Women’s History Month: FPL Remembers Frances Lombard

In honor of Women’s History Month, Lab Notes remembers Frances F. Lombard. At a time when few women worked in science, Lombard received a M.A. degree in mycology (the study of mushrooms and other fungi) from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Lombard joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1941 and served in the Agricultural Research and Forest Services as a mycologist, specializing in the identification of wood-decaying and wood-inhabiting Homobasidiomycetes in pure culture. She was stationed at the Center for Forest Mycology Research at FPL and published over 20 papers during her tenure.

Frances Lombard studying a fungus using a light microscope.

Frances Lombard studying a fungus using a light microscope.

FPL has a long history of mycology research. The Center for Forest Mycology Research  houses the largest wood fungus collection in the world, with over 5,000 species of fungi. Whereas the mycology research has numerous goals, many of these fungi are used in research to determine the effectiveness of wood preservatives.

Thanks to a pioneering woman scientist and her work for the Lab.