Below is a partial listing of previous meetings hosted by MCG
William Padilla-Brown "Fungal Fortunes"
William Padilla-Brown will be presenting "Fungal Fortunes" an account of how he went from dropping out of high school to culture wild mushrooms, study permaculture, start a farm and learn how to grow Cordyceps mushrooms. He has incorporated fungi and mushrooms into whole system designs for the home/farm, and works with his local community to provide food, medicine, and bioremediation.
Alan Bessette "Dixie Chicks and Other Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States"
This presentation describes the major bioregions of the southeastern United States and illustrates some of the common and unusual fungi that are found there. In addition to discussing examples of the rich biodiversity, the ecology of the fungi found in these habitats will also be discussed.
Seri Robinson "Spalted Wood"
Seri (Sara) Robinson will be presenting on the visually stunning intersection between fungi, wood and artistry. Spalted wood has beautiful patterns and colors all a result of fungi slowly decomposing the wood. Seri will take us back through history to the present-day applications of such fungi and the future, which may solve some of the problems facing our planet today.
Cornelia Cho "Mushrooms as Allies in Medicine"
Mushrooms and other fungi have been intimately intertwined with human health, nutrition and well-being throughout history. With respect to medicine and healing, fungal-based compounds have provided us with key building blocks of modern treatment. Together we will look at past and present methodologies as well as future implications of the interaction of mushrooms and medicine---allopathic, complementary and more.
Peter McCoy "Mycosystem Functioning"
As mycologists and ecologists uncover more and more influences that fungi hold on the environment, it is becoming increasingly clear that the fifth kingdom might need to be placed as number one! Fungi are everywhere, filling every plant, swapping DNA with other organisms, and ensuring the overall health of all ecological webs. In this presentation, Peter will cover some of the more obscure corners of the fungal realm from Antarctica to the bottom of the ocean and expose what we've all been missing. The result just may change the way you think about fungi and the world at large.
Denis Benjamin, M.D. "Is It Love or Is It Lethal?"
Mushrooms have captured the human imagination by dint of some species being used as aphrodisiacs and by some species being deadly. The fear of mushrooms has also led to mushroom "pseudo-poisoning".
Martin Cippolini "Mycorrhizae and the American Chestnut"
Our May meeting will feature guest speaker Dr. Martin Cippolini, Science Coordinator for the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, and Dana Professor Biology at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He will be speaking on the decimation and restoration of the American Chestnut tree by the Chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) and the Longleaf Pine and its shrinking ecosystem.
Todd Elliott "The Wonderfully Wacky World of Fungi"
Come join Todd Elliott on a picturesque and intellectually engaging tour of some of the world's most beautiful, unusual, weird, and ecologically significant fungi.Todd will take you on a whirlwind tour of seldom seen fungi as well as discuss unusual facts about common species.
Todd Elliott is a native of western North Carolina and is a freelance biologist, naturalist, lecturer, forager and award winning nature photographer. His research has focused on studying global biodiversity and interrelationships in nature. These studies have taken him to remote corners of the world and allowed him to learn from indigenous people and to explore diverse ecosystems on six continents. Todd has discovered and published organisms new to science and is currently writing a field guide on the mushrooms of the Southeastern United States for Timber Press.
Jason A. Smith "A Trojan Horse inside ambrosia beetles: how symbiotic fungi are changing the world"
Jason is the Co-Director Emerging Threats to Forests Research Team, Associate Professor of Forest Pathology and State Forest Health Extension Specialist at the University of Florida. The focus of his research program is to provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms and biology of interactions between tree hosts, fungal pathogens, their vectors and the environment to reduce the impact of disease on trees in the context of global change. Current research focuses on 1.) Exotic tree disease detection and management; 2.) Phylogeography and pathogenicity of fungal tree pathogens; and 3.) Management of diseases affecting rare, endangered or relict tree species in a changing climate. In addition to serving as the Principal Investigator of the Forest Pathology Laboratory, Jason teaches several graduate and undergraduate courses and carries out forest health extension activities including advanced tree diagnostic services. Professionally, Jason is active in the American Phytopathological Society, Mycological Society of America and American Conifer Society and serves as associate editor of the journal Forest Pathology.
