Online Lectures and Presentations for Spring/Summer 2020

NYMS is adapting to the circumstances in which we all find ourselves due to the COVID 19 pandemic. In an effort to bring the Society informative, entertaining, and educational programming, we will be scheduling online lectures and presentations using Zoom. The NYMS has the capacity to host 500 participants in lectures and programs. The details of the presentations will be listed on this page as they are confirmed. Our first lecture will be by Sigrid Jakob and will cover psychoactive mushrooms. In addition to lectures we will continue to hold our Foul Weather Friends mushroom identification sessions, albeit in online Zoom sessions. Please check this page and NYMS email notifications, for more details.

These lectures are open to all NYMS members.

Please note corrected date

Wednesday December 9th, 7:00pm
John Michelotti
How to Quit Your Job and Devote Your Life to Mushrooms

John Michelotti Photo by Sigrid JunkermannGary Lincoff said to “Quit your job and devote your life to mushrooms”. I heeded this advice back in 2014 and have been happier ever since. Last year at a few Forays I met multiple people that were ready to follow Gary’s advice but didn’t know how to do it or where to start. Hear stories of other devotees and see to what key values & tools they attribute their success. Take the next steps toward your fungally devoted future and discover real ways to realize this dream that many of us share.

About John Michelotti of Catskill Fungi:
John Michelotti is the founder of Catskill Fungi which empowers people with fungi through outdoor educational classes, cultivation courses, mushroom art, and mushroom health extracts. John is a former President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA) where he co-founded the Gary Lincoff Memorial Scholarship. He served on the Mushroom Advisory Panel for Certified Naturally Grown to develop ecological standards in mushroom production. He was chosen by the Catskill Center as a “Steward of the Catskills” for his contribution to the environment. His goal is to educate and inspire people to pair with fungi to improve health, communities, and the environment. Visit his web site:
Catskill Fungi

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, December 4th, 7:00pm
Cathy Cripps
Mushrooms in Cold Places: Rocky Mountain peaks to the Arctic tundra

Cathy Cripps in FinlandThe cold wind-swept tundra above treeline on mountain tops and in the Arctic, is not the usual place to look for mushrooms. These are some of the coldest places on earth. But the mushrooms are there: tucked under willows, nestled among mosses, lying exposed in meadows, and poking up on bare wet soil. These cold-hardy fungi play critical roles as decomposers and nutrient gatherers for alpine plants in these extreme environments. Their diversity is surprising given the harsh conditions. This talk will display these Arctic and Alpine beauties in their natural habitats primarily in the scenic Rocky Mountains and the open landscapes of the Arctic and discuss how past glaciation has influenced their distribution.

About Cathy Cripps:
Cathy Cripps is mycologist and professor at Montana State University where she teaches and does research on fungi. She earned her BS from the University of Michigan and PhD from Virginia Tech with Dr. Orson Miller. Her research on mushrooms that survive in Arctic and alpine habitats has taken her to Iceland, Svalbard, Norway, Greenland, the Austrian Alps, and Finland. She is co-author of “The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat”, editor of “Fungi in Forest Ecosystems” and “Arctic and Alpine Mycology 8”, and she has authored numerous scientific papers. With over 40 years of experience collecting mushrooms, first as an amateur when she lived in a cabin in Colorado and later as a professional leading forays and teaching field classes in Montana, her love and enthusiasm for the Rocky Mountains and its fungal creatures runs deep.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday October 30th @ 7pm
Luke Smithson
The Post Maitake Season: Late Fall Edibles

luke smithsonMaitake season may be dwindling but there is still a whole season of great edibles to be found in the Mid-Atlantic region. We will explore some of the wild culinary mushrooms that are still to be found in the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barren habitats, the Piedmont ecoregion and our urban parks.

About Luke Smithson:
Luke Smithson is a former president of the New Jersey Mycological Association and a professional chef in the Philadelphia area. He has been foraging and eating wild mushrooms for 25 years and continues to seek out new edible mushrooms and cooking methods. He regularly presents mushroom cooking demonstrations for NJMA and beyond.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, October 2nd, 7:00pm
Leon Shernoff
Edible Fall Fungi

Leon ShernoffAutumn is the peak season for mushrooms (find out why at the talk!) and Leon will share his knowledge of the mushrooms of the Mid Atlantic Region (poisonous, edible, and in-between!) and the role fungi play in our ecosystem.

