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Archive of Past MST Meetings

Meetings for 2020-2021

Monday, November 23, 2020 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Mikhael Crystallah-Selk

Presentation: Parasites of the Fungal World - Achlorophyllous plants, fungal molds, and other Fun-Gis that just can't seem to live without each other

Mikhael is the taxonomist/science leader for SOMA, the Sonoma County Mycological Association. He will be focusing his presentation on species found in Northern California and Oregon with some species that crossover into our region.

Ten years ago Mikhael blew out his back working retail. It took him three years of physical therapy to teach himself how to walk without a cane. Much of that time was spent slowly walking through the woods, where he began to pay attention to the amazing diversity of fungi surrounding him. A mild curiosity soon became a passionate new (for him) field of study. He found himself fortuitous enough to begin learning from experts around the world, allowing him to fast-track his studies. He currently specializes in Jelly Fungi and taxonomy in general, volunteering hours per day poring through observations, while maintaining a full time job as an aspiring chef.

Monday, December 21, 2020 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Sheila Mazur

Presentation: Tree Identification

This tree identification course was designed to help you identify some of the most common trees in Ontario that have relationships with fungi - both to help you find and identify mushrooms. The material was lovingly curated from government conservation websites and scans of long forgotten Arbor Day pamphlets, as well as things half remembered from a Grade 6 field trip. Using bark, leaves, environment and other unique attributes, you will learn how to find the following trees: apple, ash, aspen, beech, birch, cedar, elm, helmlock, maple, oak, pine and spruce.

Sheila Mazur doesn't have any fancy accreditation or letters after her name. What she does have is heart, and a genuine love and curiosity for the natural world around her. She is an amateur edible wilds enthusiast, and has been studying edible and medicinal plants for over 20 years. Sheila joined the MST by attending Pat Burchell's Mushroom ID course back in September 2016, and has been fascinated by fungi ever since. Oh, she's also the president too. We still don't know how that happened.

Monday, January 25, 2021 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. James Scott

Presentation: Mycoparasitism: When good mushrooms turn bad

This presentation will feature well known mushrooms such as honey mushrooms, coral fungi, Russula, truffles, and Turkey Tail. This will be an entertaining and informative tour, with stories and photos of mushroom on mushroom combat.

Dr. James Scott is the founder, owner, and Chief Scientific Officer of Sporometrics. His PhD in Mycology was earned through the Department of Botany at the University of Toronto in 2001. Dr. Scott is also the the Scientific Advisor for the MST.

Monday, February 22, 2021 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Giuliana Furci

Presentation: Women in Mycology

Giuliana will be discussing and exploring the contributions of women as botanists and then later as mycologists, as the field of mycology separated from botany. With the recognition of fungi as a Kingdom in their own right, women have increasingly taken on a fundamental role in contributions to the field, across all continents. Giuliana will take us on a journey to learn about the women who have shaped mycology as it is today.

Giuliana is the first female mycologist of non-lichenized mushrooms in Chile, and the CEO and founder of the Fungi Foundation, the first NGO dedicated to Fungi in the world. Through her work with the Foundation she has been able to promote the Fungi Kingdom and under her leadership Chile became the first country in the world to include the Fungi Kingdom in its environmental legislation. Chilean funga is now included in the study and evaluation of environmental impacts throughout the country, through its incorporation into the Law of General Bases of the Environment, also mandating its incorporation into the national inventory of species, among other obligations.

Giuliana Furci has published and collaborated extensively. She has published Field Guides Fungi of Chile, volumes 1 and 2. She is co-author of titles such as “State of the World's Fungi” by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, “Biodiversity of Chile, Heritage and Challenges” by the Ministry of the Environment of Chile, and the book “Fantastic Fungi” by Louie Schwartzberg & Paul Stamets, among others.

Giuliana is the curator of the FFCL Fungarium, which is continuously studied in collaboration with experts from Harvard University, Conicet Argentina, University of Florida, and other institutions.

