Speaker Series March 8th at 7:30pm

Please join us on Zoom on Wednesday, March 8th at 7:30pm for our online Speaker Series. 

The Great Escape

The spore dispersal strategies employed by mushroom-forming fungi are as diverse as the myriad types of fruiting bodies produced by these organisms. Join us as Dr. Shannon Nix discusses a few of these strategies, as well as some of the adaptations that fungi have evolved to ensure that their genes are successfully dispersed into the environment.

Dr. Shannon Nix is a fungal ecologist who received her B.S. from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Ph.D. from Rutgers University. Prior to becoming a tenured professor at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Shannon studied the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on fungal communities as a Fulbright Fellow at the Agricultural University of Norway and as a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Georgia Experiment Station. During her career as a professor at Clarion and George Mason universities, she taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses in mycology, botany, microbiology and environmental science. Now retired from higher education, Shannon regularly gives invited talks and workshops for local and regional mushroom clubs and pursues research with local collaborators and academic colleagues. Shannon is passionate about education and raising awareness of the role that fungi play in the environment and our lives.

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Speaker Series at Patagonia Toronto Feb. 8th

We are proud to announce that Patagonia Toronto will be hosting the MST in-person speaker series on Wednesday February 8th, 2023 at 7:00 PM.

A unique collaboration between Patagonia Toronto and the interim director of the ROM Fungarium, Simona Margaritescu.

Patagonia will be providing finger food and beverages.

There is a limited capacity for this event, you must register to attend.

Date: Wednesday February 8th, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: 500 King Street W, Toronto, ON M5V 1L9 – Patagonia Store
Speaker: Simona Margaritescu – ROM Fungarium
Presentation: A Fungus’ Journey From Field to Fungarium

An introduction to the TRTC Fungarium and the progression of a fungus from collection to curation and storage through stories, photographs and anecdotes.

Simona finished her Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at University of Bucharest, Romania followed by a MSc degree in Genetics and Cell Biology at the same university. Before making Canada her home, she taught Plant Systematics in the Department of Botany at University of Bucharest. During that time, she organized and participated in many biodiversity fieldtrips. These trips piqued her interest in fungi so, after coming to Canada, she studied Penicillium molds in Dr. David Malloch’s laboratory at the University of Toronto. In 2004, she became the Mycology Technician at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).

Her position at the ROM has two main facets. She manages the ROM’s Fungal Collection (TRTC Fungarium) and is responsible for the operations of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory. As the TRTC manager, Simona is responsible for maintaining, preparing, and identifying the fungal collections and handling loans and exchanges with other herbaria. In addition, she has been managing the electronic database associated with these collections.

Simona teaches specimen preparation techniques and data entry practices to casual staff, summer students and volunteers. She also responds to general inquiries about fungi, gives lectures, and guides tours in the ROM’s Fungal Collection.

Besides her collection management responsibilities, Simona directs the day-to-day running of the Molecular Mycology Research Laboratory and assists in fungal research projects by generating and analyzing molecular data obtained from various fungal species. She also teaches molecular laboratory techniques to graduate, undergraduate students, and visiting scholars.

November 15th Speaker Series Video Available

Diane Borsato's presentation Mushrooming: The Joy of the Quiet Hunt is now available to MST members to watch on the meetings video page.

Diane Borsato’s new book is a lavishly illustrated guide that explores the fascinating, the delicious, the deadly and the strange world of fungi from the forest to the field to the market - and how mushrooming can radically expand our perspectives, connect us to nature, and quietly enrich our lives.

Borsato will discuss several examples of fungi in contemporary art - and how artists use mushrooms to explore the unexpected wilderness of cities, what happens to our bodies after we die, and new ways for us to perceive the world and ourselves.

Mushrooming: The Joy of the Quiet Hunt, Diane Borsato, illustrated by Kelsey Oseid, 2022 Find the book anywhere books are sold in September 2022 in Canada. The book will be released in March 2023 in the US

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Diane Borsato completed an MFA at Concordia in Montreal, and an MA in Performance Studies at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is an award-winning artist, educator and amateur mycologist and beekeeper - who works closely with other artists and amateur naturalists. She has performed and exhibited in Canada and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Power Plant, the AGYU, the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, the Walter Philips Gallery at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the National Art Centre Fogo Island Arts, the Creative Time Summit, and at the Toronto Biennial of Art. She has been twice nominated for the Sobey Art Award, and she won the prestigious Victor Martin-Lynch Staunton Award, in addition to numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her work. Diane Borsato is also Associate Professor of Experimental Studio at the University of Guelph in Canada, where she teaches courses exploring live, site-responsive environmental art practices.

Her recent books include Outdoor School: Contemporary Environmental Art (2021) co-edited with Amish Morrell, and MUSHROOMING – A field guide to mushrooms and fungi in contemporary art - launching in Canada in the fall of 2022 and in the US in the spring of 2023. See her work at www.dianeborsato.net

October 18th Speaker Series Video Available

Loni Jean Ronnebaum's presentation BeeMushroomed: how Fungi can help give bees a chance is now available to MST members to watch on the meetings video page.

Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfecti, makers of Host Defense, have teamed up with Washington State University to study the effects of fungal extracts on bees. Together our efforts have raised over 5 million towards this important cause! We will discuss our past research, future plans and what, as individuals, we can do to give bees a chance.

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Loni Jean Ronnebaum aka Ronnebaumanita loniscaria has long been passionate about fungi. She graduated from the Evergreen State College in 2009 with a BS in Mycology and Natural Sciences. In early 2010 she began working in the offices for Fungi Perfecti, presenting at many events around the great PNW. Loni enjoys playing Ukulele as well as drums for the band Inoculated Minds and photographing #googlyeyefungi in her free time.