Online Lectures and Presentations for 2021

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. 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

Friday, June 11th, 7:00pm
Brandon Matheny
A Systematic Overview of North American Inocybaceae

The Inocybaceae is an ectomycorrhizal family of mushroom-forming fungi with some 1000 species worldwide. Seven genera are now recognized in the family, but the last revision of North American taxa in the group took place nearly 100 years ago. Since this time the number of known species in North America has tripled, and various estimates put the number of species in the family from this area between 300-400. This overview will present an introduction to the family Inocybaceae, some evolutionary and ecological background, and showcase recent systematic developments in the group.

About Brandon Matheny:
Brandon Matheny is originally from Oklahoma where he earned a BA in history at Oklahoma State University. After a move to Seattle, Washington, Brandon caught the mushroom bug and got heavily involved with the Puget Sound Mycological Society for several years before being admitted to the botany graduate program at the University of Washington. In 2003 Brandon got his PhD in fungal systematics, did a postdoc at Clark University for five years, then was appointed as an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee in 2008 with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Now Brandon is a full professor and curator of fungi for the Tennessee herbarium, serves as executive editor at Mycologia, and coordinates the affairs of some 50 graduate students in his department.

His group’s research interests include fungal systematics, diversification, and taxonomy of mushroom-forming fungi, and they do a lot of field work! Currently, Brandon has an NSF grant to revise the systematics of North American Inocybaceae.

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

Sunday, June 6, 7:00pm
Tom Bigelow + Sigrid Jakob
Advanced observation and identification

This lecture covers a variety of topics: how to create a high-value observation, how to use a dichotomous key for identification, using scientific literature to broaden your understanding of fungi, advanced photography, advanced use of iNat, and how to start a herbarium.

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

Friday, May 28th, 7:00pm
Roo Vandegrift
Tea Party Teleomorphs: Dead-Man’s Fingers and Allied Fungi of the Boston Harbor Islands

Roo VandegriftJoin Dr. Roo Vandegrift for a rapid romp through the Xylariales, an order of ascomycete “flask” fungi, generally growing on wood and other plant debris. Learn the important families and genera within the order, illustrated with examples taken from an extensive fungal inventory conducted between December 2012 and May 2017 at the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area (BHI) in Massachusetts (Haelewaters et al. 2018). A new species, Xylaria finismundoensis, is described: this taxon provides the decomposer “missing link” for a group of a Xylaria previously only known as endophytes (a type of plant symbiont).

About Roo Vandegrift:
Roo Vandegrift is a queer scientist and illustrator based in Portland, Oregon. He received his doctorate in mycology from the University of Oregon’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution. He has published peer-reviewed research in internationally acclaimed journals such as Microbiome, Biotropica, and the Journal of Tropical Conservation Science. Recently, he was awarded a National Geographic Explorer grant to coordinate a multi-disciplinary, international expedition to expand knowledge of biodiversity at the Los Cedros Biological Reserve, in Ecuador. He is currently producing a documentary film about mining and conservation issues in Ecuador called Marrow of the Mountain.

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

Sunday, May 23rd, 7:00pm
Damon Tighe
Mushroom DNA barcoding for the citizen scientist

Damon TigheChanges in DNA Sequencing technologies over the past decade have greatly reduced the cost of sequencing, making it available for non-academics and hobbyists. This presentation will cover the basic molecular biology involved in doing Sanger DNA Sequencing, the most commonly used technique for DNA Barcoding of Fungi. The tools and protocols involved will be covered at a few different levels, so that attendees can see how to get involved sequencing mushrooms of interest to them. Basic bioinformatics including BLAST, sequence aligners, and tree building tools will be stepped through with a focus on the freeware that I traditionally help high schoolers use. To see the power of adding DNA Sequencing to your identification toolbox a few example mushrooms will be covered.

