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Nicholas Money named Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year


Nicholas Money
Nicholas Money, professor of botany and director of the western program, has been named Miami University’s Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year for 2012. Money is recognized internationally as an expert in the field of fungal biology, including fungal movement and indoor molds.

Money’s research — particularly in the areas of fungal growth and development; tissue invasion by disease-causing fungi; and the mechanisms that launch fungal spores into the air — has been supported by $1.5 million from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

His work has resulted in more than 70 scholarly publications, many of which are co-authored with graduate and undergraduate students. He is currently senior editor of Fungal Biology and a member of the editorial board of Fungal Reviews; formerly he served as associate editor for several leading journals in his field including Fungal Genetics & Biology, Mycologia and Mycological Research.

Money is also successful in his outreach efforts to bring science to the general public. He is author of four popular books on fungi that are intended for a broad audience, including his most recent, Mushroom (2011). His other books include The Triumph of the Fungi: A Rotten History (2007); Carpet Monsters and Killer Spores: A Natural History of Toxic Mold (2004); and Mr. Bloomfield’s Orchard: The Mysterious World of Mushrooms, Molds and Mycologists (2002).

His research has applied implications for indoor mold problems and he has served as a consultant for several companies, as well as an expert witness during courtroom testimony.

Money is also a 2009-2010 Distinguished Scholar. He has served as director of the western program in the College of Arts and Science since 2010.

Money was honored at the Sigma Xi annual banquet April 12.

Also honored was Katie Pennington (Miami ’94, MST, Physics, Wright State University), for the Outstanding High School Science Teacher Award. Pennington is a physics and physical science teacher at Miamisburg High School.

She is a member of the executive committee for WeEXCEL, the West Ohio Center of Excellence for Science and Mathematics Education.

Pennington was selected as an Ohio Department of Education Master Teacher in 2010, and she has been honored as a Dayton Engineering and Science Hall of Fame Outstanding educator.

She is currently working on her Educational Specialist in Curriculum degree at Wright State University.

Money on Mushrooms

One of his nominators cites Money’s interview on the NPR program “Fresh Air” earlier this year in which he says “My research and teaching are defined by my love of science and belief in its power to make sense of life, the universe and everything else.”

Check out the Fresh Air interview online for a video of Money’s “fungus cannon” and other highlights.


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