Though our paths never crossed, both of us share a common origin with our scientific careers at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where we developed a fascination with the underground fungal networks that form the foundations of Earth’s ecosystems.
Toby approached this topic through his study of orchids and the delicate conditions they require for culturing - conditions which, in nature, would be provided by their mycorrhizal fungal partners. David’s journey began with the State of the World’s fungi symposium at RBG, Kew, where he went on to study for his MSc in botany and mycology, and eventually to work as a species conservation researcher.
The more the both of us learned about the mycorrhizal associations between plants and fungi, the more we became aware of the need to support and nourish these relationships in a time of accelerating interest in reforestation and ecosystem regeneration.
We believe that nurturing symbiotic relationships is as crucial as growing trees itself, and through our work we have developed new methods of producing the symbiotic fungi that trees need to thrive in establishing forests. Through our work, we aim to work with soil fungi to speed up the rate at which woodlands and forests regenerate, accelerating their biodiversity value, and boosting their potential to capture carbon.