About Damon Tighe:
Born in Klamath Falls Oregon and raised in Calaveras County of California, Damon Tighe attended Saint Mary’s college of Moraga California where he worked on local newspapers while earning a Biology/Chemistry degree. He taught High School in Portland, Oregon and moved back to the Bay Area to work on the Human Genome Project at the National Lab’s Joint Genome Institute. He spent a bit of time pursing a MFA in Natural History and Science Filmmaking in Montana, but returned to the Oakland to work on biofuels and single cell genomics. He currently manages an apartment complex in downtown Oakland, works for Bio-Rad laboratories designing curriculum and training educators from Colorado to the coast in biotechnology, and is well versed in local fungi and plants. The last few years he’s helped a number of high school classrooms start documenting their local fungi with iNaturalist and do DNA Barcoding.

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

Sunday, May 16th, 7:00pm
Alan Rockefeller
Fungal microscopy

Alan RockefellerIn this lecture, you will learn why you might want to use a microscope, what types of microscope there are, how to choose a microscope, how to measure microscopic characteristics of fungi, and the kinds of chemicals and reagents that are useful in fungal microscopy. Alan will also cover the important microscopic characteristics of fungi, how to prepare your slides, how to take photographs of what you’re seeing through the microscopes. He will also go over different kinds of spores that can help with the identification of various genera of fungi.

About Alan Rockefeller:
Alan Rockefeller is a mushroom identification specialist, public speaker, biohacker, photographer, and consultant who lives in Oakland, California.

Alan began his autonomous studies in the field of mycology in 2001, beginning with the collective fungi in California. Since then, he has traveled to various countries to collect and study mushrooms. He has photographed and scoped well over 1000 species of fungi, with a particular focus on fungi in the genus Psilocybe as well as bioluminescent fungi, especially Mycena. Through phylogenetic and microscopic analysis, he has identified several species not described in the scientific literature and co-authored a number of papers on Psilocybe, Mycena and Amanita.

Alan regularly identifies mushrooms on websites such as Mushroom Observer, Facebook, the Shroomery and iNaturalist. In the lab Alan sequences the DNA of mushrooms from all over the world, gaining new insights into existing species, discovering new ones and eliminating duplicates in the taxonomic record. He lectures and teaches widely and his (recorded) lectures on DNA sequencing, microscopy and psilocybe have been a valuable resource to many. Alan is also chief mycologist at MIMOSA Therapeutics.

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

Friday, May 14th, 7:00pm
Greg Mueller
Identifying Fungi and Their Habitats in Need of Conservation

Greg Mueller in the fieldSpecies of fungi are not immune to the threats that put species of animals and plants at risk: habitat loss, loss of symbiotic hosts, pollution, over exploitation, and climate. Because resources, financial and human, will always be limited, determining which species are thriving and which are rare or declining is crucial for targeting conservation action towards species in greatest need. Assessing the conservation status of a species (bird, plant, or fungus) requires some minimal data including information on its distribution, population size and trend, and information on why it might be in decline. Much of the data needed are observational – what occurs where and when and are these patterns changing. This is where amateur mycologists / community scientists can, and need to help. Several initiatives across the globe including FungiMap in Australia, The Lost and Found Initiative in the UK, and The Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS) in the US are developing tools and providing incentives and coordination to engage community scientists in generating data needed for conservation assessments and to advocate for conservation action.

About Greg Mueller:
Greg Mueller is Chief Scientist and V.P. of Science the Chicago Botanic Garden. His research focuses on the evolution, ecology, and conservation of fungi, especially mushrooms. Greg has carried out fieldwork throughout the world, with a focus on the Americas, China, and Australasia. He has authored six books/book length volumes and more than 100 journal articles. He is past president of the Mycological Society of America and was recently named a Distinguished Mycologist by the Society. Greg is active in international fungal conservation efforts, chairing both the IUCN Fungal Conservation Committee and Specialist Group on mushrooms, brackets and puffballs, and with a colleague, coordinates the Global Fungal Red List Initiative. He is a board member of FunDiS (Fungal Diversity Survey) and has adjunct appointments at the University of Chicago, and an adjunct professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University.

