Professor Tom Bruns received a PhD from the University of Michigan in Botany in 1987 where he worked on molecular systematics of Suillus. He went on to a postdoctoral position at the University of California Berkeley in 1987, and he joined the faculty there in 1989. His research is focused on fungal ecology and systematics and he has published over 150 scientific papers in this area.
He is probably best known for his development of tools for molecular ecology and for the application of these tools toward understanding ectomycorrhizal fungal communities. He is a recent past president of the Mycological Society of America, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the California Academy of Science, and the Mycological Society of America. He teaches introductory and advanced courses on fungi at Berkeley, and has won teaching awards from the College of Natural Resources and the Mycological Society of America for his efforts.