2022 Monthly Meetings

When: Meetings are held on the third Thursday evening of the month, March through October. Check individual listings for dates. The November business meeting will be held on the third Thursday of the month for members only.

Time: Check individual listings for meeting times; 6:30 PM if not otherwise listed.

2022 Meeting Schedule
Date Speaker - Topic - Bio
March 17
Laurie Jaegers
Topic: Ready for Morels?

This presentation will focus on the elusive early spring fungi, and ways to increase your chances of finding them. Now we just have to hope they listen!

Bio: Laurie Jaegers spent 7 long years desperately trying to find her first morel, but that was before she became a member of AMC in 2013. Success required learning their clues, and a lot of persistence, but now she finds them every year. Sometimes she finds a lot, sometimes less than she hopes, but it's always an adventure!
April 21 Jonathan Horton
Topic: Investigating the Effects of Prescribed Fire on Fungal Diversity

This presentation will introduce us to an exciting new UNC Asheville research project. AMC is a community partner and collaborator on this project!

Bio: Jonathan Horton is the Chair and a Professor of Biology at UNC Asheville. Dr. Horton's research focuses on plant physiological ecology, especially the response of plants to abiotic and biotic stressors. Some of his research investigates the characteristics that make invasive species successful and the interplay between mycorrhizae and their plant symbionts. Among the many courses he teaches are Mycology and Mycology Lab.
May 19
John Munafo
Topic: Mushroom Chemistry: Flavor and Health

This presentation will provide a broad overview of the mushroom flavor science and natural products chemistry program at the University of Tennessee, highlighting some ongoing projects and exciting new findings on the flavor chemistry and potential health properties of mushrooms.

Bio: John Munafo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Munafo's research program on flavor science and natural products chemistry centers on the discovery of new molecules from plants and fungi that can be used to benefit agriculture, as well as human and animal health.  
June 16 Ken Crouse
Topic: Mushrooms of the Southern Appalachians

Bio: Ken Crouse is from Wilkes County, North Carolina and has spent his life exploring the fields and forests of the Southern Appalachian bioregion.  Although he is a serious student of nature, Ken likes to tease out the “fun” in fungi. A longtime member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA), Ken has taught mushroom identification classes and workshops at the Organic Grower’s School, Patterson School, Virginia Highlands Festival and Minglewood Farm and Nature Preserve as well as led hikes for Blue Ridge Discovery Center and at the Roan Mountain and Mount Rogers Naturalist Rallies. Ken has facilitated a weekend retreat at Sunnybank Inn in Hot Springs, NC for 19 years. 
July 21 Maria Morrow
Topic: Adventures of a Microcosmonaut 

Are your big, dumb human hands preventing you from gently observing the tiny worlds on sticks, logs, moss patches, and other tiny ecosystems? Do your massive human feet endanger the inhabitants with their clumsy enormity whenever you try to approach? Fear not! For this not-strictly-fungal adventure, we will explore these tiny, secret landscapes through the eyes of a Microcosmonaut. We'll meet a few lichens, bryophytes, slime molds, invertebrates, and, of course, many tiny fungal species. Come and learn the language of the littles!

Bio: Maria Morrow is a professor of botany and environmental science at College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California. She grew up in the wonderfully damp city of Seattle and somehow managed to learn nothing about fungi until she moved to California in 2012 and took Terry Henkel’s Forest Pathology course at HSU. Since then, she has been digging in the duff, looking at logs, and even prodding at poop to get a better understanding of this mysterious kingdom of life. She studied fungal genetics and forest pathology at U.C. Berkeley and is currently working with the Humboldt Bay Mycological Society to survey the macrofungi of Redwood National Park. 
August 18 Andrew Methven
Topic: Travels in the Tricholomataceae

The development of molecular biology has led to
revisions in the mycological understanding of generic and species concepts in fungi. This is especially true in the Tricholomataceae, a difficult to define family of mushrooms with pleurotoid to stipitate basidiomata, attached lamellae and pale-colored spore deposits. This presentation will discuss some of the changes in generic names in the Tricholomataceae and provide images of representative species as a primer for field identification.

Bio: Andrew Methven is emeritus professor of mycology and lichenology at Eastern Illinois University. He has taught courses in mycology, lichenology, medical mycology and field mycology, and curated the Cryptogamic Herbarium (with more than 15,000 collections of fungi and lichens). Included among his research interests are systematics and ecology of fungi, mycogeography, the application of molecular techniques to fungal systematics and the identification and distribution of lichens in Eastern North America.

His research program has examined the distribution of the mushroom genus Lactarius in the Western Hemisphere, the utilization of biological species concepts in systematics studies of fungi and the application of molecular techniques to phylogenetic studies in Clavariadelphus, Lentaria and Macrotyphula.

Recent research projects involving undergraduate and graduate students have examined: the effects of sugar maple removal on the occurrence and distribution of fleshy fungi from endemic oak-hickory forests; the occurrence and distribution of fungal endophytes in sugar maple leaves; systematics and ecology of rust fungi on endemic plants; the use of lichens to assess habitat restoration in fragmented forest ecosystems; fungi that inhabit Spartina (cord grass) in the estuaries of coastal Georgia and North Carolina; and, more recently, systematic studies of species complexes in Gyromitra.

He and his wife, Cheryl Noll, have retired to Leland, North Carolina, to be closer to their children and grandchildren in the Raleigh-Durham area.
 
September 15 Rachel Swenie
Topic: Using DNA to Understand the Fungal Tree of Life

Bio: Rachel Swenie is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her research focuses on species diversity and trait evolution among the chanterelle mushrooms and relatives.  Rachel is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a passionate field mycologist who has worked extensively in the southern Appalachian mountains. Rachel has led guided fungi hikes for the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Tennessee Valley Wild Ones.
October 20 Gwen and Jay Englebach
Topic: Growing Mushrooms in the Garden

Learn simple ways to start growing your own mushrooms at home! Gwen and Jay from Black Trumpet Farm will demonstrate easy, low-cost techniques to integrate fungi into your garden or homestead. We will cover log inoculation as well as totems, mulch beds, and container gardening. We will also discuss soil building strategies using fungal inoculants and compost materials.

Bio: Gwen and Jay co-own Black Trumpet Farm located in Leicester, NC. "Our mission is to promote community food security by providing affordable, high-quality, and nutritious mushrooms. We strive to contribute to the local food economy and retain resources within our bioregion. Our indoor facility produces a variety of gourmet mushrooms year-round, including lion’s mane, shiitake, chestnut, pioppino, and several types of oysters."

Gwen has a B.S. in Biology with a focus on field botany and plant genetics and is currently finishing her M.S. in Horticulture from NC State University. She also holds certificates in woodworking and permaculture design. Jay is an artful carbon based life form, occasionally saprobic. He is the lead mushroom wrangler at the farm and designs efficient mushroom production spaces.


November 17 Annual Business Meeting. Current members only, no speaker.
Time: 7 PM