Lois Hattery Tiffany


"Lois is one of the most interesting and dedicated teachers I have known. Even the taxonomy (classification) of fungi—not usually considered captivating subject matter—comes alive with her enthusiasm." —Ruth W. Swenson, 1990

Lois Hattery Tiffany, in her professional career as a professor and administrator, has earned an impressive array of awards and honors for her teaching, advising, and service leadership at Iowa State University. Her field is mycology (the science of fungi), and her research publications (numbering over 60) and recognition at state and national levels attest to the excellence of her contributions. She cosponsors the Botany Club, one of the most active departmental organizations on the ISU campus. She has also served as a role model in ISU's Women in Science and Engineering pilot project, visiting junior and senior high school science classes and encouraging young women to study math and science and to consider careers in those fields. Known by the general public as the "Mushroom Lady," Tiffany shares her knowledge of fungi, including edible and non-edible mushrooms, with citizens of all ages and backgrounds. Tiffany has received a number of awards including the first recipient of the annual Mycological Society of America "W.H. Weston , Jr. Award" for Teaching Excellence in Mycology, Distinguished Iowa Scientist Award, Iowa Academy of Science; and the first recipient of the Governor's Medal for Science Teaching. She was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1991.

UPDATE: Tiffany is currently a distinguished professor at Iowa State University and was the chair of the Department of Botany for six years. Since her induction, she has authored numerous publications and is a member of the Department of Transportation Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management Technical Advisory Committee and the State Preserves Advisory Board. Tiffany has served on the Governor’s Science Council. She received the Iowa Chapter American Association of University Women Distinguished Faculty Award, 1993, Veishea Professor of the Year award from ISU, 1993; Strong Minded Women of ISU, Carrie Chapman Catt Center, 1994; Distinguished Service Award, Iowa Academy of Science, 1994; Distinguished Professor, ISU, 1994; and Anna Pate Award from ISU Women in Science and Engineering, 1999. Tiffany died on September 6, 2009.