Dr. Patricia Ononiwu Kaishian is the Curator of Mycology at the New York State Museum, and a professor of biology with Bard Prison Initiative. Her research focuses on fungal taxonomy, diversity and evolution, as well as queer theory and philosophy of science. Her forthcoming book, Forest Euphoria: a queer bestiary, will be published by Spiegel & Grau.
Patricia received her B.A in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Studies in 2013 from Wheaton College, MA. In 2020, she received her Ph.D. in Forest Pathology and Mycology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Her doctoral work was focused on the taxonomy, biodiversity, and ecology of Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota) fungi. Patricia is broadly trained in the taxonomy of macro and micro fungi, with considerable field experience in numerous biodiversity hotspots around the world.
Following her Ph.D Patricia worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Aime Lab at Purdue University where Patricia served as curator of fungi at the Arthur Fungarium and Kriebel Herbarium. There Patricia focused on taxonomy and barcoding of Rust fungi, a group of plant pathogens. Results from this project are in progress.
Beyond more traditional scientific work, Patricia also works in the realms of philosophy of science, feminist bioscience, ecofeminism and queer theory, exploring how mycology and other scientific disciplines are situated in and informed by our sociopolitical landscape. Patricia's publication, The science underground: mycology as a queer discipline, appears in journal Catalyst: Feminism, Theory and Technoscience.
She is a founding member of the International Congress of Armenian Mycologists, a research organisation comprised of ethnically Armenian mycologists who seek to simultaneously advance mycological science and Armenian sovereignty and liberation.
Currently, Patricia is Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology at Bard College. her research will continue to focus on new species discovery and exploration of the use of certain fungi as potential indicators of ecosystem health. Course topics include: Fungal Ecology, Natural History, Evolution and Phylogenetics, Fungal Diversity and Climate Change, and Queer Ecology. Patricia also serve as faculty for the Bard Prison Initiative.
Patricia's forthcoming books are: Forest Euphoria, will be published by Spiegel and Grau.