Meredith Blackwell "A Trojan Horse inside ambrosia beetles: how symbiotic fungi are changing the world"
Dr. Meredith Blackwell discuss her experiences mushroom collecting in the US, Panama, Thailand and Australia ---not for the mushrooms themselves, but for the beetles that eat them. She has discovered novel yeasts (more than 300 new species!) that live in the guts of beetles
Robert Rogers "Myths of Medicinal Mushrooms"
Robert Rogers, herbalist, discusses the myths associated with the use of Medicinal Mushrooms. Robert has been an herbalist for over forty years and is an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine at the University of Alberta. He is past-chair of the medicinal mushroom committee of the North American Mycological Association and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, and Discovery Phytomedicine.
Cornelia Cho "Mushroom Poisoning in Pets"
Our president, Dr. Cornelia Cho, will give a talk on Pets and Mushroom Poisonings. She will cover presentation of different poisoning syndromes, diagnosis, case studies, differential, treatments, and resources available.
Noah Siegel "Bolete ID Made Easy"
Boletes are well known for having lots of great edibles and being a fairly safe group for beginnings. In this talk Noah will go over how to easily identify the different genera and highlight the common boletes. Noah's field mycology skills are extensive – he has spent two decades seeking, photographing, identifying, and furthering his knowledge about all aspects of macrofungi. He has hunted for mushrooms throughout the United States and Canada, as well as on multiple expeditions to New Zealand and Australia. He is one of the premier mushroom photographers in the nation, having won numerous awards from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) photography contest. His technique and attention to detail are unrivaled, arising from a philosophy of maximizing utility for identification purposes while maintaining a high degree of aesthetic appeal.
Eugenia Bone "Adventures on the Mushroom Trail"
Eugenia Bone is a nationally known food journalist and author. Her work has appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Martha Stewart Living, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Denver Post. She is the author of five books.
Gary Lincoff "Mushrooms and Convergent Evolution"
MCG is once again honored to host the internationally renowned mycologist Gary Lincoff as May's featured speaker. Gary has written or co-written numerous books and articles, including the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. He has led mushroom study tours to about 30 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, New Zealand-Australia, etc, including 4 tours to the Amazon in '84 and '85. He was the consultant on, and appears in, "Know Your Mushrooms," a documentary about mushrooms made by Ron Mann. Gary has been teaching at the New York Botanical Garden since '76 and continues to teach there about 3 days a week. He is a co-founder of the Telluride Mushroom Festival, and has appeared on numerous TV programs and radio shows.
Langdon Cook "Tales from the Mushroom Trail"
Wild mushroom harvesting is the largest all-cash business in North America (that's legal). Award-winning author Langdon Cook embeds himself in the shadowy subculture, reporting from both rural fringes and big city eateries. Meet the pickers, buyers, and chefs in a patch-to-plate slideshow that reveals this frontier-style economy in action.
Matt Smith "Ecology of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the Guiana Shield: A molecular perspective"
Matt will give an overview of the project that he worked on for two years when he was a postdoc at Duke University in the lab of Dr. Rytas Vilgalys. This was a collaborative project (working closely with Dr. Terry Henkel and Dr. Cathie Aime) to document the diversity and ecology of ectomycorrhizal fungi in the tropical rainforests of the Guiana Shield region of northern South America. Several genera of trees that are endemic to that region of the world are highly dominant across the landscape and they form ectomycorrhizas with a wide array of fungi. This is a unique and isolated "island" of ectomycorrhizal fungi in a sea of otherwise diverse trees that form arbuscular mycorrhizal associations. He will discuss basic diversity of the fungi, the unique challenges of fieldwork in a remote tropical habitat, and will discuss a bit about the biogeography and evolution of the fungi from this region.
