Fantastic Funga: Why Language Matters

The vocabulary of mycology is one that reveals the way in which fungi have been traditionally treated in classification. Under old systems in which two kingdoms were recognized, plants and animals, fungi were assigned to the plants. The idea of fungi as plants is propagated in various ways. For example, we traditionally refer to the collection of fungi in a museum as an herbarium, when indeed they are not herbs.

Starting a NAMP Sequencing Project with iNat

In March of 2018 I and four fellow members of my local mushroom club, the Cascade Mycological Society, got together over a beer and decided it was time to step up our game. We’d been collecting and documenting the fungi of Lane County, Oregon for a long time, but beyond species lists from the annual fall mushroom show, we did not have a good idea of how many species we had, or when and where they fruited. 

trapped in the city

For many of us the last couple of months have been a time of less - less income, less human interaction, less time in nature, and fewer opportunities to collect and study fungi. A house-bound, stir-crazy New Yorker I particularly missed the weekly rain-or-shine walks, lively ID sessions and lectures of my local club, the New York Mycological Society.

Seeing Patterns

Anyone reading this that knows who I am probably knows me as “the Xylaria guy,” but lately I’ve been working on something completely different: I am currently producing a documentary film about mining and conservation in Ecuador, called Marrow of the Mountain. I was in Ecuador filming for the documentary when the COVID-19 quarantine came down, interrupting our filming schedule and stranding us in Quito.


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