About Leon Shernoff:
Leon Shernoff is currently in his seventeenth year as editor of the internationally distributed magazine Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming. For the past few years he has also been developing the Fungal Data System, a custom data store for mushroom morphological data.
In addition to Mushroom the Journal, his columns on wild mushrooms have appeared in The Wild Foods Network, Backwoods Home Magazine, and Mycophile, the newsletter of the North American Mycological Association. A former president of the Illinois Mycological Association, Leon has given mushroom talks and identified mushrooms for forays in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Oregon and Washington. Fungi that he has collected are now part of the permanent collection of the Field Museum in Chicago and the New York Botanical Gardens.

Leon stresses the wonder of fungi and their interactions with nature, rather than just identification of species and knowledge of edibility. He is also one of the rare people who can present technical information with historical background and humor, instead of masses of detail. From the often-overlooked to the all-too-common, Leon usually has that little extra bit of information that makes us aware of the marvel and mystery that is mushrooming.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, August 28th, 7:00pm
Bill Yule
Bugs, Slugs and Other Mushroom Thugs

Bill YuleBill Yule will explore the diversity of the non-human animals that inhabit mushrooms and use fungi for food, shelter and to raise their families.  As Sam Ristich used to say “Mushrooms are just perfect insect condominiums.”

About Bill Yule:
Bill Yule is a field biologist, former High School Biology teacher and an Environmental Education teacher.  He has taught at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, CT. for 16 years.  He is a member, officer and former Education Chair of the Connecticut Valley Mycological Society since 1988.  He is also a member of COMA, Pioneer Valley Mycological and NAMA. He is a principal identifier, lecturer and presenter in major forays in the east for 20+ years and participates in numerous events for the NEMF, COMA and CVMS. Bill has given presentations about fungi to dozens of environmental organizations and clubs all across the Northeast. Bill’s interests are fungal ecology, insect/fungal relationships, Boletes and all other mycorrhizal mushrooms and all things fungi.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, September 4th, 7:00pm
Jasmine Richardson
The Limitations of North American Truffle Production: Why the Delay?

Jasmine RichardsonThe conditions for growing the black Périgord truffle are suitable in multiple American regions, and the demand for the truffle remains high worldwide. Still, the cultivation of Tuber melanosporum has been largely underwhelming. While establishing her truffle orchard, Jasmine Richardson has spent several years learning the ins-and-outs of truffle cultivation of highly productive orchards in Europe and newly productive orchards in North America. Jasmine will give a presentation on her observations of Northern American-specific challenges in domestic orchards, the limitations of establishing her own orchard, and regional-based solutions for American farmers and mycologists.

About Jasmine Richardson:
Jasmine Richardson is a microscopist specializing in the identification of mycorrhizae found in European and North American truffle orchards and fungal endophytes. She is currently establishing a Tuber melanosporum orchard on her family farm in Southern Virginia. Jasmine is the former vice president of the San Francisco Microscopical Society and regularly hosts microscopical and mushroom cultivation workshops in the Bay Area. She is passionate about fostering scientific and community-based collaborations and bridging the divide between conventional American farming and mycology.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, September 18th, 7:00pm
Jay Justice
A look at Amanitas in the NE region of the US

Jay JusticeThis presentation will offer some interesting information about members of this genus. After viewing this presentation, folks should have a better understanding of the differences in the appearance of members of this genus and knowledge of the salient features present in the species that comprise the seven known sections contained within this genus.

About Jay Justice:
Jay Justice became enthralled with mushrooms and fungi while pursuing a graduate degree many years ago. After completing his graduate degree, Jay joined the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) in 1980. In 1982, he was instrumental in forming the Arkansas Mycological Society and participated in his first NAMA foray in 1985. Jay has been a prominent member of NAMA, and a well known mycologist in the decades since. Within NAMA, Jay has served in many roles: Foray Chairman for the NAMA foray committee, Editor of The Mycophile (NAMA’s newsletter), and was Vice President of NAMA for several years. In 2011, Justice was the recipient of the Gary Lincoff Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology, an award that is given each year by NAMA to recognize service performed by selected amateur or professional mycologists. He has co-authored several research papers in mycological journals. In addition, Jay has collected and contributed many scientific research specimens of Amanitas to Dr. Rod Tulloss over the years. These collections have been useful in mapping the distributional boundaries of many species. Jay continues to serve as a lecturer and mushroom foray leader for mycological societies and mushroom clubs, particularly in the Southeast. He has recently co-authored the book Amantias in North America, which was published in June of this year.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, August 7th, 7:00pm
Gary Gilbert