Monday, March 29th, 2021 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Sheila Mazur

Presentation: Mushroom Hunting 101

This meeting will be held online via Zoom
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This very basic Mushroom Hunting 101 course focuses specifically on fundamental skills in order to describe and identify edible mushrooms that are known as the "Friendly" or "Foolproof" Four, as well as a few other edible mushrooms that are very unique looking and don't have many poisonous look-alikes. You will also learn how to identify a few very toxic mushrooms in Ontario. We will also discuss harvesting and preservation techniques.

Sheila Mazur is an amateur forager, and has been studying edible and medicinal plants for over 20 years. Sheila joined the Mycological Society of Toronto by attending Pat Burchell's Mushroom ID course back in September 2016, and has been a fungi enthusiast ever since.  She lives in the eastern GTA with her wife and three disobedient dogs (two Bostons and a rescue Boxer).  Professionally, Sheila is a legal research trainer, and her interests are cooking, baking, roleplaying games, art and history.

Updated March 25th, 2021

Meetings for 2019-2020

Monday, October 7, 2019 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Robert Rogers

Presentation: The Twenty Myths of Medicinal Mushrooms

The Twenty Myths of Medicinal Mushrooms explores the reality behind often-cited statements found in books, and online media.
In this presentation we will explore some of the common misconceptions associated with picking mushrooms in the wild, mycelium vs fruiting body benefits, wild vs cultivated, drug interactions (both positive and negative), and assorted other misnomers.

Robert Dale Rogers has been an herbalist for over forty-five years, and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is presently an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He is also an adjunct professor at York University. He presently teaches plant medicine, including plant and mushroom medicine, aromatherapy and flower essences in the Earth Spirit Medicine faculty at the Northern Star College 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, 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, Fungi magazine and Discovery Phytomedicine. He is the author of 52 books on medicinal plants and fungi of the boreal forest, including The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America.

Monday, November 18, 2019 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Lawrence Millman

Presentation: Fungipedia and other Tales

A presentation on adventures in ethnomycology, ecology, music and fungi history. Lawrence Millman discusses how mushrooms are much more closely related to humans than to plants, how they engage in sex, how insects farm them, and how certain species happily dine on leftover radiation, cockroach antennae, and dung. He explores the lives of individuals like African American scientist George Washington Carver, Beatrix Potter, and Gordon Wasson, Millman considers why fungi are among the most significant organisms on our planet and how they are currently being affected by destructive human behavior, including climate change.

Author-mycologist Lawrence Millman has written 17 books, including such titles as Fascinating Fungi of New England, Last Places, A Kayak Full of Ghosts, Lost in the Arctic, Giant Polypores & Stoned Reindeer, and — most recently — At the End of the World. He has done fungal inventories in places as diverse as Iceland, Honduras, Nunavik, Bermuda, Belize, Western Samoa, and Nantucket Island. In 2006, he found a polypore (Echinodontium ballouii) previously thought to be extinct. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Monday, February 24, 2020 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Richard Schwarz

Presentation: Park Mushrooms: The Hiker's Experience

Richard will be speaking about his experiences leading nature hikes in a National Park setting and how that experience differs from regular MST forays. Richard will explore the natural, cultural and historical perspectives of the park's mushrooms to help hikers deepen their appreciation of this interesting kingdom of life.

Richard Schwarz has been a member of the MST for seven years and has been participating in our Identification Workshops as well as assisting at the Foray Tables. In addition, Richard has been volunteer leading mushroom walks in Rouge Park for 6 years.

Monday, March 23, 2020 7:30 p.m.

This meeting has been cancelled. See https://www.myctor.org/covid19 for details.

Speaker: TBA

Presentation: TBA

Monday, April 20, 2020 7:30 p.m.

This meeting has been cancelled. See https://www.myctor.org/covid19 for details.

Speaker: TBA

Presentation: TBA

The April 20th meeting will also feature a short segment for the MST's Annual General Meeting, to elect the incoming Board of Directors and review the past year's financial report.

Updated February 12th, 2020