Sue Van Hook"Beyond Mushroom Packaging: a Look at Engineered Woods"
Join Ecovative's Chief Mycologist Sue Van Hook for a look at new prospects for mushroom materials. She will provide an update on Mushroom Packaging® at the Iowa plant and introduce you to the role of mycelium to replace toxic urea formaldehyde resin in various particle boards. The fungi have a lot to teach us. Come hear what we have learned thus far concerning natural biocomposite materials. Sue is a mycologist, naturalist, teacher and healer. She has been studying the taxonomy and ecology of fungi for the past 40 years, having begun her coursework in the Pacific Northwest where the mushroom season lasts 9 months of the year. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in botany and mycology at Humboldt State University under the tutelage of Dr. David L. Largent, an authority on pink-spored mushrooms and author of the How to Identify Mushrooms series of books. Sue worked for 5 years in land conservation for The Nature Conservancy managing a Northern California Coastal Dunes Preserve where she also conducted her graduate fieldwork. She moved to Belgrade Maine in the mid-eighties and worked as Director of Land Conservation and Stewardship for Maine Coast Heritage Trust. For 18 years she taught biology and environmental science labs at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and currently works as the Chief Mycologist for a new Green Tech company, Ecovative Design in Troy, NY.
Tom Volk "Good/Bad/Not So Attractive: Fungi in the forest that are good (e.g. mycorrhizae) bad (pathogens) and ugly (intermixed)"
Tom Volk's Fungi website has a popular "Fungus of the Month" feature, and an extensive introduction to the Kingdom Fungi. Besides dabbling in mushroom cultivation, Tom has worked on the genera Morchella (morels), Cantharellus (chanterelles), Hydnellum (a tooth fungus), Armillaria (honey mushrooms) and Laetiporus (chicken of the woods, or sulfur shelf), as well as several medical mycology projects, prairie mycorrhizae, mycoprospecting, and fungi involved in coal formation. He also has conducted fungal biodiversity studies in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Alaska, and Israel. Having lectured in 35 states so far, Tom is a popular speaker at many amateur and professional mycological events throughout North America, including many NAMA and NEMF forays.
Tim Brenneman "Pecan Truffles!"
Dr. Brenneman was born in Virginia and received his B.S. in Biology from Goshen College (Goshen, Indiana) and his PhD in Plant Pathology from Virginia Tech. He joined the faculty of the University of Georgia in 1986 and currently serves as professor of plant pathology with responsibilities for research and extension programming. He also teaches Introductory Plant Pathology. He conducts research on diseases of peanuts and pecans, and has mentored numerous graduate students. He has published extensively and been very active internationally with ongoing projects currently in Nicaragua and Haiti. He has served as President of the southern division of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), and is a and recipient of their Outstanding Plant Pathologist award. He also served as president of the Georgia Association of Plant Pathologists, the American Peanut Research and Education Society (APRES), and has been recognized as a Fellow of APRES. Dr. Brenneman lives in Tifton with his wife Joy, and 4 teenage children.
Tradd Cotter "Reversing Pandora's Box: Fungal Solutions to Pollution, Pandemics, and Global Starvation"
Tradd Cotter, of Mushroom Mountain in Liberty, SC will present "Reversing Pandora's Box: Fungal Solutions to Pollution, Pandemics, and Global Starvation" He'll be discussing Mushroom Rescue Modules, a new patent-pending medical extraction procedure, and training fungi to clean contaminated air, soil and water. He'll also be bringing copies of his brand new book; Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation: Simple to Advanced and Experimental Techniques for Indoor and Outdoor Cultivation --- With innovative new methods for urban and off-grid growing, making mushroom-infused beers, morel cultivation, and more.
Rod Stafford "Mushroom Lab 101"
The key to growing mushrooms at home is to establish the right growing conditions and acquiring or making mushroom spawn, which is the material used to propagate mushrooms. If you have ever thought about doing this yourself, come listen to this month's lecture to learn a few tricks to save you some time and money.
