Gary Lincoff Memorial

I'm sad to report the passing of Gary Lincoff, a driving force in the early years of NAMA, a great contributor to amateurs, and a constant educator to many, many beginners. He was the recipient in 1986 of the NAMA Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology, an award that was named in his honor two years ago: The Gary Lincoff Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology. Gary was the second president of NAMA 1979-1988, and awards committee chair for many years.

His book, The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms, published in 1981, was a watershed moment for people of all interests to the field of mycology. He organized NAMA's "exotic forays" to far places including Siberia, where he learned first hand about native uses of Amanita muscaria.

Gary led forays in New York every week of the year, no matter the weather. He was a constant participant in events across the nation including the Annual Gary Lincoff Foray, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club. Gary was often the Principal Mycologist at the Mid-Atlantic Mushroom Foray. At the 2017 Telluride Mushroom Festival, participants in the annual parade dressed as "Gary Lincoff", incorporating his standard vest and hat into a costume.

Gary Lincoff was the author or editor of numerous books and articles on mushrooms, including his recent publication, The Complete Mushroom Hunter, An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms. Gary's insights about edible and poisonous mushrooms, picking urban mushrooms, mushroom recipes, and his experiences with wild mushrooms in various cultures around the world make it a delightful read. He taught courses on mushroom identification at the New York Botanical Garden. A featured myco-visionary in the award-winning documentary "Know Your Mushrooms", Gary led mushroom study trips and forays around the world. Gary had his own website that includes much help for beginners, info on toxicity, and scientific articles on DNA classification of mushrooms.

Gary Lincoff's energy and enthusiasm will be greatly missed by mushroomers all over the world.

David Rust
NAMA President

Canton, Mississippi Regional Foray
Registration now open!

Join us June 28 through July 1, 2018, at our first Mississippi Regional NAMA Foray, held at The Gray Center in Canton, Mississippi. We will explore several locations close to the Center as well as the Center grounds.

The rooms are all air conditioned and accessible. There are two twin beds in each room with a private bath. You can choose to stay in the main lodge or opt to share a cottage. The cottages have a shared meeting space, a full kitchen and a patio overlooking the lake. The Chief Mycologist will be Dr. Juan Luis Mata, Associate Professor, Biology, University of South Alabama.

Registration is now open and is limited to 60 NAMA members. Follow this link to register...

March/April 2018 Issue of the Mycophile

The March-April issue of The Mycophile, has good news about our main science initiative, the North American Mycoflora Project, and a significant contribution by Paul Stamets and Dusty Yao to fund DNA sequencing.  We’ve included a companion article about how clubs can get involved. Also in this issue, an article about promoting mushroom mini-farms in restaurants. There’s an engaging article by a NAMA member in Ontario, Canada, about a pink fungal mystery growing on lichens. Finally, an NPR article asking “are mushrooms medicine” reporting on research by a scientist at the University of Malaya.
Download The Mycophile 58;2

Renew Your Membership Today

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.

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...

Meet our new McIlvainea Editor

Laura Juszczak 
My father, who foraged while hunting, knew one mushroom, ‘pinkies’ as he called them. So he was highly skeptical and cautionary when I told him that I had joined the New York Mycological Society. But that was several years ago, and here I am, still on the silent hunt. What is the attraction? A lot has to do with the group’s ethos: careful but not timid, adventurous but not reckless and knowledgeable without pretension. This compels me to renew my memberships—NAMA included—each year, and now, to step forward and offer my services as editor of McIlvainea.
As for qualifications, I am a research chemist who has published in several peer-reviewed journals, and therefore I am well-acquainted with the rigors of peer-review. My forte is process. ‘How does it work?’ or in the context of mushrooms, “How digestible is it?” motivates me more than “What is it called?” Alas, Linnean names will never drip off my lips. Therefore, I am better suited here to the role of editor rather than contributor. With the guidance of former McIlvainea editor, Dr. Michael Beug, I feel ready to leap to the other side of the manuscript. So let us begin…
Laura Juszczak is Assistant Professor in chemistry at Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. One of her duties is to teach chemistry to nonmajors wherein she emphasizes sustainability, including mycology whenever possible.