Myco-Consortium talk June 10: Jacob Kalichman

As part of the MST's membership in the Myco-Consortium series of Zoom talks, MST members are invited to join the presentation on Friday, June 10th at 7pm ET:

Mushroom Forms, or: Macromacromorphology

A talk by Jacob Kalichman
Friday June 10th, 7pm ET

Typical lists of mushroom forms (agaric, bolete, polypore, crust…) are familiar and useful, but we don’t often give the forms themselves much attention. This presentation will be a casual attempt to add some precision and thoroughness to how we think about the forms, relating them to each other and giving extra attention to the in-betweens – mostly with pictures.

About Jacob Kalichman

Jacob Kalichman has been practicing identifying gilled mushrooms by sight since 2010, especially in California and Tennessee, focusing on little-known and difficult-to-distinguish genera. He is fascinated by the evolutionary relationships among mushrooms and keeps track of the genus-level taxonomy of the gilled ones and their relatives at He wrote the species text for the forthcoming Audubon guide and is currently a field mycologist collecting for the Matheny Lab at the University of Tennessee, with an extra focus on Inocybaceae (fibercaps).

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Speaker Series May 17th: Kathy Vatcher

Please join us on Zoom this coming Tuesday, May 17th at 7:30pm for our online Speaker Series. 

The Tip of the Iceberg - Discoveries in the world of mycology and its important role in our past, present and future.

Kathy Vatcher, an accomplished visual artist and educator, lives in Toronto but escapes the city as often as possible to hunt for wild mushrooms. She’s been studying them since joining the Mycological Society of Toronto a decade ago, though her interest began 35 years earlier. A frequent foray leader, she’s helped identify hundreds of species collected on dozens of forays and Bioblitzes. Yet she’s always eager to learn more from both mushroom experts and gifted amateurs. She’s taught mushroom identification at the Mycological Society of Toronto, The Kortright Centre for Conservation, Rouge National Park and for private corporations.

Mushrooms also pop up in her art. During the pandemic, she began creating unique decorative plates, many featuring fungi, that may be viewed at Tectonic Plates on Facebook. She also paints mushrooms, landscapes and portraits of pets and people. And recently she wrote Beatrix Potter Tells Her Tale, a play inspired by Potter’s challenges and contributions to mycology that she hopes to present in the future.

“The study of mycology has something for everyone. Anyone interested in the future of our planet should have an interest in mushrooms.” – Kathy Vatcher

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Myco-Consortium talk May 13: Sigrid Jakob

As part of the MST's membership in the Myco-Consortium series of Zoom talks, MST members are invited to join the presentation on Friday, May 13th at 7pm ET:

An Introduction to DNA Sequencing 

A talk by Sigrid Jakob
Friday May 13th, 7pm ET

DNA sequencing has become an integral part of modern mycology. It's not only helping with the classification of fungi but has revolutionized our understanding of the fungal tree of life. This talks will take us through the many uses (and abuses) of DNA sequencing, explain how DNA sequencing works, what it takes to set up a lab and how to integrate molecular methods with the documenting and collecting clubs are already doing. She'll also showcase some of the more interesting discoveries from her and the club's collecting that DNA sequencing has helped uncover.

About Sigrid Jakob

Sigrid Jakob is a community scientist based in Brooklyn, New York. She currently serves as the president of the New York Mycological Society and as board member of the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS), where she's also active as a sequence validator. She co-founded the FunDiS Rare 20 conservation challenge as well as a fungi-focused community program for Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery, a first for a public green space in the US. Sigrid has been extracting fungal DNA in her home lab since 2019 and has led many workshops in DNA sequencing. Her favorite fungi are Inocybe and fungi growing on dung.  She is also the current president of the NYMS.

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Myco-Consortium talk May 6: Cathie Aime

As part of the MST's membership in the Myco-Consortium series of Zoom talks, MST members are invited to join the presentation on Friday, May 6th at 7pm ET:

Illuminating the Dark Fungi

A talk by Cathie Aime
Friday May 6th, 7pm ET

Conservative estimates put the number of extant fungal species at 1.5 – 5.1 million, of which < 10% have been described. One of the many questions that has been generated from these estimates is where are the “missing”, or dark, fungi. The majority of fungal data, including species estimates, are based on studies of macrofungal diversity in temperate regions. The main focus of work in my lab is to discover and characterize biodiversity (species, genetic, and functional) of fungi from un- and underexplored habitats and lineages—especially the early diverging microfungi of the Basidiomycota from tropical regions. We combine exploratory field research with traditional and modern tools (ranging from physiological profiling to comparative genomics) to accomplish this. This has included, for example, the establishment of two long-term (20+ years) field studies in remote regions of the Guiana Shield and the Congo River Basin; development of tools for utilizing herbarium specimens for phylogenomic studies and for working with fastidious microfungi; and providing the first available genomic resources for nine classes of fungi. Results of this work have improved understanding at all levels of fungal biodiversity including the discovery and description of new higher rank lineages; discovery of new niches and ecological roles; and characterization of specific adaptive traits that appear to have driven success, in terms of species richness of lineages, and in terms of epidemic potential in phytopathogens. Finally, we have shown that the most widely used culture-dependent and culture-independent methods may fail to detect some fungal lineages, which will require development of novel approaches before illumination of global diversity in toto is achieved.

About Cathie Aime

Cathie Aime is Professor of Mycology at Purdue University and Director of the Purdue Herbaria. Her lab conducts research on the systematics, biodiversity, and evolution of Fungi focusing on: 1) the earliest diverging lineages of Basidiomycota (Pucciniomycotina, Ustilaginomycotina, and Wallemiomycetes); 2) rust fungi; 3) fungi in tropical ecosystems; and 4) fungal diseases of tropical tree crops. Dr. Aime has won numerous awards including the departmental awards for Outstanding Graduate Advisor/Mentor and for Outstanding Teacher, as well as having been a Favorite Faculty Nominee. On the research side, she’s won The GMA Food Safety Award from the International Association for Food Protection, and is a Fellow of the Mycological Society of America and the Linnean Society of London. Her publications are too numerous to list (or count).

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