Cornelia Cho "You Know More Latin (and Greek) Than You Think You Do: deciphering and remembering scientific names"
Cornelia Cho is our current club president and a pediatrician by profession. Scientific names are fun! And not just because of the mushroom Spongiforma squarepantsii. She'll take you on a journey through the language and the stories that will help you to become a "language detective" and remember more names because of the drama behind the stories.
Gary Lincoff "Meetings With Remarkable Mushrooms: My forays around the world and the mushrooms I've encountered"
Gary has written or co-written numerous books and articles, including the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. He has led mushroom study tours to about 30 countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, New Zealand-Australia, etc, including 4 tours to the Amazon in '84 and '85. He was the consultant on, and appears in, "Know Your Mushrooms," a documentary about mushrooms made by Ron Mann. Gary has been teaching at the New York Botanical Garden since '76 and continues to teach there about 3 days a week. He is a co-founder of the Telluride Mushroom Festival, and has appeared on numerous TV programs and radio shows.
Robert Rogers "The Fungal Pharmacy"
Robert Dale Rogers has been an herbalist for over forty years. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He teaches plant medicine, including herbology and flower essences at Grant MacEwan University, as well as Earth Spirit Medicine at the Northern Star College of Mystical Studies in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Robert is past chair of the Alberta Natural Health Agricultural Network and Community Health Council of Capital Health. He is a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition, chair of the medicinal mushroom committee of the North American Mycological Association and on the editorial board of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. He is the author of The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America, as well as 20 ebooks and written books available on Amazon Kindle. He lives on Millcreek Ravine in Edmonton with his beautiful and talented wife, Laurie Szott-Rogers and out of control cat Ceres.
Michael Beug "Should I Eat That Mushroom?"
Michael Beug will be giving a presentation on mushroom toxicology. He has served four terms as President of The Pacific Northwest Key Council, a group dedicated to writing macroscopic keys for the identification of fungi. and is currently serving as vice-president of the Key Council. His specialties are Ascomycetes, the genus Ramaria, and all toxic and hallucinogenic mushrooms. He also conducts research on oak-associated fungi of the Columbia River Gorge, especially Cortinarius species. In the past 5 years, he has found nearly 50 new species of fungi in the oak forests of the Columbia River Gorge. With coauthors Alan and Arleen Bessette, he has completed Ascomycete Fungi of North America, a 472 page hardbound reference book with over 840 photos (University of Texas Press, 2014). He regularly writes about mushrooms in McIlvainea, The Mycophile, Fungi, and Mushroom: The Journal of Wild Mushrooming. He is a contributing editor of Fungi magazine and a coauthor of MatchMaker, a free mushroom identification program covering 4,092 taxa with over 5,000 images of 1,984 illustrated taxa.
Elinoar Shavit "The 'Mother' of all Truffles: Desert Truffles A Study in Myco-Anthropology"
Desert truffles, the hypogeous Ascomycetes that grow in arid and semi-arid areas on four continents, have had a rich, 5,000 year long recorded history of use. They have been an essential food-source to numerous civilizations and so important to the people who relied on them that Islam's Prophet Muhammad is reported to have discussed them, the Jewish Talmud debates their origin, and ancient Amorite rulers devoted significant resources to procuring the best ones for their tables. Desert truffles are nutritious, possess medicinal properties and are used to cure ailments. In this talk, Elinoar offered highlights from the wealth of history of desert truffles use, and discussed the promise that their successful cultivation may hold for local communities who live in arid and semi-arid regions.
Jerry Angelini Host Defense® National Science Educator
Obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston University, Jerry built a strong foundation in research and listening. Receiving his first herbal text at the age of fifteen, Jerry began his lifelong relationship with alternative health and wellness. Since then, he has explored and developed a working knowledge of various modalities within the health care field. Each successive addition of post-graduate education and certifications deepened his understanding of people's individual path towards health and balance.
