Gerald Benny


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Jerry is a Courtesy Research Professor in the University of Florida Herbarium.

Gerald Benny has studied the Zygomycetes for 42 years. First as a student of Dr. R.K. Benjamin at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (Claremont, California) and later in the Department of Botany and more recently, the Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. His expertise is in those members of the Zygomycetes that can be grown in culture (Dimargaritales, Kickxellales, Mortierellales, Mucorales, Zoopagales (Piptocephalidaceae)). Dr. Benny monographed the Thamnidiaceae (Mucorales) for his Ph.D. dissertation (Benny, 1973) and the results of the study have been published in various journals (Benny, 1992, 1995b, 1995c; Benny and Benjamin, 1975, 1976, 1993; Benny and Schipper, 1992). Other studies of the Mucorales have included those on Mycotyphaceae (Benny et al., 1985), Gilbertellaceae (Benny, 1991), Radiomycetaceae (Benny and Benjamin, 1991; Benny and Khan, 1988; Benny and Samson, 1989), and Utharomyces (Kirk and Benny, 1980). Sigmoideomycetaceae (Zoopagales) was also monographed (Benny et al., 1992) based mostly on herbarium specimens.

One paper “Classical morphology in zygomycete taxonomy” (Benny, 1995a) was based on a talk given at the Fifth International Mycological Congress, August 1994, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. A chapter was written on the classification and phylogeny of the Trichomycetes and Zygomycetes (Benny and White, 2001). Separate chapters were published on the Trichomycetes and the Zygomycetes (Benny, 2001; Benny et al., 2001). The Zygomycota have been reviewed (Benny 1982, 2012). Echinosporangium was renamed and Mortierella subgenus Gamiella was elevated to generic status (Benny and Blackwell, 2004). Other papers have been on Syncephalis (Ho and Benny, 2007, 2008; Santiago et al., 2011), and the methods used to isolate, culture, preserve and study culturable Zygomycetes (Krug et al., 2004; Benny, 2008). The description of three subphyla (Mucoromycotina, Kickxellomycotina, Zoopagomycotina) of the zygomycetes was included in a multi-authored paper on the phylogenetic classification of the Fungi (Hibbett et al., 2007).

Gerald Benny's papers