NDSU Professor To Discuss Toxic Mold At November Science Café

Berlin Nelson, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, is scheduled to present the November Science Café, titled “Toxic Mold – The Journey of One Fungus that Scared the Bejesus Out of the Insurance Industry,” on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Stoker’s Basement, Hotel Donaldson.



The talk will focus on Stachybotrys chartarum, a relatively common toxin-producing black mold often found in water-damaged buildings. The mold has been found in places such as wallpaper in Prague to the World War II battlefields in Russia to homes damaged by flooding in the Red River Valley. “It’s an interesting story of how one fungus can have multiple effects on humans,” Nelson said. “People should be aware that whenever you have any kind of water damage you have to clean it up immediately.”

Black mold often is blamed for “sick building syndrome” and has led the insurance industry to avoid coverage for mold damage. Nelson said he will discuss the fungus’ characteristics, how it got so widespread and why it’s important. He also will discuss how to tell if it’s present in a home or office. 

Attendees must be 21 or older or accompanied by a parent or guardian. For more information, contact Keri Drinka at keri.drinka@ndsu.edu or 701-231-6131.

Science Café, sponsored by NDSU’s College of Science and Mathematics, features a presentation by a scientist and time for discussion with the scientist and other attendees. For more information on upcoming Science Cafes, which are held monthly, visit http://earth.physics.ndsu.nodak.edu.