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

Sunday, May 9th, 7:00pm
Ethan Crenson + Sigrid Jakob
Mushrooms 101 – an Introduction to collecting and Identifying fungi

With the mushroom season just around the corner now is the perfect time to learn how to identify common fungi of the Northeast. This Zoom 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.

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

Friday, May 7th, 7:00pm
Else Vellinga
Fascinating spores

Else with Amanitas by Nhu NguyenThe talk “Fascinating spores” will focus on spores, their role in the life of a mushroom, and on correlations between spore characters and life style and dispersal, with an emphasis on all the things that we don’t know! (please note: this talk will not be recorded)

About Else Vellinga:
Else Vellinga is a mycologist who is interested in naming and classifying mushroom species in California and beyond, especially Parasol mushrooms. She has described 22 species as new for California. She got her training at the national herbarium in the Netherlands, and her PhD at the university of Leiden. Her main goal is to contribute to the conservation of mushroom species, and for that reason she has proposed several species for the IUCN global database of endangered species, and lately she is active in the FunDiS conservation working group. She tries to keep current with the mushroom literature. Else is also an avid knitter and likes to use mushroom dyed yarn for her creations.

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

Friday, April 30th, 7:00pm
James Scott
Mycoparasitism: When Good Fungi Turn Bad

James  ScottMany examples exist where fungi use other fungi as sources of nutrition, causing their fungal hosts to incur damage as a result. This phenomenon is called “mycoparasitism”, and it is surprisingly common in nature. Many common fungi that you may already be familiar with participate in this exploitative ecological relationship. Join Dr. James Scott from the University of Toronto for a brief tour of the fascinating world of mycoparasitism, and uncover some of the secret lives behind your favorite fungi!

About James Scott:
Dr. James Scott is a faculty member in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto where is the Head of the Division of Occupational & Environmental Health, and the Director of the UAMH Centre for Global Microfungal Biodiversity. Dr. Scott’s research focuses on the interactions between people and microorganisms (fungi, bacteria and viruses). His mycological work studies the taxonomy, ecology and aerobiology of human-associated fungi responsible for infectious and allergic disease. His work on bacteria focuses on the influence of environmental exposures on the acquisition and maturation of the infant gut microbiome, and the airborne movement of pathogenic bacteria in healthcare buildings and outdoor air. Lastly, his work on viruses investigates the airborne transmission of influenza and most recently SARS-CoV-2, and he is one of a handful of North American experts on bioaerosols with specific expertise in particle filtration efficiency of masks and respirators. Dr. Scott’s teaching deals with biological hazards in the workplace and community, public health sanitation, and medical and veterinary mycology. Most recently Dr. Scott joined the executive team of PsiloTech Health Solutions, a Canadian biotech start-up led by neuropsychiatrist and psychopharmacologist Dr. Peter Silverstone to commercialize the clinical use of psychedelic mushrooms in the treatment of PTSD and other psychiatric illnesses resistant to conventional therapy.

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

Friday, April 16th, 7:00pm
Roy Halling
Australian Boletes: From There to Here

Early reports of boletes occurring in Australia consisted of short published descriptions largely compiled by non-resident mycologists. Efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries mostly concentrated on Queensland with the goal of assembling records, recognizing modern genera, rectifying nomenclature with placement of known specimens as well as the description of new taxa. Approximately 25 genera and well over 100 species have been documented. These numbers will certainly increase with current work in recording new species and new genera, coupled with taxonomic re-alignment, concept clarification, and reports of extended biogeographic distribution. The diverse array of these obligate mycorrhizal fungi illustrates some enigmatic biogeographical patterns.

