The Last of Us has become a global television phenomenon, breaking records and receiving rave reviews in its debut season.

The post-apocalyptic zombie smash hit takes place 20 years after the collapse of civilisation, due to the rapid growth and spread of a real-life fungus called Cordyceps.

But how realistic is a human Cordyceps pandemic? UQ researchers, Dr Leela Rizal and Dr James Hereward, from UQ's School of Biological Sciences, dissect the truth about this unique fungus. 

Watch the recording


Meet the presenters

Leela and JamesDr Leela Rizal is an emerging mycologist. Over the last 10 years she has worked with various types of fungi in Bhutan, Thailand, and Australia. She is a specialist in fungal pathogens of insects and plants, mushroom science (including propagation), and is an expert in the mass production of fungal biopesticides for controlling insect pests infesting agricultural crops.

Dr James Hereward is a University of Queensland research fellow, whose research applies population genetics, evolutionary and ecological theory, and genomics to understand agricultural pests, weeds, and pollination, all three are billion-dollar problems facing Australian agriculture. His work aims to protect agricultural crops and ensure global food security.

About BrisScience

BrisScience is a monthly lecture series that brings science out of the labs and to the people, making it accessible to all – from scientists, to scientists-at-heart.

Run by The University of Queensland, BrisScience has been delivering engaging lectures on diverse topics from local and international scientists for over a decade.

BrisScience speakers are leaders in their given fields and deliver dynamic presentations based on cutting-edge research.

The University of Queensland has been running BrisScience since 2005, bringing the best and brightest scientific minds to the people of Brisbane – from early career researchers to Nobel Laureates!

Time6:30pm to 7:30pm (light refreshments 7:30-8pm)
VenueThe Edge, State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Bank
CostFree - Eventbrite ticket required


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