This beginner course will introduce you to the wonderful world of lichens. You will look at what exactly a lichen is, how they reproduce, interact with their environment, indicate levels of air pollution, and much more.

You will also build skills in identifying lichens and become familiar with the terminology used and where to find them out in the field. If you’ve always had more questions than answers about this fascinating lifeform, then this is the course for you.

Tutor: Petra Vergunst

Petra Vergunst is a field ecologist specialised in lichens and bryophytes based in NE Scotland. To engage people with lichens and bryophytes and help with identification, she runs the website Scottish Lichens and facilitates the similarly-named Facebook group. Petra is passionate about biological recording as a means to monitor the quality of the environment and has done extensive surveys of woodland and forest, the heritage landscape and coastline of NE Scotland. An ecologist by training, she is interested in how land management, nutrient-enrichment and other forms of disturbance influence the presence (and absence), lifecycle and ecology of lichens.