My mission is to explore and expand the applications of mushroom forming fungi in the bio-based economy, bio-materials, cultivation of existing and new mushrooms, and new applications in medicine.
I am Arend van Peer, team leader of Mushroom Research at Plant Breeding of Wageningen University & Research. I manage a team of 8 professionals consisting of PIs, Postdocs and Technicians. My other roles include acquisition, project management, education and consultancy, and exchange of information through our various international networks and industries. For this, I run projects varying from a fundamental and publicly funded nature up to strictly confidential private partnerships.
My interest in fungi started during my Masters in Biology at the RijksUniversiteit Groningen. I was intrigued by their physiology, genetics and biotechnological applications. During my PhD thesis on the Splitgill Mushroom at the University of Utrecht, my focus centred on mushroom forming fungi. I soon realized that studies on applications of mushroom forming fungi, other than as crops, were only just emerging. A whole unknown and exiting world was awaiting exploration! The following eight years I dedicated to studies on the genetics and development of mushroom forming fungi in South Korea (Postdoc), Japan (JSPS Research Fellow) and China (Professor). At WUR I continue to explore new applications of mushroom forming fungi, and where I am coordinating the setup of the European Mushroom Working Group.