About Roy Halling:
Roy Halling is a Curator Emeritus of Mycology at the New York Botanical Garden, where he has carried out research on the classification, systematics, biogeography, and diversity of mushrooms. Roy has been involved in exploration, inventory, and documentation of fungal diversity via field work around the world in northern and southern temperate zones as well as the neo- and paleotropics. Field efforts in these areas have added substantially to general knowledge on tropical and temperate fungi. He has authored or co-authored over 120 scientific publications. Recently, explorations have emphasized surveys to document the diversity, evolutionary & mycorrhizal relationships, and distribution of the Boletineae (a suborder of porcini-like mushrooms). International collaboration with other specialists has been underway on systematics, biogeography and phylogeny of Bolete mushrooms with particular emphasis in Australia and SE Asia. Roy has mentored undergraduate interns, honors students, and four PhD candidates. He served the mycological community as President of the Mycological Society of America, a society from which he received recognition as a Fellow of the MSA and as a Distinguished Mycologist.

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

Friday, April 2nd, 7:00pm
D. Jean Lodge
Do We Have European Wax Cap (Hygrophoraceae) Species? Or Are We Headed For Eurexit?

D Jean LodgeWhile some species of Hygrophoraceae were described by Peck, Murrill, Singer, Hesler and Smith, many of the named species in Hygrophoraceae were described from Europe, and those European names have been applied to collections from North America. How many of these species on either side of the Atlantic are truly the same species? This presentation will go through a series of paired comparisons of molecular phylogeny and % similarity in ITS barcodes between European species and their American counterparts to address this question.

About D. Jean Lodge:
D. Jean Lodge is a mycologist who retired from the USDA-Forest Service and joined the University of Georgia as an adjunct professor. Her research includes classification of Hygrophoraceae and Tricholomataceae. She has authored over 100 publications and 75 species. She is a former President of the Mycological Society of America.

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

Saturday, March 20th, 10:00am
Eugenia Bone
The Kitchen Mycologist

Eugenia BoneThe delicious surprises, the utter flops, the great tips, and the ultimate lessons I learned from making our Fantastic Fungi Community Cookbook.

About Eugenia Bone:
Eugenia Bone is a nationally known nature and food writer. She is the author of 6 books and co-author of others, most recently the companion book to the movie Fantastic Fungi.

My work has appeared in many books, magazines, and newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, Gourmet, and The National Lampoon. A member of the American Society of Science Writers, founder of Slow Food Western Slope in Western Colorado, and former president of the New York Mycological Society, I have lectured widely in venues like the Denver Botanical Garden and the New York Public Library, judged food and wine competitions, and been on TV, radio, and podcasts many times, most recently, Wisconsin Public Radio’s “To The Best of Our Knowledge” and Mushroom Revival’s podcast “Mushrooms and Microbes with Eugenia Bone.” I am a member of the faculty at the New York Botanical Garden where I teach classes on microbial ecology, psychedelic mushrooms, mycology, and food preservation.

I am the author of six books. At Mesa’s Edge was nominated for a Colorado Book Award. Italian Family Dining was written with my father, celebrated chef Edward Giobbi. Well-Preserved was nominated for a James Beard award, and was on many Best Cookbooks of 2009 lists. Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms, was on Amazon’s best science books of 2011 list and nominated for a Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries award. My fifth book, The Kitchen Ecosystem was nominated for a Books for a Better Life award and was on many Best Cookbooks of 2014 lists. My latest book, Microbia: A Journey into the Unseen World Around You, was published in 2018. My writing and recipes have been anthologized in a number of publications, including Best food Writing, Saver Cooks, America, The Cookbook, and The Food & Wine Cookbook, among others. I am coauthor of Tasting Italy published by National Geographic and America’s Test Kitchen in 2019.

I am featured in the documentary directed by Louie Schwartzberg, Fantastic Fungi (2019) which is currently touring the United States, Canada, and overseas, and I am a contributor to the companion book. I will be appearing in an upcoming Netflix children’s show about food (the mushroom episode).

