It has been a busy month so far! I have attended two conferences this month, giving a talk and presenting a poster at each. The first was the annual Botany conference ("Botany 2012: The Next Generation") in Columbus, Ohio. There were some great talks and a lot of buzz about "next-gen" sequencing technologies (in keeping with the conference's subtitle). I gave a talk about using next-gen sequencing for elucidating the phylogeny and resolving the taxonomy of sterile crustose lichens. I also discussed the utility of our data sets for examining fungal communities associated with lichens. The poster that I presented put my work in the broader context of my current NSF grant, in which we integrate ecology, phylogeny, taxonomy, and floristics both to expand our understanding of biodiversity and to achieve specific conservation goals. At the Mycological Society of America conference at Yale University, I organized a symposium on phylogenetic, ecological, and functional diversity of fungi. It was a great symposium, with an award-winning student talk given by Kathryn Picard! I also had a great time playing music with other conference attendees. I can't wait to see everyone again next year!