The Bernard Lowy Mycologial Herbarium was founded in 1954 by Dr. Bernard Lowy. These collections represent neotropical higher fungi, and contain 50 of Lowy's type specimens.  Beginning as a teaching collection, it originally only included the fungi of Louisiana. But over the course of his research career, it grew to be one of the largest collections of Amazonian fungi and a world-wide collection of tremellaceous fungi.  During his tenure at LSU from 1951 - 1980, he conducted many field expeditions throughout North, Central, and South America to build the herbarium. As an emeritus professor he continued the study ethnobotany of psychoactive fungi and collaborate with colleagues from Russia and Hungary, until his death in 1992.  His family established two funds in his name, "The Bernard Lowy Mycological Herbarium" and "Bernard Lowy Fund for Tropical Botany", the latter of which has hosted numerous LSU graduate students at Costa Rica's Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) courses.

Dr. Meredith Blackwell served as the co-Director of the Herbarium and Curator of the fungi collections from 1993 - 2014. While being an expert in fungi - arthropod associations, she is known for her influence in transforming the discipline of modern mycology. Today her collections reside at Gilbertson Mycological Herbarium (ARIZ) at the University of Arizona. During her time as co-Director and Curator the lichen, fungi, and plant collections at LSU were merged together into their present location in the Life Sciences Building Annex.