Katy Ayers

Fulbright/University of Exeter Award

Katy Ayers graduated in May 2024 with a BSc in Bioengineering from Washington State University. Katy is most recognizable as a Guinness World Record holder for growing the World’s Largest Fungal Mycelium Boat. This achievement was funded by the Nebraska State Fair Sustainability Pavilion and can still be viewed during the Nebraska State Fair.  
Katy’s early research focused on the correlation between honeybees and fungal extracts as an antiviral treatment for colony collapse disorder. She pioneered a project to grow fungal bee hotels for solitary bees to investigate similar correlations in endemic species. Katy joined a protein engineering lab in 2023 to study human cardiac proteins, aiming to later apply these skills to fungal research.  

Eager to begin her studies at the University of Exeter, Katy will work toward a MSc in Advanced Biological Sciences. Learning from experiences in the Fulbright program, Katy aims to become a global scientist, traveling to address fungal pathogen outbreaks and contributing to safety regulations for antifungal pharmaceuticals. Katy is especially excited to collaborate with leading experts at the Centre for Medicinal Mycology, driving her closer to her research career dedicated to solving critical health and environmental challenges.