Teresa is a Senior Botanist – Curator of Cryptogams for the State Herbarium. She is looking forward to establishing a cryptogam research program at the State Herbarium of South Australia, covering a broad range of topics.

Teresa admits to having a slightly skewed view of the world. On a walk in the bush, park or garden her focus is on a group of organisms that many people walk on, step over, kick, note fleetingly something colourful or try to eradicate. The wonderful but sometimes weird world of macrofungi, lichens, mosses and liverworts.

Teresa's primary research is on the taxonomy, systematics and biogeography of Australasian macrofungi (particularly truffle-like fungi), but lichen diversity and ecology, and interactions between fungi, animals, humans, and plants are also of interest. She has described over 10 new genera and 90 species of macrofungi, developed identification tools and educational resources, and for the last 16 years was on-call to the Poisons Information Centre of Victoria for fungal identifications.

Observational skills, field knowledge, integrating morphology, DNA and ecology, curiosity

Current projects include: investigating the evolution of the truffle-like fruitbody form by comparing related truffle-mushroom genomes; revising the truffle-like genera of Australia (over 30 new genera and 90 new species) [linked PostDoc Fellow]; diversity and phylogeography of the field mushroom genus Agaricus [linked PhD project]; diversity and phylogeography of little parasols Marasmius [linked PhD project]; mycophagy by humans, small mammals, and lizards; diversity of introduced and native fungi associated with poisons cases; should I chuck it out or up? investigating factors that affect decision making around mushroom foraging; faecal matters: native mammal fecal pellets as fungal inoculum in restoration sites; interactions between complex communities of plants (Chenopodiaceae) galling midges (Asphondylinae) microfungi- parasitoid wasps.

Research Expertise

  • Biodiversity discovery
  • Species and populations
  • Ecological processes


Phone: (+61 8) 8222 9226

Email: Teresa.Lebel@sa.gov.au

See Teresa's Researchgate profile