Instagram: #eugeniagbone
Facebook: Eugenia Bone Books

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

Friday, March 5th, 7:00pm
Emma Harrower
Wet and Wild? Theories on the Evolution of Truffle-like Fungi

Emma  HarrowerThere are over 2000 described species of webcaps in the genus Cortinarius. Their abundance and global distribution make them ideal study subjects for the evolution of fungi. In the first half of this presentation I will talk about truffle-like sequestrate fungi (fungi that have enclosed spore-bearing surfaces) and theories about their evolution. I tested Dr. Harry Thiers’ hypothesis that sequestrate fungi evolved in habitats of low precipitation by correlating the amount of precipitation and the state of being sequestrate. I found that sequestrate Cortinarius species are more likely to be found in areas having a great daily change in temperature and they are more likely to be found in areas that have a seasonal change in precipitation. Reinforcing this observation, no sequestrate Cortinarius species have been found in the tropics. Seasonality appears to be important in the evolution of truffle-like fungi. In the second half of this presentation, I present the work I did on the taxonomy, biogeography and evolution of the beautiful Cortinarius violaceus group.

About Emma Harrower:
Emma Harrower first became interested in fungi with her first look at ectomycorrhizal root tips through a microscope. The astounding below-ground biodiversity inspired her to take a course in mycology so that she could see the above-ground life-forms. During the course, she stumbled across a mushroom that couldn’t be identified macroscopically, microscopically or using a DNA Barcode sequence (at that time). She didn’t think it was right to ignore the identity of that mushroom. Four years later, she published a paper with Dr. Mary Berbee which estimated the number of Cortinarius species in the province of British Columbia Canada to be more than three times what was previously recorded based on comparing DNA sequences. She went on to study the macromorphology and micromorphology of the Cortinarius violaceus group with Dr. Brandon Matheny at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Emma is a taxonomist who loves to be out in the field discovering new things.

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

Friday, February 26th, 7:00pm
Patty Kaishian
The Science Underground: Mycology as a Queer Discipline

Patty KaishianThis work approaches the field of mycology through a theoretical framework rooted in queer and feminist theories, as well as philosophy of science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. The work seeks to challenge, push, and explore central tenets of institutional science, and to socially and historically situate current research dilemmas in mycology. By excavating and laying bare ingrained, systemic biases in scientific institutions, the aim is to disarm fallacious assertions of “purity” in science.

About Patty Kaishian:
I am a Mycologist and postdoctoral researcher at Purdue University, where I serve as a curator of the Arthur Fungarium and Kriebel Herbarium. I am a fungal taxonomist, so I classify, name, describe, and generally cherish fungi. I received my PhD in Mycology from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry in Syracuse, NY, in 2020. My dissertation was focused on the taxonomy and ecology of Laboulbeniales (Ascomycota). I have continued my research on this group, while also researching the plant pathogenic Rust fungi at Purdue.

I am broadly trained in fungal biodiversity, with expertise spanning macro and micro fungal groups, and I have substantial experience working in a variety of habitats around the world. I also enjoy stepping outside of more traditional science and have written on the topic of philosophy of science, feminist bioscience, ecofeminism, and queer theory. I am fascinated by how mycology and other scientific disciplines are situated in and informed by our sociopolitical landscape.

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

Friday, February 19th, 7:00pm
Tom Horton
The Role of Suilloid Fungi in Conifer Establishment

Tom HortonOregon Dunes — We now have good evidence that suilloid fungi (Suillus and Rhizopogon spp.) are critical for pines establishing in areas where mycorrhizal fungi are missing. I first learned about this in pine plantations in the high Andes of Ecuador. I then observed suilloid fungi supporting pine seedlings establishing after wildfire in California. These studies guided my research on the coast of Oregon, where pines establish in the middle of sand dunes away from mycorrhizal networks associated with local forests. I found many fungi fruiting in the surrounding forests, with multiple species in such genera as Amanita, Cortinarius, Lactarius, Russula, Boletus, Leccinum, Tricholoma and others. However, Rhizopogon and Suillus were virtually the only fungi found on seedlings in the middle of the dunes. I also found that deer preferentially eat these fungi and disperse the spores across the dunes in the fecal pellets. Further, unlike other genera, viable suilliod spores build up in soils in dormant spore banks supporting pine establishment for years.