Gary GilbertThe next installment of the NYMS Zoom presentation series brings us Gary Gilbert of the Boston Mycological Club, who will regale us with tales of his extensive mycological travels!
Colorado Porcinis, Western Morels and Italian Truffles! How each region works, what to expect, ‘Motherloads’, cooking and lots of tips & tricks and fun personalities…

About Gary Gilbert:
Gary Gilbert is an active walk leader with the Boston Mycological Club as well as administrator of the Mushroom Identification Page on Facebook. He regularly teaches classes and leads walks in the Cape Ann area and is soon to publish a new product “MycoCards: Mushroom Flashcards for learning”. He began mushrooming in the 1980’s as a member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and regularly travels the country foraging, collecting for identification and trying to develop new ways for people to learn about fungi.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, June 19th, 7:00
Tom Bigelow
An Introduction to Polypores

Coltricia montagnei Tom BigelowWhat can you know about a polypore when you don’t know what it is? A lot, it turns out: you can know something of its lifestyle, likes, and habits. This presentation reviews the basics of polypores, and touches on the group’s unsettled taxonomic status, and their historical and contemporary uses. This talk will be a good follow-up to Paul Sadowski’s recent presentation, “The Other Bracketology,” which explored the social, family, and sex lives of polypores.

About Tom Bigelow:
Tom Bigelow has been a member of the New York Mycological Society for 13 years and has served as the club’s president for the past four.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, June 5th, 7:00

Paul Sadowski
The Other Bracketology

Since we missed out on March Madness this year, join a Zoom presentation exploring the social, family, and sex lives of polypores.

About Paul Sadowski:
Paul Sadowski has been an active amateur mycologist for over twenty-five years. He has studied mushrooms under the mentorship of Gary Lincoff, Tom Volk, Aaron Norarevian, Dennis Aita and others. He has been a working member of the New York Mycological Society during these years as Treasurer and Secretary, coordinator of the Monday Night Study Group (the Foul Weather Friends) and has led microscopy workshops for the Society. In 2010 he received The North American Mycological Association’s Harry and Elsie Knighton Service Award. Paul has also been involved in the operations of the Northeast Mycological Federation, serving as Treasurer since 2011. He chaired the 2017 NEMF Samuel Ristich Foray. Sadowski has presented numerous programs in New York and New Jersey for an audience of the mycologically curious members of garden clubs and conservancies. Since 2016 he has been an instructor in Mycology in the New York Botanical Garden Adult Education Program, offering classes in mushroom identification, Medicinal & Poisonous and miroscopy. In 2007 and 2008 with the Greenbrook Sanctuary naturalist, Nancy Slowik, they embarked on a survey of fungi within the Sanctuary’s property in the New Jersey Palisades. The experience led him to study polypores with the eminent mycologist Tom Volk at a seminar held at Eagle Hill, the Humboldt Field Research Center in Steubenville, Maine. The Charles Horton Peck Foray, the annual meeting of students of mycology and mushroom hobbyists is a touchstone for Mr. Sadowski. The relaxed atmosphere of this congregation is at once mentoring and rejuvenating. He has coordinated support from the NYMS in sponsoring three forays. Each year since 2009 Mr. Sadowski has led presentations and walks at Inwood Hill Park on behalf of the NYC Parks Department in cooperation with the Greenacre Foundation.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, May 29th, 7:00

Sigrid Jakob and Ethan Crenson
Mushrooms 101

With the mushroom season just around the corner now is the perfect time to learn how to identify common fungi of the Northeast. This lecture is aimed at beginners and will cover tools and terminology, the basics of identifying fungi, and how to differentiate the delicious from the deadly -whether you’re picking for the pot or simply like to put a name to the next mushroom you see.