Robert Blanchette "Fungi on Wood: Fungal Explorations and Ethnomycology"
Our speaker for November was Robert A. Blanchette, a professor of forest pathology at the University of Minnesota. Robert's interests and research involve tree defense mechanisms, deterioration processes of wood, biotechnological uses of forest fungi, biological control of forest pathogens, and the conservation of archaeological wood and wood of historic value. His projects involve novel, interdisciplinary approaches to solving tree disease problems and understanding the biology and ecology of forest microbes.
Susan Hopkins "Tooth Fungi--A Macroscopic Look at Hydnellum, Sarcodon, Phellodon & Bankera"
Our speaker for October was Susan Hopkins, an International dyeing expert and a very experienced field mycologist. Susan has studied wild mushrooms and their dyeing properties for over 25 years. She is a member of the North American Mycological Association and past president of the New Jersey Mycological Association. In 1997 she organized the 8th International Fungi & Fibre Symposium. Susan has been involved with various crafts all her life and now concentrates on knitting and dyeing, along with identifying mushrooms of the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
Cornelia Cho "Self-Care on the Hunt"
Our speaker for September was our very own President of the Mushroom Club of Georgia, Cornelia Cho. Cornelia has been a Pediatrician for 30 years now, doing stints in the Pediatric ER as well. She has attended several Wilderness Medicine Seminars and has a vested interest in keeping our club safe and happy! She discussed the darker side of walking in the woods, the mishaps, rashes and diseases that can befall you and strategies for reducing your risk --- some mainstream medical, some herbal, some high-tech, some native wisdom, DIY and more.
Rod Stafford "Mushrooms 101"
Our speaker for September was our very own Vice-President of the Mushroom Club of Georgia, Rod Stafford. Rod's talk was geared more for those who are new to mushrooms or for anyone just wanting a refresher, and focused on the following: (1) introduction to basic mushroom terminology and jargon; (2) The "best of the best" culinary, medicinal, and visually apealing species of mushrooms in Georgia and their imposters. (3) The "worst of the worst" mushrooms to avoid in Georgia.
Walt Sturgeon "Just for the Smell of It - Mushroom Common Scents"
Walt presented a non technical look at some wild mushrooms from an olfactory perspective. Included were: 1. Using scents to clinch an identification. 2. How to properly check for a mushroom's odor. 3. Sniffing subjectivity and the power of suggestion. Scent and memory. This program should be a reminder to check for an odor in your attempt to identify a mushroom as well as to appreciate the fragrance of a known species. Walt is a renowned mushroom expert who resides in East Palestine, Ohio. He is the author of several books including Waxcap Mushrooms of Eastern North America, Mushrooms and Macrofungi of Ohio and the Midwestern States, and Mushrooms and Other Fungii of the West Virginia High Country. Walt is also the President of the Ohio Mushroom Society and recipient of both NAMA's Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology and NEMF's Eximia Award, as well as an award winning photographer with photos published in numerous field guides.
Katherine Ball "Mushrooms as a Medium of Expression"
How can mushrooms be a medium for artwork, just as one would use clay, wood or metal? This talk explored the artist's past experiments in the medium of mushrooms, including a mushroom stage curtain, an edible floating wetland and mycobooms. Katherine discussed successes, failures and conundrums that have bubbled to the surface during her attempts at mycoremediation, mycofiltration and biological disobedience (the biological counterpart to civil disobedience).
We had a club favorite this month, Whitey Hitchcock, Appalachian Renaissance Man and now author of a new book, "Soul of a Teacher: Be the Hero of Your Own Story" and a new blog, thefungiforager.com. Among other topics, he discussed morels he found in 33 degree soil temp earlier this year. Whitey is now serving his second term as county commissioner after retiring from a distinguished and rewarding career as a high school Biology teacher. His High School Elective Anatomy and Human Cadaver lab has inspired a hugely disproportionate number of students from rural Tennessee to go on to careers in science and medicine. His passions include a love of mushrooms, finding, identifying, eating, dyeing and creating with them.