About Tom Horton:
After getting his BA at Humboldt State University, Tom went on to get an MA in Ecology & Systematics at San Francisco State U, where he investigated the role of mycorrhizal fungi associated with chaparral plants facilitating Douglas-fir establishment. Tom writes, “Dr. Tom Parker, a plant ecologist was my main advisor, but I was lucky to work closely with Dr. Harry Theirs and Dr. Dennis Desjardin.” Continuing to work with eminent mycologists, he got his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley with Tom Bruns focusing on the use of molecular tools to investigate underground ectomycorrhizal communities. He did his post-doc at Oregon State U. under Drs. Randy Molina and Jim Trappe, continuing to study mycorrhizal fungi and plant dynamics. He is now a professor at SUNY Syracuse. Tom sums up his career as, “There were multiple projects along the way, but all seem to follow my general interest in knowing how the life history of ectomycorrhizal fungi influence plant succession and plant community dynamics in general.”

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

Friday, February 5th, 7:00pm
Judy Jacob
Lichens, Biofilms, and Marble Monuments

Judy JacobEroded marble surfaces teem with robust communities of algae, bacteria, and fungi. These communities are viewed variously as aesthetic disfigurements or enhancements. This presentation provides an overview of the surface ecology of marble and relationships between marble, lichens, biofilms, and weathering; it also will address the question of whether these communities contribute to the deterioration of marble or serve to protect it.

About Judy Jacob:
Judy Jacob is Senior Conservator with the Northeast Region of the National Park Service, working primarily on marble monuments and buildings. Since 2011, she has co-taught “Lichens, Biofilms, and Stone” at the Eagle Hill Institute in Steuben, Maine. Jacob received an MS in Historic Preservation from Columbia University and a post-graduate fellowship for UNESCO’s International Course on Stone Conservation in Venice. She is based in New York City.

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

Friday, January 29th, 7:00
Alden Dirks
Ecology of Crust Fungi

Alden DirksCrusts are an artificial assemblage of fungi that look vaguely similar due to their resupinate (growing flat against the substrate) morphology. With DNA sequencing, mycologists have discovered that crusts are actually spread out across almost all of the subphylum Agaricomycotina (phylum Basidiomycota). As a result, when discussing the ecology of crust fungi, we are sampling a vast diversity of life history strategies that has evolved over hundreds of millions of years. Far more than just wood decayers (although there is much to be said about saptrotrophy), this talk showcases the grand ecological dynamism of crusts and their broader importance for ecosystem functioning – from terrestrial to marine environments, roots tips to rock bottoms, basements to shipyards, and more. After this presentation, you will certainly feel greater appreciation and wonder for crusts and won’t ever be able to look at them as you did before!

About Alden Dirks:
Alden Dirks has had fungi on his mind extensively and obsessively for the past six years since he first learned about wild mushroom foraging. He first grew his chops with the Boston Mycological Club and Farlow Fungarium at Harvard University, learning general mushroom identification from local experts and DNA sequencing skills from Harvard mycologists via a fungal diversity survey of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Following this life-changing experience, Alden moved to the Midwest to pursue an MS degree in agroecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Here he researched arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associating with switchgrass, a large, perennial biofuel crop; founded the Madison Mycological Society; and met Dr. Karen Nakasone, who taught him much about crust fungi and encouraged his interest in this understudied form group. Currently, Alden is a PhD graduate student with Professor Tim James at University of Michigan conducting research on false morels and their production of the mycotoxin gyromitrin. Moonlighting as a corticiologist, Alden has gained some recognition for his work with crust fungi because he was the first person to buy the domain name CrustFungi.Com. Scoring big, he decided to turn it into a website that would serve as something akin to MushroomExpert.Com, but specifically for crusts. He is slowly bringing the website to life, but it may be a decade or so before it is broadly useful for identifying a wide range of crusts across North America – stay tuned.