About Sigrid Jakob:
Sigrid Jakob is an independent strategist based in Greenwood Heights, NYC and a dedicated recorder of the fungi of Green-Wood Cemetery and Prospect Park. She’s not only a volunteer for the North American Mycoflora Project, but also has her own home DNA sequencing lab. She has a particular interest in Russulas and fungi growing on dung. Sigrid has presented programs to the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association, the Boston Mycological Club, the New Jersey Mycological Association, and numerous programs for the NYMS. Follow her on Istagram: @dung_fungi

About Ethan Crenson:
Ethan Crenson received an MFA in photography from the School of Visual Arts in NYC in the 1990s. He runs two companies, a graphic design company and a gallery/publishing house for artists’ multiples. He became interested in fungi about 13 years ago and joined the New York Mycological Society shortly thereafter. He is an active contributor to the five borough fungal survey, Gary Lincoff’s effort to inventory the fungal inhabitants of NYC. He has a keen interest in pyrenomycetous fungi, and has presented programs on these “dots on sticks and scabs on branches” at NEMF and NAMA forays and on several occasions to the NYMS.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday, May 22nd at 7:00

Lawrence Millman
Q&A: Looking for fungi in the context of Covid-19

followed by. . .

The PsychroWard: Fungi in the Cold

The next installment of the NYMS Zoom presentation series brings us Lawrence Millman!

Clitocybe glacialis Teton COFollowing a few remarks about fungal foraging in the context of Covid-19, Lawrence Millman will give a presentation on fungi in the North – their adaptations to cold conditions and the possible effects of climate change on those adaptations. He’ll also talk about how fungi have been traditionally been used by northern native peoples.

Note: this presentation is an updated and expanded version of a talk Millman gave to the NYMS five years ago. A considerable amount of new material and information has been added.

About Lawrence Millman:
Writer-mycologist Lawrence Millman is the author of 18 books, including such titles as Last Places, Lost in the Arctic, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, Fascinating Fungi of New England, At the End of the World, and – most recently Fungipedia (reviewed by Eugenia Bone in the Autumn 2019 NYMS newsletter). Gary Lincoff once referred to him as “the heir of Sam Ristich,” but he thinks of himself as being more an heir of Henry David Thoreau.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Friday May 15th at 7:00pm

Bill Bakaitis
Morels: An Illustrated Lecture with Particular Reference to Habitat and Apple Orchards

The NYMS Zoom Lecture Series continues with Bill Bakaitis, morel hunter extraordinaire, with a presentation focusing on collecting morels in New York and the Northeast with reference to morel habitat and lead arsenate in abandoned apple orchards.

Bill suggested some background reading that I urge people to look at before the talk:
Morels from the Apple Orchard
Collecting Wild Mushrooms (Morels)
A Lesson Too Late for the Learnin’
Lead and Arsenic in Morchella esculenta Fruitbodies

About Bill Bakaitis:
Prior to retirement in 2006, Bill taught at Dutchess Community College for 38 years. During which time, he was granted sabbaticals to study graduate level Mycology at both SUNY New Paltz, and at the NY State Museum in Albany, working there with John Haines, the State Mycologist at the time. He is a popular speaker who has given educational programs in Mycology at the Institute of Ecosystems Study in Millbrook, NY, the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, Hudsonia at Bard College as well as with many other institutions throughout the Northeast. In 1983, he founded the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association, and since 1984 has worked with the Poison Control Networks of NY, CT, MA, RI, VT, and ME. His articles have been published in NY State Conservationist, Adirondack Life, Mid-Hudson Magazine, The Poughkeepsie Journal, Mushroom: the Journal of Wild Mushrooming, where he is a contributing editor, and elsewhere. Online his articles may be found at:

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Thursday May 7th at 7:00pm

Sigrid Jakob
Fascinating World of Psychoactive Fungi

Sigrid JakobThis talk will cover the fascinating world of psychoactive fungi from a multitude of angles. You’ll learn how to identify common psychoactive fungi of the North East in the field. We will cover species within Psilocybe, Panaeolus, Gymnopilus, Pholiotina, Pluteus and Amanita. We’ll survey their use in different cultures from the past to the present, and learn how their unusual biochemistry is being put to therapeutic use. We’ll end by looking at their current legal status and how this is expected to evolve with their increasing acceptance.

NYMS members will receive an email that includes a link to join the meeting.

Please note, you will need to have downloaded on whichever device (lap-top, smartphone, etc.) you’ll be using to view the talk.