Manuela Dal Forno is a research scientist with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Ever since she was a young child, she would investigate the stuff growing on trees in her native Brazil. She now has dedicated her career to studying this "stuff": lichens. As a lichenologist, a scientist who studies lichens, Manuela’s research is focused on understanding the diversity of lichens. By examining lichens that she discovers in the field and ones housed in the U.S. National Herbarium, Manuela is discovering new species and unraveling the complex relationships among lichen’s symbionts: fungus, algae, and other microorganisms.