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Archive of Past MST Meetings

Meetings for 2013-2014

Monday, October 21, 2013 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. R. Troy McMullin, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario Herbarium Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph

Presentation: Lichens: Individuals or Ecosystems?

Description: Find out more about Dr. McMullin

Monday, November 18, 2013 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Dylan Gordon, PhD Candidate, specializing in Canada's wild food trade Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto

Presentation: How Commercial Wild Mushroom Pickers­ Harvest Huge Quantities — And Why

Description: Ten pounds of wild edible mushrooms is a big haul for most hobbyist foragers. But for a professional picker, it's a sign it's time to find a new patch. Their livelihood depends on securing substantial quantities of morels, chanterelles, pine mushrooms or other edible varieties, for days and months on end. Focusing on how they accomplish this feat, this talk provides an introduction to the Canadian wild food trade. Focusing on why, it reveals the social, environmental and economic values motivating this unique form of forest industry. 

Find out more about Dylan 

Monday, February 10, 2014 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Michael Warnock

Presentation: More than Morels: Common Field Ascomycetes of the Spring

Monday, March 17, 2014 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Richard Summerbell

Presentation: What are mushrooms, really?  And why do they sometimes have those amazing colours?

Description: I start off comparing the known functions of mushrooms to the parallel functions of other items.  For example, the mushroom shape is like an umbrella, and sure enough, keeping rain away from the spores is important. The pileus really shares a function with an umbrella. But then I get into mushroom characteristics that are hard to assign a function to. For example, why is the species Lactarius indigo bright blue? Does something critical in its ecology recognize it using that colour? Not as far as we know. Is it a warning colour ('aposemy'), like the magenta of milkweed caterpillars? Apparently not - the fungus is edible. Is it a fake warning colour, like the bee patterning on hoverflies?  Not as far as we can tell. Certainly there's no poisonous blue mushroom that this species is mimicking. Is the blue pigment a developmental coincidence? Hard to rule out, but it does seem to follow a trend for larger mushrooms to be vividly and anomalously coloured. Can't all be coincidence. So what's the blue about, then, most likely? The answer is far more strange than you'd ever imagine. It relates to something more deeply fundamental than the functions of any individual adaptation. 

Monday, April 28, 2014 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: TBD
Presentation: TBD


Updated Jan. 29th 2014

Meetings for 2012-2013

Monday, October 15, 2012 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Jennifer MacDonald

Presentation: Wood Rot Fungi - The Resupinate Tricholomatacae

Description: Jennifer is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Her area of expertise is the Resupinateae, a tribe of fungi in the Tricholomataceae that are resupinate. This is a group of wood-rot fungi that provide an interesting study in how an organism can simplify its morphology to best suit its environment. Come to this meeting. Find out why you should turn over logs and find out what resupinate means.


Monday, November 19, 2012 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Anna Sienicka, MST member.

Presentation: Homeopathic use of Mushrooms

Description: Anna is a Registered Homeopathic Practitioner whose education and training also includes Kinesiology, Health Sciences and Sports Medicine. She has a special interest in health benefits of mushrooms and uses medicinal mushrooms in her professional practice.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013 7:45 p.m.

Speaker: Santiago Sanchez-Ramirez, PhD candidate, University of Toronto


Description: Santiago is in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and will speak about his work on Amanitas.


Monday, April 22, 2013 7:3 p.m.

Annual General Meeting for 2012-2013

Speaker: Kevin McAuslan, Program Director, MST

Presentation: Mushroom Farming in Punjab, and the Mushrooms of Maui

Description: Kevin will speak to us about his visit to a mushroom farm in Punjab, India and show us photographs of mushrooms seen on his trip to Maui, Hawaii.