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2024 Foray Presentations

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Noah Siegel

Adventures of a Mycohobo 

          Ever wonder what mushrooms occur in the jungles of tropical Africa and South America, or the dripping, moss covered Antarctic Beech forests of New Zealand, or across the diverse ecosystems of North America? We will take a photo safari of the places I have been working, and highlight some of my favorite mushrooms from the past few years.

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Todd Elliott

Animal – Fungal Interactions: From Around the World

to Your Backyard 

 

          From zombie ants to truffle-munching apes and based on Todd’s doctoral dissertation, you will explore the many fascinating ways that fungi interact with animals. These interactions, ranging from parasitic to symbiotic, are vital to the health of natural communities all over the world.

The Role of Fungi in Ecosystems

We are only just beginning to understand the many ways fungi interact with ecosystems. From nutrient-exchanging mycorrhizae to decomposers to plant and insect pathogens, fungi are vital components of natural communities. Join this globe-trotting adventure into the fascinating ways fungi help shape our environment. This talk ranges from concepts in fungal biology to vignettes about mushroom hunting and remote field biology expeditions!

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Jacques Landry

Unveiling Regional Russula Species Diversity through DNA Analysis

          Assessing Russula diversity in Québec has undergone significant expansion due to extensive DNA barcode analysis involving over 1000 collections. The study, funded by Mycoquébec, has unveiled a multitude of cryptic species, many of which remain unnamed. This presents new challenges for mycologists, who must now revisit and redefine our species concepts based on genetic data. However, it opens up exciting opportunities for original  discoveries in the field of Russula.

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Bethany Beech

Caps Off the Milkies: A Look at the Sections of Lactarius and Lactifluus

          Lactarius and Lactifluus, the milk caps, are notoriously difficult to identify. Let’s go behind species ID and learn the broader characteristics of Milky Cap sections. Learning sections is a gateway to useful information such as edibility and can help you narrow down your finds in the field without the use of a microscope. 

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Tom Walker

How to Recognize Lichens of Cape Cod

          Did you know that fungi can switch from decomposers, to lichen on the same tree? Add lichenization as the fourth nutritional mechanism for fungi. Some break down rock into soil, stabilize soil or provide shelter for invertebrates. In this talk you will learn about many types of lichen and how to identify them.

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Alan Rockefeller

New Discoveries in the Taxonomy of Psilocybin Mushrooms & Tryptamine Fungi


          A tour of the rich diversity of psilocybin species in Canada, the US, and Mexico. Detailed profiles of new Psilocybe species, their micro & macro morphology and psychedelic properties. Insights into the fungal taxonomy of psilocybin-containing fungi including molecular and phylogenetic analyses reshaping our classification, conservation efforts and ethical considerations surrounding the use of psychedelic mushrooms in science and recreation. This presentation offers a rare opportunity to deepen your knowledge of these extraordinary organisms. 

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Rick van de Poll

Out on a Limb - Mushroom Habitats of Cape Cod

          This talk will review the natural and altered habitats of Cape Cod. From barely stabilized sand dunes to mature oak forests, many of the mycorrhizal fungi are different because of the sandy , morainal soils and the prevalence of pitch pine and oak. Yet some of the saprotrophs respond in kind with unusual diversity as well. Each habitat we will visit during the foray will be described thoroughly including a couple of the rare fungi that we encourage you to look for during the weekend.

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Gabriela d'Elia

and 

Rick van de Poll

Conserving Rare Fungi – Amping Up the Importance of Fungi in the Northeast

          With an increasing emphasis on saving species during this “sixth extinction crisis,” the role of fungi in ecosystems has finally entered the realm of essential global conservation efforts. In spite of their critical role in carbon sequestration, only a handful of states and provinces in North America are actively identifying and protecting fungal species. With imperilment ratios exceeding 30% among most groups of organisms, less than .0005 % of the total estimated diversity of fungi has been assessed by the IUCN Red List as vulnerable, threatened, or endangered. This session will provide a synopsis of efforts to conserve rare fungi in the Northeast. Updates to FunDiS’ “Rare Fungi Challenge Northeast” will be provided.

