Feb. 1 / Suzanne Simard:
FOREST ECOLOGY AND THE MOTHER TREE
The researcher who discovered the Wood Wide Web discusses the scientific and personal aspects of this work. (DO NOT MISS!)
Access to Mycological Association of Washington DC’s YouTube Channel at: https://youtube.com/mawdc
Feb. 11 / Sue Van Hook:
BEYOND ACADEMIA: CAREERS THAT PUT THE FUN INTO FUNGI
Sue worked in land conservation for ten years on both coasts, taught biology and environmental science at Skidmore College for two decades, and went on to become the Chief Mycologist at Ecovative Design from 2007 to 2016. The application of fungi, in particular Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi creates new opportunities to address the existential crisis we now face. They offer the promise of a non-extractive alternative to non-renewable building materials as well as benefiting the oceans by replacing plastics with fungi. These new technologies are spawning an ecosystem of new companies and careers.
Feb. 18 / Tom Horton:
A MYCOCENTRIC VIEW OF THE WOOD WIDE WEB
Tom has been one of the pioneers showing how the history of ectomycorrhizal fungi influence plant succession and plant community dynamics. We’ve recently heard Suzanne Simard discuss her revolutionary finding that the trees in the forest are connected to each other by a fungal web, and that they are sharing nutrients and more via that web. But how is that web formed? What is really happening as different fungal species interact with different trees’ roots and with each other? What sorts of recognition and movement are going on underground? The mycorrhizal network is behaving in ways that are surprisingly complex, and this complexity is rarely referred to — probably because it’s microscopic, underground and difficult to decode. While Suzanne was figuring out the web by feeding labelled CO2 to trees, Tom was working on identifying the fungi at the roots of trees. The opportunity to hear both talks will give us a rare and valuable top-to-bottom view of the wood wide web.
FEB. 25 / Noah Siegel:
MONEY IN THE BANKERACEAE: TAKING A BITE OUT OF TOOTH FUNGI
We will explore the group of tooth fungi which include Hydnellum, Sarcodon, Phellodon and Bankera, the latest changes, and tips on identification of this tricky group. Our guide has spent over three 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 and Cameroon. He is one of the premier mushroom photographers in the nation, having won numerous awards. and co-author, with Christian Schwarz, of”Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast”.
MAR. 6 / Machiel Nordoloos:
MONITORING & STUDYING THE DIVERSITY OF HIGHER FUNGI IN PRIMARY SAND DUNES ALONG THE DUTCH ATLANTIC COAST
An eminent senior Dutch mycologist describes the surprising diversity of fungi in this unique habitat, as monitored over the last decade by citizen scientists.
MAR 18 / Susan Hopkins:
MUSHROOMS: UNIQUE NATURAL DYERS
Susan writes, “This talk will be an introduction to mushroom dyeing. First, I will go over basic procedure including preparation and mordanting of the wool, creation of the dye bath and some variables that can affect the color like pH and the source of the water used. The second part will focus on the species of wild mushrooms that I have found to have the most interesting pigments that can be easily taken up by the wool from a hot water bath. Lastly, I will talk about the most recent International Fungi and Fibre Symposiums that I have attended where mushroom dyers and crafters get together about every 2 years to share their experiments and learn from each other.”
MAR 25 / Rick Kerrigan:
AGARICUS OF NORTH AMERICA
(not recorded by wish of speaker)
APRIL 1 / James Scott:
ON THE TRAIL OF THE WHISKEY FUNGUS
James writes, “Despite distillation having been practiced for over 3,000 years, only in the past few centuries have social wealth and agricultural bounty coincided to allow the stockpiling of spirits, with enhanced flavour and aroma characteristics accompanied by increased value as the emergent side benefits. The main downside to spirit aging has been the loss of alcohol over time to evaporation – the so-called ‘Angels’ Share’ – long known to perfume the neighbourhoods around barrel houses. The Angels’ Share, however, is not just for the angels.
Twenty years ago I answered a call from a large distillery to investigate a curious phenomenon of blackening on the outsides of homes, traffic signs, and patio furniture in areas near whiskey barrel houses. Incredulous at first, the unexpected journey that followed revealed a beautiful and physiologically intricate group of fungi that have long been hiding in plain sight, garnered popular press coverage at a level usually reserved for rock stars, and spawned a series of massive lawsuits against powerful multinational corporations. This is the story of the whiskey fungus.
APRIL 8 / William Padilla-Brown:
NORTH AMERICAN CORDYCEPS CULTURE
The founder of MycoSymbiotics, William Padilla-Brown is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur ‘phychologist’, urban shaman, writer, you-tube vlogger, contributing editor for Fungi mag, researcher, poet, and father. William holds Permaculture Design Certificates acquired through Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. William is leading the country in the field of Cordyceps cultivation. This one-hour informational class will take a deep dive into what Cordyceps culture looks like in our country now, from growing to consuming.
APRIL 15 / Greg Marley:
Marley is the author of Mushrooms for Health; Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi, (Downeast Books , 2009) and the award-winning Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares; The Love, Lore and Mystique of Mushrooms, (Chelsea Green, 2010). As a volunteer mushroom identification consultant to Poison Centers across New England he provides expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. Greg points out that the burgeoning interest in foraging for edibles has led to a corresponding increase in poironing cases. This presentation will explore the Northeast’s poisonous mushrooms and the common edible ones that may resemble them, concentrating on recent upturns in poisoning cases.
APRIL 22 / Michael Warnock:
Almost 20 years ago, Michael started a new company: I.D.Onsite, Inc. in Ontario, specializing in fungal infestations of the built environment. In this presentation, Michael Warnock leads us through a wide range of fungal organisms that may impact our built environment, with sometimes tragic or lethal outcomes.
