August 27, 2018
Honours student Darcii Terre recently presented her research on the fungal diversity of beach sand at the 20th annual International Society of Human and Animal Mycology conference in Amsterdam.
A Westmead Institute student recently presented her research at the 20th annual International Society of Human and Animal Mycology conference in Amsterdam.
Darcii Terre, an Honours student with the University of Sydney, received a scholarship to attend and present at the five-day conference.
“I was quite nervous to give my talk, because it was the first time I attended an international conference, and because I’m pretty early in my research career,” Darcii said.
“But the presentation went well, and it was great to see a lot of other young scientists there who are really engaged in research.”
Darcii presented her research on the use of DNA extraction to identify fungi present in beach sand. Through her research, Darcii will help perfect the method of DNA extraction, which could aid the diagnosis of fungal infections in humans.
“Fungi are difficult to grow and identify in the lab. Often, someone with quite specialised knowledge will need to be present, which can mean that diagnosis is a slow, complicated process,” she explained.
“Using DNA extraction, we can identify fungi much faster. While we’re currently using the method in beach sand, it could eventually be used to identify the particular fungi that is causing an infection in a patient, enabling a fast diagnosis and earlier access to treatment.”
Darcii said she enjoyed presenting at the conference, and the experience overall.
“The conference covered a lot of different aspects of fungi, and it was really interesting to learn where other research projects are headed,” she said.
“Fungal research is a bit of niche area, so it was a good experience to be able to meet and network with others.”