Daniel Winkler "Tibet: Mushroom Paradise"
Daniel spoke about native mushrooms in Tibet, including the Cordyceps phenomena, as well as commercial matsutake and morel collection. Daniel is the author of Field Guides to Edible Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest and California (Harbour Publishing 2011/2012). He grew up collecting and eating wild mushrooms in the Alps and has been foraging since 16 years in the PNW, where he is an active member of PSMS and working as a mushroom educator and guide. Daniel trained as a geographer and ecologist and works as researcher and NGO consultant on environmental issues of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas
Marin Talbot-Brewer "Diversity of two plant-destroying fungi: an introduction to my fungal research at UGA"
Marin gave an entertaning presentation highlighting some of her work in Athens, GA where she has been studying microscopic fungi that cause crop diseases. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Mycology, Plant Pathology, at the University of Georgia, her research interests include evolution and genetics of plant pathogenic fungi.
Lawrene Millman, travel writer and mushroom expert
Lawrence Millman, author of Lost in the Arctic, Travel Writer and Mushroom Expert: How To Banish Evil Spirits: Uses of Fungi by Northern Native People, gave a talk about the non-culinary use of fungi by northern native peoples. For instance, the Siberian Chukchi burn certain polypores to rid their homes and camping places of evil spirits, and the Eastern Cree burn the same polypores to keep away another type of evil spirit -- mosquitoes.
Cornelia Cho "Mushrooms As Allies in Caring or the Environment".
Our club president, Cornelia Cho, talked about how mushrooms are already busy making the world a less toxic place, breaking down hydrocarbons, replacing styrofoam, killing enteric bacteria, stone-washing jeans without the stones, controlling insect pests, invasive plants and more.
Taylor Lockwood: "In Search of the Holey Veil"
This month we had more mushroom eye candy with nationally known mushroom photographer, Taylor Lockwood (taylorlockwood.com). Taylor recently returned from from producing in "In Search of the Holey Veil" filming in India, Tibet, China, and Nepal and we heard excerpts from his show and anecdotes about his travels.
Tradd Cotter "Edible Mushrooms with Bacterial Partners"
Our regional iconoclast, Tradd Cotter, of Mushroom Mountain (mushroommountain.com) talked about the relationship between specific bacteria and mushrooms. Many of our favorite edibles depend upon bacterial relationships in order to thrive. Tradd has been exploring many different new areas in science, including the burgeoning field of Metabolomics. Metabolomics, also referred to as Metabonomics, involves detecting and measuring the unique chemical fingerprints that organisms leave behind.
Taylor Lockwood Mushroom ID trilogy - DVD presentation
Todd Elliott "Truffles"
Cordyceps expert Todd Elliott presented a talk on many varieties of Truffles that he has studied all over the world. Todd is a professional storyteller, award-winning photographer & fiddler, and beekeeper, and he's passionate about us becoming smarter stewards of this planet.
Elliott Horner "Damp Buildings and Bad Indoor Air: What Parts Are Real and How Do We Know?"
Our own MCG club member Elliott Horner of Air Quality Sciences, Inc. infromed us on a different aspect of the Fungal World, and how fungi can impact your health.
Britt Bunyard "Entomopathogenic Fungi (Insect-eating fungi)"
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Fungi Magazine, Britt was our club speaker for the month of April. He talked about Entomopathogenic Fungi (Insect-eating fungi) which includes the much sought after Cordyceps sinensis.
Rod Stafford "Potions and Lotions: Body Parts and Wolf Farts"
Most of us usually think of mushrooms in the context of foods or poisons, dyes or decorations, diseases, photo opportunities...or even video games. But mushrooms have also played roles (and still do) in more arcane pursuits. From Shakespeare's medieval witches to modern-day cosmetic ingredients, mushrooms have been used to attract a lover, to grow hair, to make you grow taller...or make you grow smaller; to prophesy the weather; to lighten the skin, to recover from sunburn...or even turn back time itself in the quest for eternal youth.