André Fraiture, PhD
After some years of research work in university laboratories (e.g. on radioactive contamination of wild mushrooms, after the Chernobyl disaster), I joined the mycological section of the Botanic Garden in Meise. My research is mainly focused on the systematics, ecology and floristics of European macromycetes (Fungi), especially the Basidiomycetes (such as the genera Amanita, Lactarius, Lindtneria, Hebelomina, Squamanita), but also the Ascomycetes.
Mycocoenology is alternative way to study macromycetes. During my doctoral thesis, I have been studying the mycoflora of 49 plots in various forest ecosystems in Higher Belgium. Recently, I also studied polypore biodiversity in 74 forest plots in Wallonia (research contracts with the Walloon region).
Producing distribution maps and studying chorology, ecology and phenology of the species is yet another aspect of my studies on macromycetes. I contributed to the three fascicles of the Distributiones fungorum Belgii et Luxemburgi and distribution maps are included in many of my publications. I also led the ECCF mapping programme that resulted in the publication of commented distribution maps of 51 species, at the European scale (38 countries participating).
For several years, I have studied micromycetes and have published several papers, with A. Vanderweyen, for example check-lists of Belgian Uredinales (Rust fungi) and Ustilaginales (Smut fungi).
More recently, I also began to study African mushrooms, especially the genus Amanita, and this will possibly become one of my main fields of interest for the future.
There are also more applied aspects to my work at the Botanic Garden. I am an expert in fungi growing in buildings and also cooperate with the Anti-Poison Centre in cases of poisoning by mushrooms.
I have participated in the organisation of several mycological congresses and meetings and am actively cooperating with Belgian mycological societies (president of the AMFB and of the Cercle de Mycologie de Bruxelles).
Photos : A. Flahaut, A. Vanderweyen, G. Redeuilh, E. Suárez.