Registration now open for the 36th Great Lakes Mycology Meetings at Western

Dr. Greg Thorn of Western University writes:

Dear Mycologists and other fans of fungi:

The food, accommodations, general program and budget for our 36th annual Great Lakes Mycology Meetings are all arranged, and now all we need is you!

The meetings will commence with lunch at noon Saturday, followed by an afternoon of scintillating talks, posters & mingling, dinner followed by our plenary speaker Allison Walker, more great talks Sunday morning, and a wrap-up lunch. Your $90 (+HST) registration fee includes all of this, thanks to some generous support from the Faculty of Science and Department of Biology at Western. Private ($74+HST) or shared ($54+HST) accommodations are available at Ontario Hall on campus, and the astute among you will notice that your accommodation also includes breakfast, so students and others on a budget, plan to pack some of your second breakfast along for the drive home! Accommodations are available for both Friday and Saturday nights, for those coming from greater distances, or just for Saturday night, for those who are closer. Registration without accommodation is of course also available, for locals and folks with friends or family in London.

As I mentioned in the first heads-up email, these meetings are a great opportunity for students to present to a focused but friendly, small group. The costs are kept as low as possible intentionally to allow supervisors to bring their whole lab. I encourage you to register early, before someone invites you to spend that weekend painting the basement or … but never fear, I will send monthly reminder emails.

Registration is now live at: https://conference.has.uwo.ca/Register/default.aspx?code=C000828

The link for accommodations at Ontario Hall will come in your emailed registration receipt.

Mushroom Trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal

International Mountain Trekking, a small company which offers custom-designed trips to the Himalayas, is organizing the first citizen/scientist mushroom trek this June to Everest Base Camp, at the height of Nepal’s mushroom season. The trek will be led by Shiva Devkota, Ph.D, Nepal’s leading mycologist. Dr. Devkota will join experienced Sherpa guides to lead this trek through rugged forested terrain, deep river-carved gorges and multiple climate zones that support dozens of rare and interesting mushrooms, plants and medicinal herbs.

Nights will be at comfortable mountain lodges, and evenings will be spent learning about (and, when possible, cooking and eating) the mushrooms found during forays, and about the ecological and evolutionary processes at work in this mountainous region. A video about the trek is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEYicjLxUYU&t=4s

One of the goals of this trek is to lay the groundwork for a systematic review of the mushrooms of the Himalayas, with the future goal of publishing a comprehensive guide to the mushrooms of this region.

The 16-day trek, which runs from June 13 through June 28, 2020, will culminate at the picturesque village of Phortse, home to the trek's Sherpa guides and the Khumbu Climbing Center, and will coincide with the Buddhist festival of Dumji.

If you are interested in participating in this trek, or would like to receive additional detailed information, please visit https://www.imt-nepal.com, email International Mountain Trekking at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact IMT Executive Director Rick Silber atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-255-1191.

Public Health Ontario: Foraged Mushroom Consumption in Ontario

Public Health Ontario has published a new Evidence Brief: Foraged Mushroom Consumption in Ontario.

From the introduction to the document:

Wild mushroom foraging for consumption is an unregulated practice in Ontario with potential health risks, particularly to inexperienced foragers. Many species of wild mushroom are poisonous and health effects of such species can range from mild to severe, including death. However, serious poisonings are rare. While there are no reported cases of poisoning linked to commercial foraging, over a thousand calls were made to the Ontario Poison Centre (OPC) over a recent 5-year period that were mushroom-related. At least 90 cases resulted in hospital admission.

The results of the review showed:

  • There are no simple tests to determine if a mushroom is poisonous. Safe consumption of wild mushrooms and other wild foods requires they be correctly identified by knowledgeable harvesters. However, currently there is no mechanism for licensing or accrediting wild mushroom foragers.
  • While wild mushrooms can be found in Ontario’s farmers’ markets, certain farmers’ market food vendors are exempt from the Food Premises Regulation.
  • Assessments and inspections may be carried out at farmers’ markets to ensure compliance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The resource can be found at:

Please address any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fantastic Fungi Futures November 29th

Please join us on November 29th for Fantastic Fungi Futures, an interdisciplinary discussion in anticipation of the December 1st Toronto premiere of Fantastic Fungi

The MST is proud to partner with the ArtSci Salon for this event.

Friday, November 29th, 6 – 8pm
The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
222 College Street, Second Floor, Toronto
Enter on College Street and take the stairs on the left to the second floor. Turn left at the top of the stairs.

This informal event will be accompanied by a popup exhibition with work created by local artists who have worked with a variety of fungi families.

Guest speakers include:

James Scott, PhD - ARMCCM Professor and Head Division of Occupational & Environmental Health, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

UAMH Fungal Biobank: http://www.uamh.ca
University Profile: http://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/faculty-profile/scott-james-a/
Research Laboratory: http://individual.utoronto.ca/jscott
Commercial Laboratory: http://www.sporometrics.com

Marshall Tyler - Director of research Field Trip Health

Marshall is a scientist with a deep interest in psychoactive molecules. He spent his academic career at Cornell and Harvard, exploring the intersection of chemistry and biology in an attempt to unravel the molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. He subsequently worked as a leading scientist at PLUS, one of the largest cannabis edibles manufacturers in California. His passion lies in guiding research to arrive at a deeper understanding of consciousness with the ultimate goal of enhancing wellbeing.

Rotem Petranker 

BSc in psychology from the University of Toronto and a MA in social psychology from York University. Rotem is currently a PhD student in York’s clinical psychology program. His main research interest is affect regulation, and the way it interacts with sustained attention, mind wandering, and creativity. Rotem is a founding member oft the Psychedelic Studies Research Program at the University of Toronto, has published work on microdosing, and presented original research findings on psychedelic research in several conferences. He feels strongly that the principles of Open Science are necessary in order to do good research, and is currently in the process of starting the first lab study of microdosing in Canada.

Nourin Aman 

PhD student currently working out of the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) from University of Punjab conducting DNA sequencing. Nourin is working to document and describe macrofungi from arid regions of Pakistan.

Sydney Gram 

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology student researcher (UofT/ROM) using DNA-based methods to study the biodiversity of fungivorous insects.

Tosca Teran

Interdisciplinary artist Tosca Teran works with Mycelium collaboratively – creating the Midnight Mushroom Music Podcast. https://soundcloud.com/nanotopia/sets/midnight-mushroom-music
Tosca was interviewed On ABC’s Statewide Drive with Fiona Wyllie concerning her work their with fungi. https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/nsw-statewide-drive/recording-mushroom-magic/11501874

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