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Archive of Past MST Meetings

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

Meetings for 2018-2019

Monday, October 22, 2018 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Jan Thornhill

Presentation: From Flying Squirrels to Nematodes: Fungi-Animal Connections

There are myriad relationships between fungi and animals that go way beyond members of our own species' foraging for them for food. A plethora of other creatures also feast on fungi, ranging from minute fungus-gnat larvae, to gluttonous slugs, to honey-mushroom-thieving deer. Many fungi also depend on animals to aid in the dispersal of their spores, including parasitic Cordyceps species that practice "mind control" on ants. And what kind of world would it be without the thousands of species whose business it is to recycle dung?

Jan Thornhill has been studying the plethora of amazing fungi she finds around her home near Havelock for more than 25 years. Though she is not beyond eating the choice ones, she is much more interested in fungal diversity, ecology, and collecting the weird and wonderful, all of which she obsessively photographs, catalogues, and preserves. For the past several of years, she has also been writing about her favourite oddities on her blog: https://weirdandwonderfulwildmushrooms.blogspot.ca.

Jan is also a multi-award-winning writer and illustrator of science- and nature-based children’s books, some of which she will have for sale, including her most recent title, The Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow, a companion volume to The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk.

Monday, November 19, 2018 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Antonio Cillero

Presentation: Mushroom cultivation

Antonio will cover the history of mushroom cultivation and the different techniques used to grow edible and medicinal mushrooms, with particular attention to home cultivation techniques.

Antonio Cillero has been a member of the MST for 3 years and currently holds the position of Assistant Foray Director. He has been growing mushrooms as a hobby for ten years and teaches mushroom growing classes in Toronto. He is also a member of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP) and helps organize a conference on the therapeutic applications of psilocybin mushrooms called “Mapping the Mind with Mushrooms”.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 7:00 p.m.

MST Movie Night! Come and have some popcorn!

The Creeping Garden

A real life science fiction movie exploring a world creeping right beneath our feet, where time and space are magnified and intelligence redefined.

The Creeping Garden is a multi award winning feature length creative documentary exploring the work of fringe scientists, mycologists and artists, and their relationship with the extraordinary plasmodial slime mould.

The slime mould is being used to explore biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot controllers, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.

But as well as exploring the slime mould in the lab, the film also travels out into the wild, hunting for the organisms in their natural habitat.

Co-directed by artist film-maker Tim Grabham and writer and film curator Jasper Sharp, the film follows in the unconventional footsteps of Grabham's previous feature 'KanZeOn' and Sharps fascination with the extended world of mycology.

With an original soundtrack composed by celebrated musician and producer Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Werner Herzog's 'Grizzly Man') this is a unique exploration into a hitherto untapped subject matter, observing and immersing the audience into the worlds of the observers and the observed.

Program length: approx. 80 min.

Monday, March 18, 2019 7:00 p.m.

Speaker: Richard Aaron

Presentation: Fabulous Fall Fungi: Unusual finds from Eastern Ontario

Queen's University Biological Station (~50 minutes north of Kingston) is located in a biologically diverse region of Eastern Ontario known as the Frontenac Axis (aka Frontenac Arch). In 2009, the station offered its first Fabulous Fall Fungi workshop to the public. Fast forward to the present day, and there are now a minimum of three sessions offered each year. In this talk, FFF founder/instructor Richard Aaron will highlight some of the many interesting and unusual species collected in these workshops over the years, accompanied by interesting anecdotes. For workshop details, visit https://qubs.ca.

Richard has been an avid naturalist for more than three decades. Over the years, he has given walks, workshops and lectures to over 90 organizations spanning a variety of topics, ranging from wildflowers and trees, to birds, to dragonflies and moths. And, of course, fungi and slime moulds. Richard has been a member of the MST since 1994. He has contributed articles to the Mycelium newsletter, served as a foray leader, formed the microscopy study group (currently dormant), and single-handedly created the MST's first species checklist back in 1998. This is Richard's fourth time speaking to the club. His nature website is at https://natureknowledge.weebly.com.

Monday, April 29, 2019 7:00 p.m.

The April 29th meeting is the MST's Annual General Meeting. At the Annual Meeting the business of the previous year is reviewed, resolutions for the upcoming year are decided, and MST members elect the incoming Board of Directors. The Annual Meeting is an opportunity to meet the Board and the leadership team, and to learn about MST governance and financial stability. Any member can attend, and this is also a chance to put up your hand and volunteer for a committee or step into a role on the Board.

Attending this year's Annual Meeting is especially important, as it will include a vote to approve the final steps of the transition of the MST into a federally-registered non-profit organization. This is a defining moment for the MST, and the Board of Directors would like to have the support of the membership.

The Mycological Society of Toronto has evolved and grown since its start in 1973 as a small club. The MST is now much bigger and more diverse, and our 565 family memberships include almost 1200 people from all over the province. The needs of the organization have also changed and grown, and we need to change with them in order to better serve and safeguard our members, volunteers and directors.

New bylaws have been created to observe the requirements of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, while taking into account the special qualities of the MST. The incorporation team has made every effort to maintain the spirit and values of the MST's existing constitution in the new bylaws. We're confident that this will build a strong foundation for the MST into the future.

The intent of the motion at the Annual Meeting is to adopt the proposed bylaws, and to authorize the transfer, convey, grant, and assign all of the rights, title and interests of the Mycological Society of Toronto (the "Unincorporated Club") in all of its assets, properties and rights in favour of the corporation of "Mycological Society of Toronto" the incorporated successor to the Unincorporated Club, followed by the winding up of the Unincorporated Club, all effective as of April 30, 2019, at 11:59 pm.

We've provided a page on the website at https://www.myctor.org/nonprofit dedicated to answering questions you might have about the reorganization, including the full text of the proposed bylaws. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All members have a voice and a vote - so if you have an interest in shaping the activities and the future direction of the MST, please attend! We're looking forward to seeing as many members, old and new, as possible at this year's Annual Meeting.

Updated April 22nd 2019