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

Sunday, January 24th, 4:00PM
Karen W. Hughes
From the Ashes — The World of Pyrophilous Fungi

Karen HughesPyrophilous fungi are fungi that appear predominantly after wildfires. Some of these are triggered by heat, some have pH and nutritional profiles that lend themselves to post-fire soils and some exhibit sudden fruiting in response to host death. Where these fungi reside in the absence of fire has been a mystery. We surveyed pyrophilous fruiting bodies appearing after the 2016 wildfire in the Great Smoky Mountains National park. We also surveyed endophytes and mycorrhiza in pines germinating after the fire. I’ll cover some of the pyrophilous fungi we observed and show some pyrophilous fungi may actually be endophytes in non-fire conditions.

About Karen W. Hughes:
Karen Hughes is Professor, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received a Ph.D. in Genetics from University of Utah. She is Fellow of the Mycological Society of America; Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the College of Arts and Sciences award for Distinguished Research Career at the University of Tennessee. She is author of 146 scientific publications during 40 years of teaching and research in the plant sciences. She is married to Ronald H. Petersen, Mycologist who taught her about fungi.

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

Saturday, January 16th, 10:30am
John Dawson
An Introduction to Myxomycetes (True Slime Molds)

John Dawson“After describing the debate about their proper taxonomic classification, I will discuss their structure, life cycle and the several orders into which they have been subdivided, followed by a gallery of slides illustrating various species from each of those orders. I will also briefly mention how to preserve them for study and will list a number of references to consult for further information.”

About John Dawson:
John Dawson is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Penn State York. Mycology, to which he was introduced in 1972 at a University of Michigan short course, has long been a subject of interest to him, and has become his principal avocation in retirement. Past president of the Eastern Penn Mushroomers, he is especially interested in photographing microfungi. He is also a member of the New Jersey Mycological Association, to whose bimonthly newsletter he has for the past thirteen years contributed a regular column, “Who’s in a name?”, that profiles individuals commemorated in fungal eponyms. His wife Cheryl is also an active mushroomer, and is especially interested in using mushrooms to dye yarn.

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

Friday, January 15th, 7:00pm
Renée Labeuf
Boletes in North Eastern North America

Renee LebeufBoletes in North Eastern North America provides an introduction to the genera of boletes encountered in the region and reviews the important features that aid in identification.

About Renée Labeuf:
Renée Labeuf has entertained a passionate relationship with fungi for 20 years, particularly boletes, mycenas, lepiotas and other small mushrooms. She dedicates almost all her free time to an activity related to fungi: collecting, surveying, photographing, identifying, organizing her private fungarium, leading walks, preparing talks or courses, writing, etc.

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

Friday, December 18th, 7:00pm
James K. Mitchell
An Introduction to Resinicolous Fungi

James K MitchellThis talk will act as an introduction to resinicolous fungi, with a focus on species present in Northeastern North America. Interesting, recently described, and/or underreported exotic species will also be discussed. In particular, I will discuss my recent taxonomic work on the recently-described class Sareomycetes and the discomycete Bisporella resinicola

About James K. Mitchell:
“I am a physics graduate student at Harvard University. Though I started my graduate research working on the development of the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans (the roundworm), several years ago, engagement with the Boston Mycological Club piqued an interest in mycology that snowballed into a shift of my thesis research. In particular, I have taken an interest in those fungi which dwell on the apparently inhospitable surface of solidified conifer resin.”

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

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.