NAMA Awards 2015

Gary Lincoff Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology

Dr. Andrus Voitk is recognized for the service he has rendered to amateur mycology in general and in specific for the huge amount of work that he has done to help the residents of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador understand and appreciate the diversity and distribution of their fungi. His infectious ideas and his ability to plan complex events and mobilize large teams of volunteers, to find funding year after year, and to entice professional mycologists from around the world to donate their time and expertise, have made Foray Newfoundland and Labrador known to mycologists and mushroom enthusiasts throughout North America.
Andrus’ dedication to exploring, recording, reporting, and helping others learn about the natural history of Newfoundland and Labrador has been an inspiration to naturalists and biologists throughout this province. His generosity with his time and his knowledge laid the foundation for the annual mushroom foray in Newfoundland and Labrador, and directly inspired another foray in Nova Scotia and one that is starting up in New Brunswick. Along with its international roster of expert mycologists, Foray Newfoundland and Labrador has attracted visitors to this province from the U.S.A., Mexico, Estonia, Finland, Holland, Belgium, and from across Canada, with a contingent coming from Toronto most years. Thanks to Andrus’ clear vision of the event, the Foray is fun for all participants, and has become well known for its scientific rigor and its accessibility to experts who wish to use portions of the collected material.
Andrus moved to this province as a surgeon, but retired in 2001. After retiring, Andrus became deeply involved in natural history (he was president of the Humber Natural History Society in Corner Brook for several years), became an excellent natural-history photographer, and by combining his knowledge, his photography, and his writing ability, he has become a one-man natural-history publishing phenomenon.

The Harry and Elsie Knighton Service Award

In the short time Cornelia Cho has served as president of the Mushroom Club of Georgia (MCG), she has transformed MCG from a small, localized club into an active organization with diverse membership, regional influence, and national presence. Through her genuine interest in others and personal love of learning, Cornelia found intersections between club members’ skills/interests and areas in which the club could grow and turned the club into a group effort, praised people for their contributions, and nurtured enthusiasm, ownership, and community. Club activities grew in diversity and scope under Cornelia’s thoughtful leadership, and membership more than doubled in size with new members as far as California and as young as eight years old. Cornelia also forged relationships with notable leaders in amateur and professional mycology across the nation and continent, bringing their expertise to MCG.
With vision, intellect, and inclusiveness, Cornelia has led MCG through an incredible transformation in less than five years. Through her efforts, Cornelia is building a leading mushroom club in the region and a strong community of amateur mycologists in Atlanta and Georgia.

President's Outstanding Service Award

The 2015 President's Outstanding Service Award is given to Susan Hopkins, Cheryl Dawson, Dorothy Smullen, and Dorothy Beebee for their extraordinary effort to create a new section, Mushroom Dyes & Papermaking, on the NAMA website. 

The committee spent countless hours gathering information and images, and putting it into an easy to understand, comprehensive format.  Job well done.  Thank you.


NAMA Memorial Fellowship

The NAMA Memorial Fellowship is awarded annually to promising graduate students in mycology. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their scholastic merit, research ability and promise shown as a mycologist.

Rachel Koch joined the lab of Dr. Cathie Aime in August 2011 and became a PhD candidate in June 2014 at Purdue University. Her dissertation research focuses on the recently described gasteromycete Guyanagaster necrorhizus, known only from the Pakaraima Mountains of Guyana.

One of the primary goals of Rachel’s research is to elucidate how G. necrorhizus accomplishes spore dispersal, since the morphological characteristics of this fungus are drastically different compared to other gasteromycetes with known dispersal mechanisms. Recently, a community of bacteria were discovered to be residing inside G. necrorhizus fruiting bodies.