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Rob SamsonRob Samson was appointed at the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures by J. A. Von Arx (1970), and graduated at Utrecht University (1974). During a postdoc in Gary Cole’s laboratory in Texas, Cole and Samson (1979) made a major contribution towards our understanding of conidiogenesis, and published the book Patterns of Development in Conidial Fungi. He also continued the work of Melie Stolk on the industrially important genera Penicillium and Aspergillus, which resulted in many key publications and highly influential symposium books.

Throughout his career Rob Samson has received many honours, including: recipient of the USFCC/J. Roger Porter award by the American Society of Microbiology, and election to Honorary Memberships in the Hungarian Society for Microbiology and the Mycological Society of America, an honorary degree from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and the de Bary Medal from the International Mycological Association.

In addition to his numerous research papers and books, some of his greatest contributions include the establishment of a polyphasic approach to systematics of Aspergillus and Penicillium, and his Laboratory Manual on Food and Indoor Fungi. Since 2005 Rob Samson has also served as Secretary General of the International Union of Microbiological Societies and is also involved as chair or member of several international mycological commissions. He officially retired from the CBS in 2011, but continued in a supervisory capacity until February 2016, when Jos Houbraken replaced him as group leader in the Applied and Industrial Mycology group.

Together with John Pitt Rob Samson founded the IUMS International Commission on Food Mycology in 1987 and is presently vice-chair.