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Peter Buchanan

Science Team Leader/Capability Leader
Peter Buchanan
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Research interests

Peter's main role in Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research is Science Team Leader for colleagues who research systematics of fungi, bacteria, invertebrates, and plants. The team also manages five national collections and associated databases of these biota - the NZ Fungarium of dried fungal specimens, ICMP culture collection of living fungal strains, NZAC collection of invertebrate specimens, Allan Herbarium of dried plant specimens, and the living collection of flax cultivars.

As a researcher Peter is a fungal scientist or mycologist, researching fungal taxonomy, applied uses of wood decay species, and fungal conservation. He is also keen to promote awareness and education about fungi, co-establishing the annual NZ Fungal Forays in 1986 and, for more general biodiversity awareness, urban BioBlitzes from 2004. Peter frequently presents to students and other public groups to promote the research of his team members and to raise awareness of New Zealand's recorded and unrecorded biodiversity. 

In addition to assisting DOC with advice on threatened fungi, Peter is active with the Global Fungal Red List Initiative to assemble data on NZ’s threatened fungi for IUCN Red Listing. By late 2019, 30 NZ species were accepted by IUCN for Red Listing, among 285 fungal species globally (cf. 40,000 plants and 75,000 animals). He is a member of the IUCN SSC Fungi Specialist Group.

Peter is a member of the Council of NZ Association of Scientists (NZAS).


PhD Botany

BSc Botany


Buchanan P 2019. Fungi. 6.9 6.9 In: Wade L, Veitch D ed. Hauturu: the history, flora and fauna of Te Hauturu-o-Toi Little Barrier Island. Auckland, NZ, Massey University Press. Pp. 232-241

Buchanan P 2019. Pre-congress workshop: Assessing threat status of selected Asian fungi using IUCN Red List Criteria – a practical workshop. Proceedings: Asian Mycological Congress, Mie, Japan, 1 October 2019.

Varga T, Krizsan K, Foldi C, Dima B, Sanchez-Garcia M, Sanchez-Ramirez S, Szollosi GJ, Szarkandi JG, Papp V, Albert L, Andreopoulos W, Angelini C, Antonin V, Barry KW, Bougher NL, Buchanan P, Buyck B, Bense V, Catcheside P, Chovatia M, Cooper J, Damon W, Desjardin D, Finy P, Geml J, Haridas S, Hughes K, Justo A, Karasinski D, Kautmanova I, Kiss B, Kocsube S, Kotiranta H, LaButti KM, Lechner BE, Liimatainen K, Lipzen A, Lukacs Z, Mihaltcheva S, Morgado LN, Niskanen T, Noordeloos ME, Ohm RA, Ortiz-Santana B, Ovrebo C, Racz N, Riley R, Savchenko A, Shiryaev A, Soop K, Spirin V, Szebenyi C, Tomsovsky M, Tulloss RE, Uehling J, Grigoriev IV, Vagvolgyi C, Papp T, Martin FM, Miettinen O, Hibbett DS, Nagy LG 2019. Megaphylogeny resolves global patterns of mushroom evolution. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3(4): 668-678. WOS:000462542100030

Chen ZX, Bishop KS, Tanambell H, Buchanan P, Smith C, Quek SY 2019. Characterization of the bioactivities of an ethanol extract and some of its constituents from the New Zealand native mushroom Hericium novae-zealandiae. Food & Function 10(10): 6633-6643. WOS:000490983800033

Buchanan P, Stewart G, Jacob H 2017. Ngā hekaheka o Aotearoa : he aratohu mō te pouako = a guide for teachers. Wellington, HUIA Education. 57 p

Leopold DR, Wilkie JP, Dickie IA, Allen RB, Buchanan PK, Fukami T 2017. Priority effects are interactively regulated by top-down and bottom-up forces: evidence from wood decomposer communities. Ecology Letters 20(8): 1054–1063.

Crous PW, Wingfield MJ, Burgess TI, Hardy GESJ, Barber PA, Alvarado P, Barnes CW, Buchanan PK, Heykoop M, Moreno G, Thangavel R, van der Spuy S, Barili A, Barrett S, Cacciola SO, Cano-Lira JF, Crane C, Decock C, Gibertoni TB, Guarro J, Guevara-Suarez M, Hubka V, Kolařík M, Lira CRS, Ordoñez ME, Padamsee M, Ryvarden L, Soares AM, Stchigel AM, Sutton DA, Vizzini A, Weir BS, Petterson ME, et al. 2017. Fungal Planet description sheets: 558–624. Persoonia 1: 240–384.

Hawksworth DL, Crous PW, Redhead SA, Reynolds DR, Samson R, Seifert KA, Taylor JW, Wingfield MJ, Johnston P, Pennycook SR, Weir B, al. e 2011. The Amsterdam declaration on fungal nomenclature. IMA fungus 2(1): 105-112.


  • Member, MAF Forest Biosecurity Consultative Committee
  • Editorial Board Fungal Science
  • Member, Forest Health Research Collaborative Management Committee<BR>
  • Vice President, Fungal Network of New Zealand (FUNNZ) , Fungal Network of New Zealand (FUNNZ)
  • Member, MAF Technical Advisory Group, Pine Pitch Canker
  • Member of international committee, Fungi Species Specialist Group, IUCN Species Survival Commission
  • Invited lecturer in fungal taxonomy, University of Auckland, University of Auckland
  • Curator, ICMP Culture Collection, Landcare Research
  • Assessment Panel Member, Marsden Fund, Royal Society NZ
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Mycotaxon