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About the Contributors

Elio Schaechter

Elio Schaechter helped create the Registry of Mushrooms in Works of Art. His hobbies include studying wild mushrooms and hiking. He edited the Bulletin of the Boston Mycological Club from 1973 to 1995 and received the NAMA Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology in 1993. He also helped found the San Diego Mycological Society, a thriving organization. In 1997, Schaechter wrote In the Company of Mushrooms, published by Harvard University Press. He served as president of the American Society for Microbiology from 1985-1986, and now co-authors a fascinating blog, Small Things Considered, where he often expounds on unusual and unexpected phenomena in the microbial world.

Jaquelene Cristina Verna

Jacquelene Cristina Verna is an Argentine-American interdisciplinary artist focusing on the North American separation of death in the 70s. In 2019, she received her BA in Visual Arts- Studio and minor in Art History at University of California San Diego and graduated with University Honors Summa Cum Laude. Verna currently lives and works in San Diego and Los Angeles and is the Digital Marketing Assistant / Translator for the San Diego Museum of Art, having interned for the Museum’s Associate Curator of European Art from Jul 2017- Sept 2018. Verna’s interest in mycology stemmed from art theory and her own research-based process regarding the varying symbology of mushrooms in art before joining the San Diego Mycological Society.

Bonni Thoresen

Bonni Thoresen joined San Diego Mycological Society over 20 years ago after becoming fascinated by the fungi of northern Baja California. SDMS afforded her years of educational opportunities as did concurrently inheriting a wooded cottage on Lake Huron in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Retired from 40 years in nursing, two art history courses in college and interest in mushrooms are the basic background she brings to work on NAMA’s Mushrooms in Art Registry.

David Rust

David Rust is co-founder of the Bay Area Mycological Society. He has helped organize the All California Club Forays and coordinates the mycoblitz cooperative science forays at Point Reyes National Seashore and the fungal survey at Yosemite National Park. His area of special concern is the devastating forest pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, which causes the disease known as Sudden Oak Death.

David is a former NAMA President, and served as NAMA webmaster. 

Past Contributors

Nancy Mladenoff

Nancy Mladenoff is the contemporary curator for the Registry of Mushrooms in Works of Art. She is Professor of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

She has exhibited extensively across the US. Recent exhibitions include Post-Audubon: Birds & Insects of North America at the Arsenal Gallery Central Park in New York City. She participated in solo and group exhibitions involving mushrooms in nature in Germany, Norway and the Czech Republic.

Nancy’s mushroom art was featured in a 2005 issue of

, NAMA’s newsletter. You can see more of her work on her website:

Daniel Thoen

Daniel Thoen obtained his Master in Forest Science at the Faculty of Agronomy in Gembloux (Belgium) in 1968. In 1977, he completed his PhD in Environmental Science at Arlon (Belgium). The ecology of fungi and symbiosis between tree roots and mushrooms were the main topics of both his Master and PhD.

Later on, he became interested in other fields, mainly ethnomycology (in Europe and Africa). He researched the different uses and the symbolic significances of mushrooms in folk-lore, fairy-tales, literature… and art. He has accumulated a bank of data on fungi found in decorative art and paintings over more than 30 years…

Marjorie Young

Marjorie Young has held many offices over the past 20 years in the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz (FFSC), including CEO. Currently she is Chair of the Education and Scholarship Committee. Her background includes a BA in Education and a Masters Degree in Library Science. While living in Los Angeles she was a docent at the UCLA Art Gallery. She has also developed curricula and taught art classes for children at several different venues. Her interest in fungi has led her to write a cookbook focusing on mushrooms and she has started teaching cooking classes in Santa Cruz. Seeking out, writing and publishing books on hot springs, takes her out in the woods where she can combine her love of soaking in natural mineral springs with mushroom hunting.

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