Roy Watling is a well-known mycologist.
Born in London, he was evacuated to Halifax.
He attended All Saint's Primary Salterhebble and then Heath Grammar School. He was a member of the Halifax Scientific Society.
He went to Sheffield University where he read Botany. He received a DSc from Sheffield University. He gained a PhD at Edinburgh University.
Whilst at Edinburgh, he joined the Royal Botanic Garden staff where he stayed until the late 1990s, finally becoming Head of Mycology & Plant Pathology and Deputy Regius Keeper and then Acting Regius Keeper-Director of the gardens there. During that time, he worked in Malaysia, Thailand, India, Australia, and the US where he was Associate Professor at the University of Michigan.
He is now  retired, and holds Professorships at two universities in Thailand and runs Caledonian Mycological Enterprises. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh from whom he received the Patrick Neill Medal for outstanding contributions to science, an award made only 32 times since 1793. He has been President of the British Mycological Society, President of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union, President of the Botanical Society of Scotland, and Chairman of Institute of Biology in Scotland. He is an Honorary Member of the Mycological Society of America.
He has written over 10 books and more than 150 publications for the popular and academic markets, including
He received an MBE for services to mycology – especially for his work with amateurs and with students in developing countries.
The fungi Amanita watlingii [the Asian Yellow Dust Amanita], Conocybe watlingii, and Ramaria watlingii were named for him
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