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Ann Dorte Pörneki, owner of the Danish company House Test ApS was one of the participants of  last week's course “Food and Indoor Fungi” taught by Jos Houbraken and his group. Her company tests air if there is a suspicion of molds. She never cultures the molds, she looks at their DNA. In this course she is actually sitting behind the microscope looking at the real stuff. “I was used to looking at mammal cells, but these growing fungi, they are so beautiful. Sometimes I only sit and enjoy the structure.”

She learns a lot though. “If I could, I would come again next year. The introduction is good, the new manual is very nice, but I really need the course to be able to use the book well. The course is very intense, but definitely very valuable.” Ann has a lot to tell share about the course she is following, but Jos Houbraken interrupts: “We are starting again.”

“Did I mention they are very strict,” Ann says, with a smile, and disappears into the classroom.
Emilia Rico-Munoz is a regular. She takes the course for the third time in a row. “Every time I learn something new, a new technique, new species I didn’t know, spores we don’t see often but will maybe see more of in the future.” At the same time she meets Westerdijk Institute’s scientists and works together with them on new publications.

This year Emilia is accompanied by Whit Hoskins, also from BCN Labs (United States) and in the Netherlands for the first time. He likes the course: “It is easy to get lost in this stuff. It’s been challenging, it’s a beautiful struggle.” That says it all.