Extreme environments are hostile to most life as we know it. Only a small selection of species have adapted to survive and thrive in some of the most extreme conditions on our planet. Research on extremophiles has traditionally been focused on prokaryotes, but this focus has been repeatedly challenged by the discovery of various fungi as part of the extreme microbiome. Despite their much more complex cell structure, fungi approach, and in some cases exceed, the stress tolerance of bacteria and archaea.
The study of fungi from various extreme environments, from arid and hypersaline to cold and acidic, attracts a vibrant and ever-growing scientific community. Although the topic is receiving increasing attention at some of the most prestigious international meetings, a dedicated international conference has been lacking.
The first international conference on extremophilic fungi will bring together world-renowned experts, young scientists, and students who explore the diversity, adaptations, and potential applications of extremophilic fungi, and help usher in the next era of extreme mycology.