Mycologist Pam Catcheside began her unconventional career path as a science teacher in the UK before moving to Adelaide with her husband David and young family.
After retiring from teaching in the late 1990s, Pam retrained as a researcher at the age of 58, transforming a lifelong passion for fungi into a new career.
Through her connection with a botanist at the State Herbarium of South Australia, Pamela began her work on native fungi, eventually being named a Research Associate in 2002.
Since then, each “fungal season” from late May until late August Pamela and husband David go out into the field, collecting fungi before documenting, preserving, and depositing them into the herbarium.
Pam has become expert in a particular group of fungi called the ascomycetes, also called “sac fungi”. These fascinating organisms have become known affectionately as “Pam’s little blobs”.
Over the past 20 years she has made almost 5,000 collections, describing three new species, one new genus, and writing papers on rare or interesting species.
Pam and David’s work has created a lasting legacy for South Australia’s environment and shone a light on this underappreciated but absolutely essential part of our natural world.