Donald H. Pfister

Asa Gray Professor of Systematic Botany
Curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium
Honorary Associate and Former Master of Kirkland House
Interim Dean of Harvard College
Interim Co-Director, Harvard University Herbaria

Phone: 617-495-2368
Office: 1 Farlow, HUH, 22 Divinity Ave

Lab Website:

My research centers on the biology and systematics of fungi, particularly members of the fungus classes Pezizomycetes and the Leotiomycetes, both belonging to ascomycete groups. Using molecular, life history and morphological methods we strive to understand relationships within these groups and to uncover their diversity. In addition, I study the history of collections and collectors.

Recent Publications

Hansen K, LoBuglio K, Pfister DH. 2005. Evolutionary relationships of the cup-fungus genus Peziza and Pezizaceae inferred from multiple nuclear genes: RPB2, ß-tubulin, and LSU rDNA. Mol. Phylogen. Evol. 36: 1-23.

Hansen, K, B. A. Perry, D. H. Pfister. 2006. Phylogenetic origins of two cleistohtecial fungi, Orbicula parietina and Lasiobolidium orbiculoides, within the operculate discomycetes. Mycologia 97: 1023-1033.

Iturriaga, T., D. H. Pfister. 2006. A monograph of the genus Cookeina (Ascomycota, Pezizales, Sarcoscyphaceae). Mycotaxon 95: 137-180.

James, T. Y. and others. 2006. Reconstructing the early evolution of Fungi using a six-gene phylogeny. Nature 445: 818 – 822.

Yang, S, D. H. Pfister. 2006. Monotropa uniflora plants of eastern Massachusetts form mycorrhizae with a diversity of russulacean fungi. Mycologia 98: 535-540.

Hansen, K., D. H. Pfister. 2006. Systematics of the Peizomycetes – the operculate discomycetes. Mycologia 98: 1031-1041.

Perry, B. A., K. Hansen, and D. H. Pfister. 2007. A phylogenetic overview of the family Pyronemataceae (Ascomycota, Pezizales). Mycological Research 111: 549-571.

Courses Taught

OEB 53: Biology of fungi

OEB 59: Plants and human affairs

Science B-40: The biology of trees and forests (not offered 2007-2008).

Freshman Seminar: Americans Explore: The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842.


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