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Cornelia Cho

Medicinal Mushrooms

          Amidst all the medicinal mushroom press out there, how does one sort through it all to develop a workable and effective plan for yourself and those you love? Mycology, and the topic of medicinal mushrooms has seen an explosion of interest with increasingly larger numbers of people exploring their use to improve their physical and mental health.  In particular, psilocybin has gone from research 'pariah' to research 'darling'; with every major academic institution running investigative studies, and venture capitalists scrambling to pour in investment dollars. Enjoy an engaging, thought-provoking presentation on the consumption of mushrooms as both food and medicine.

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Bill Yule

SAPROBE SUPERPOWERS:

Inside the Rotten World of Wood Decay

          This program explores the biology, ecology, and evolutionary history of the saprotrophic lifestyles. We will look beyond the white rot/brown rot pathways and explore the roles of endophytes, the chemistry of decay, wood decay succession, and the evolution of saprobes into mycorrhizae.

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Gary Gilbert

A Crash Course in Identifying Fungi

          Where do you begin and how do you improve your skills when trying to identify a mushroom? Familiarize yourself with the primary macroscopic features and the main genera, or groups of fungi you will encounter in the field. In this talk we will focus on the terms used in a field guide, online websites and even how to work through identification keys to narrow down your search. This is a great class for beginners and intermediate mushroomers alike.

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Ethan Crenson

Ascomycetes, the ‘Cup Fungi’:

The Basics and Beyond

          The ascomycetes are a large phylum of fungi—a vast, diverse, and under-studied group. This presentation outlines approaches to the study of ascomycetes, with emphasis on microscopy. It will start with the basics of ascomycete anatomy and focus in on some examples of approaches to the study of some common genera. Although this is not a hands-on workshop, it will have some elements of a how-to guide.

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Renée Lebeuf 

Tricholoma: Status of the Genus

in Eastern North America

          The genus Tricholoma is one of the most abundant to be encountered in the fall in North America. Though quite distinctive as a genus, ID to species is problematic due to a lack of distinctive characteristics. Important advances have been made due to the large sequencing efforts recently made. Renée will discuss the state of this genus in eastern North America including new species.

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Cape Cod- A Treasure Chest of Mycological Gems

          An overview of some special fungi and where they can be found, including the great variety of Tricholoma species mycorrhizal with pines, fungi adapted to life in sand, characteristic boletes, rare species and more.

Bill Neill

Rachel Swenie

Rachel Swenie

What is a Fungal Species, Anyways?

A Practical Discussion

          Perhaps you just got back your DNA sequencing data and don’t know what to do with it? What does all of this sequence data mean anyways? How can you tell if a DNA sequence represents a new, unnamed species, if it’s not a 100% match with something else, or is it actually an existing species? We will discuss some examples of how to match a sequence to a species name, and unravel the process behind formally describing a new species in practical terms.

Is that a chanterelle? No, it's a trumpet!

          Trumpet mushrooms (genus Craterellus) are a sister group to chanterelles, and like chanterelles, several trumpet species are considered good edibles. This talk will discuss how many species of trumpets occur in North America, how to distinguish a trumpet from a chanterelle, and how to identify trumpets to species.

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Autumn Fungal Delicacies with a Polish Twist:

A Cooking Demonstration

          A culinary demonstration of family cuisine using seasonal mushrooms from milk caps to brick tops from Autumn in New England. He will demonstrate how many, not so typical, local fungal fruitings can be transformed into memorable delicacies. 

Spike Mikulski

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Sigrid Jakob

Making sense of DNA sequences

          Sending your specimen off to a lab is just the beginning of the journey. The real work starts when the results come in. What can you do with all the sequencing results you just got back from the labs? This very practical discussion will explain the different types of sequencing, available tools, different ways of analyzing DNA sequencing results, especially when there is conflicting information or other problems. You'll even learn how to make your own phylogenetic tree so you know where your specimen fits into the great tree of all life. This talk is tailored to all levels of experience - no PhD in biochemistry required!

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