APRIL 29 / JOÄO ARAÛJO:
THE BIOLOGY BEHIND THE ZOMBIE ANT FUNGI
The ability to infect insects arose multiple times along the evolution of Fungi. However, none has shown such broad and sophisticated strategies to infect, persist and transmit spores than the so-called “Zombie-Ant Fungi”. These fungi evolved the ability to make their hosts to leave the colony, climb up to a summit position on plant parts and bite onto the substrate. The infected ant remains attached by locking its mandibles into the plant tissue, which is often further reinforced by fungal structures. Few days after the host’s death, the fungus erupts from their bodies to grow structures that will shower spores on the forest floor, eventually infecting new workers that forage on the ground. They have also developed a broad range of morphologies, adapted likely in response to the host ecology and morphology. In this talk, I will present how these behavior manipulators arose and which strategies they have developed in order to thrive and spread through several species, becoming a diverse fungal group.João Araújo is a mycologist specializing in systematics and evolutionary ecology of insect-associated fungi, particularly entomopathogenic fungi and their mycoparasites in the Neotropics and Amazonia. (Scary and gorgeous!)
MAY 3 / Kurt Miller:
DIVERSITY OF TROPICAL FUNGI IN PUERTO RICO
Kurt Miller is a community scientist from Kirkland, Washington. He lives in Puerto Rico where he has interned with Forest Service mycologist Dr. Jean Lodge and served as a field biologist during the 11th annual International Mycology Congress in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His main interests are tropical fungal ecology and taxonomy, environmental education, and documenting rare mushroom species, especially those which form mycorrhizae with sea grape (Coccoloba spp), a native tree.
MAY 6 / Cathie Aime:
ILLUMINATING THE DARK FUNGI
Cathie is a respected academic researcher who has worked extensively in remote tropical regions, exploring novel fungal traits that permit success as economically important crop pathogens or (as this talk explores) how to spread without spores. This fascinating talk tells how she and her students do research and run a lab under the most primitive conditions imaginable, and how some clever fungi have figured out ways to get animals as vectors.
MAY 13 / Sigrid Jacob:
AN INTRODUCTION TO DNA SEQUENCING
If you’ve wondered what scientists are talking about when they discuss bar codes and DNA sequences, here’s your chance to learn. The President of the NYMS, who’s used DNA sequencing for community science. takes us through the many uses (and abuses) of DNA sequencing, explains how DNA sequencing works, what it takes to set up a lab and how to integrate molecular methods with the documenting and collecting clubs are already doing. She’ll also showcase some of the more interesting discoveries from her and the club’s collecting that DNA sequencing has helped uncover.
MAY 15 / DANNY NEWMAN:
RICHER THAN GOLD: FUNGAL BIODIVERSITY IN A THREATENED ANDEAN CLOUD FOREST RESERVE
There is a somber motto that hangs over the chronically underfunded world of 21st century taxonomic research: “find it before it goes extinct.” Kingdom Fungi currently contains some 130,000 known, named species, but between two and five million more are estimated to exist. To be among the 150-200 species which disappear each day on this planet is a privilege which most fungi do not enjoy, not because they aren’t disappearing, but because their existence was never known in the first place. Like so many trees falling with no one around to hear them, they are silently, imperceptibly struck from the long list of living things for which we have no human name. This is truer nowhere more so than tropical rainforests.
JUNE 10 / Jacob Kalichman:
MUSHROOM FORMS OR MACROMACROMORPHOLOGY
Jacob Kalichman has been practicing identifying gilled mushrooms by sight since 2010, especially in California and Tennessee, focusing on little-known and difficult-to-distinguish genera. He is fascinated by the evolutionary relationships among mushrooms and keeps track of the genus-level taxonomy of the gilled ones and their relatives at www.agaric.us. He wrote the species text for the forthcoming Audubon guide.
JUNE 12 / Henry Beker:
THE HEBELOMA PROJECT
Henry Beker is a successful businessman/inventor who became interested in mycology and fccused on Hebeloma species. The Hebeloma project has been evolving for over 20 years. The database that started in 2003 now has over 10,000 collections, from around the world, with not only metadata but also morphological descriptions and photographs, both macroscopic and microscopic, as well as molecular data including at least an ITS sequence. Included within this set of collections are almost all types worldwide.
The next phase has been to develop a website, which updates as the database updates. This website, which will be launched on 1 July 2022, includes up-to-date species descriptions for all published species, worldwide, that are recognized as ‘current’. The descriptions reflect the collections of each species on the database. It also has a number of tools available to the user. For example a user may explore those species with similar habitat preferences, or those from a particular biogeographic area. A user is also able to compare a range of characters of different species. A key part of the website is the species identifier tool. The user inputs a small number of characters and the tool promptly returns the most likely species represented, ranked by probability. We will present the machine-learning techniques behind the tool, and the results it has had in testing to date.
JUNE 17 / Sarah Delong-Duhon:
REDISCOVERING COMMON SPECIES USING MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: STEREUM OSTREA AND ITS FORGOTTEN COUSINS
Sarah is is experienced in the field and the lab, extracting, sequencing and analyzing fungal DNA to help unravel the mysteries of fungal biodiversity and evolution, and this talk explains how she’s used this to tease apart different species of wood decaying Stereum that had been lumped into the same species due to their looking alike.
JUNE 19 / Leif Ryvarden:
A LIFE AMONG POLYPORES
The grand old man of polypores talks about where he’s gone and who he’s worked with. with special attention to African collaborations.
September 28 / Jennifer Bhatnagar:
HOW FUNGI SHAPE THE CARBON CYCLE UNDER GLOBAL CHANGE