January/February 2018 Issue of the Mycophile

Our first Mycophile of the year shares inspiration from the James Beard Foundation for using mushrooms to make healthier meals for you and the planet, introduces our new McIlvanea editor, gives you ideas for getting more  involved in NAMA, and invites you to the new regional foray on the Natchez trail in Mississippi this summer.

Download The Mycophile 58;1

Please Renew Your Membership Today

We know you enjoy being a part of the international mushroom community. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to renew your NAMA membership. In 2018, you’ll continue to enjoy all the benefits NAMA has to offer, including our newsletter, The Mycophile, full of educational articles, book reviews, and news about upcoming forays such as our annual foray near Salem, Oregon and a new regional foray near the historic Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi.

We hold an annual photography contest, provide an annual scholarship, host the poison case registry, the original Registry of Mushrooms in Works of Art, and our members-only email discussion group.

Visit and select the “renew membership” button at the top of the page. Members of affiliated clubs receive a $5 discount. For only $25 ($30 for non-affiliated members), you will receive 6 issues of The Mycophile, learn about the NA Mycoflora Project, and stay connected to this wonderful world of fungi.

If you have a question about your membership, please contact Steve Bichler at

David Rust
NAMA President

New White Paper: strategies to reduce risks and expand appreciation of foraged wild mushrooms

A new paper aimed at reducing mushroom poisonings and increasing education about edible foraged mushrooms has been published by Anna Bazzicalupo, and her mentor at the University of British Columbia, Dr Mary Berbee.

Poisonings by mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest (USA) and British Columbia (Canada) will likely increase because of rising interest in foraging for wild food. Among these, serious poisonings may also increase because the non-native death cap mushroom Amanita phalloides is spreading in our cities, parks and orchards. In this paper, we outline goals for the development and dissemination of information on edible and poisonous mushrooms for healthcare professionals and the general public. To improve on the miniscule 5% of mushrooms identified following calls to poison centers, clear procedures for front-line workers should be developed and implemented so that samples of ingested and potentially poisonous mushrooms are routinely and rapidly conveyed to mycological experts for identification. Through collaboration with mushroom clubs, we recommend expanding training in identification. In consultation with regional governments, voluntary certification programs to help consumers recognize high quality in retailed foraged mushrooms should be developed.

To read the full paper, follow this link...

Lichen Basics

Lichens are amazing organisms. They are all around us and we hardly notice them. Found on soil, tree bark, rocks and even some under water, they are actually two organisms living together (symbiosis). The major component is a fungus (mycobiont), hence they are classified as fungi — the vast majority being ascomycetes. Lichens are fungi that have taken up farming, and they are known as lichenized fungi. There are four major growth forms — crustose, foliose, fruticose and squamulose.
To see the page on Lichens written by Dorothy Smullen, follow this link...

2017 Memorial Fellowship Recipient


Cat Adams, a PhD student at UC Berkeley, is the 2017 recipient of the NAMA Memorial Fellowship.

Cat is interested in how chemical ecology influences interactions between plants and fungi. For her PhD in Tom Bruns’ lab, Cat is studying the invasive ectomycorrhizal fungus, Amanita phalloides. The death cap mushroom kills more people than any other mushroom, but how the deadly amatoxins influence its invasion remains unexplored.

Previously, Cat earned her M.A. with Anne Pringle at Harvard University. Her thesis examined fungal pathogens of the wild Bolivian chili pepper, Capsicum chacoense, and how the fungi evolved tolerance to spice. With the Joint Genome Institute, she is now sequencing the genome of one fungal isolate, a Phomopsis species, to better understand the novel enzymes these fungi wield to outwit their plant host.