Article ID: CBB204935927

The Significance of Mycological Contributions by Lothar Becker (2019)


Warning Readers of this article are warned that it may contain terms, descriptions and opinions that are culturally sensitive and/or offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Silesian-born Lothar Becker spent two periods in Australia, during which he made observations on a range of natural history topics, including fungi—a group of organisms rarely noticed by contemporary naturalists. Becker compiled notes, sketches and collections of Australian fungi that he sent to Elias Fries in Sweden for identification. Unfortunately, this material has not survived, but Becker’s accounts of his time in Australia, especially that published in Das Ausland in 1873, contain remarkable first-hand observations, including some on exotic fungi. Becker’s article is one of the earliest stand-alone analyses of the affinities of the Australian mycota. Remarks on the use of fungi by Aboriginal peoples of south-eastern Australia are particularly significant, due to inclusion of a word presumed to be from Aboriginal language and the suggestion of gendered roles in the collection of edible fungi.

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Authors & Contributors
Matthew Fishburn
Brad Bolman
Yatsiuk, Iryna
Buchan, Bruce
Nathan E. C. Smith
Eric Van Vleet
Archives of Natural History
Historical Records of Australian Science
British Journal for the History of Science
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
History of the Human Sciences
Evandale Publishing
Florida International University
Reaktion Books
Palgrave Macmillan
Miegunyah Press
L'Erma di Bretschneider
Natural history
Collectors and collecting
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Becker, Lothar
Roe, John Septimus
Stapylton, Granville William Chetwynd
Huet, Nicolas
Dietrich, Heinrich August
Crossland, Charles
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
20th century, early
Yorkshire (England)
Central America

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