Roy Halling (Foray Mycologist)

Roy Halling was born in Iowa and had a mid-western upbringing in southern California during the 1960s. He received an A.A. from a local community college, then a B.A. and M.A. via the California state college system. Then Roy headed east to Massachusetts for a Ph.D. and a subsequent post-doc. From 1983 to 2018, he was employed as a mycologist specializing in Basidiomycetes at the New York Botanical Garden. During that tenure he had the privilege to learn from interns, students, and botanical colleagues. He also had the opportunity to meet many fantastic colleagues while exploring for, documenting and describing macrofungi from North, Central, and South America as well as Australasia. In retirement, Roy hopes to finish up documenting a few odds and ends related to Australian macrofungi.

Dr. Halling will speak on: Mentoring in Mycology – A Bolete Story


Tom Horton

Dr. Thomas Horton is a Mycology professor at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Tom is the scientific advisor for the Central New York Mycological Society. He won the 2014 Weston Award for teaching in Mycology from the Mycological Society of America. In addition to teaching General Ecology each fall at SUNY-ESF, Tom teaches Mycorrhizal Ecology and Basidiomycetes in alternating years. He also facilitates various reading seminars including his current favorite, Ethnomycology. His research focuses on ectomycorrhizal fungi in temperate forest communities and how they influence the establishment of tree seedlings. He has authored numerous scientific articles and edited Mycorrhizal Networks (Springer 2015).

Tom's talk is: Why Suillus and Rhizopogon are very good, or bad, co-invasive species with pine in the Southern Hemisphere


Walt Sturgeon

Walt Sturgeon is a field mycologist with over 40 years of experience studying and identifying mushrooms. His photos of mushroom and fungi, some award-winning, can be seen in numerous mushroom field guide publications, three of which he co-authored: Waxcap Mushrooms of Eastern North America, Mushrooms and Macrofungi of Ohio and the Midwestern States, and Mushrooms of the Northeast. He has also written Appalachian Mushrooms. He also was a Contributing Author to the Encyclopedia of Appalachia. Walt has received the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology, and Northeast (North America) Mycological Federation (NEMF) Eximia Award, both for contributions to the advancement of amateur mycology. He is the past president of the Ohio Mushroom Society.

Walt will give a presentation on: Appalachian Macrofungi.


Olga Khmelnitsky

I was born in Richmond Hill, New York and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science currently enrolled in Cornell University. I began my first experience in scientific research and lab work in my sophomore year at the Halling laboratory at New York Botanical Garden.  After discussing with Dr.Halling all the possibilities of research in his lab, I decided to undertake a project involving the true phylogenetic placement of B.longipes, which was originally described by George Massee in 1909. Along the way I met many people that have become a mentor to me such as Naveed Davoodian who taught me amazing skill in the wet lab, Pooja Singh who had helped me through all the emotional hurdles in the beginning stages of my research and was someone who I could turn to for advice. To this day I continue to stay engaged in NYBG working on small projects and tasks. I have found this to be the most rewarding experience of my life so far.

Olga will talk about:  Making it in Mycology: The High School Researcher Experience


Jan Thornhill

Jan has been studying the fungi she finds near her central Ontario home for more than 25 years. Her primary interests are fungal diversity, ecology, and documenting the weird and wonderful, which she obsessively photographs, dries and catalogues. For the past five years she has been writing about her favorite oddities on her blog: Weird & Wonderful Wild Mushrooms ( She is also a multi-award-winning writer and illustrator of science- and nature-based children’s books. Her most recent title is The Triumphant Tale of the House Sparrow, a companion volume to The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. 


John Plischke III

John Plischke III is a founding member of the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club, which has become one of the largest mushroom clubs in North America. John has been awarded the club’s Distinguished Service Award. Within the WPMC, John serves as Walk and Foray Chairman, is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau, and is a noted mushroom identification expert for the WPMC. He is the editor of two WPMC wild mushroom cookbooks. John is very much appreciated for his service to the State of Pennsylvania where he is past Chairman of the Fungus Section of the Pennsylvania Biological Survey.

He is the recipient to two prestigious NAMA awards: Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology and The Harry and Elsie Knighton Award. John serves as Chairman of the NAMA Photography Committee. Plischke is the author of two books: Morel Mushrooms and Their Poisonous Look-alikes and Good Mushroom, Bad Mushroom. He has also contributed to more than a dozen other mushroom books. John is a nationally-known photographer and has won more than 85 national and regional awards for his mushroom photography. 

Olga Tzogas

Olga Tzogas created & operates Smugtown Mushrooms in Rochester NY.
Her journey with Fungi and plants started over ten years ago. Working with these allies by foraging in both urban & more wild settings, and developing skills to identify for food and medicine. In 2011, Smugtown Mushrooms was established because there was a need for mushrooms & growing supplies, workshops, events & community based science in her area. While continuously learning more and embracing the never-ending, unlocked potential of mushrooms & fungi. Olga teaches workshops throughout the continent about wild mushroom identification, medicinal mushrooms, biology, and mushroom cultivation. She was a core organizer for the 2016 Radical Mycology Convergence and the MycoSymbiotics Festival from 2015-17 and helped establish the first ever New Moon Mycology Summit in 2018.


John Michelotti

John Michelotti is the founder and devotee of Catskill Fungi whose mission is to empower people with fungi though educational events, workshops and mushroom health supplements which he produces from mushrooms foraged and grown on and around his family farm in the Catskill Mountains. John is a former President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA). He served on the Mushroom Advisory Panel for Certified Naturally Grown to develop ecological standards in mushroom production. His goal is to educate and inspire people to pair with fungi to improve health, communities, and the environment.


Elinoar Shavit

Elinoar Shavit is an ethnomycologist, specializing in the use of fungi by indigenous cultures around the world. She is a frequent speaker on issues of medicinal mushrooms, the use of desert-truffles, and the conservation of desert-truffle habitats along with the culture of the indigenous people around the world who still use them. She has published numerous papers, and recently contributed two chapters to the authoritative volume on desert truffles, Desert Truffles: Phylogeny, Physiology, Distribution and Domestication. Elinoar is past president of the New York Mycological Society, past chairperson of the Medicinal Mushrooms Committee at NAMA, and a contributing editor at FUNGI Magazine.

Elinoar's presentation is:  Fossilized mushrooms in amber and copal: A fantastic voyage.


Bill Yule

Bill Yule is an Environmental Educator, Naturalist and amateur Mycologist from CT. He teaches Ecology and Environmental Education at The Connecticut River Museum. Bill also works on three educational boats on the CT River. He has been active in mycological education for 25 plus years and has given more than 50 education programs throughout the northeast. He is a member and educator for three local "Mushroom clubs", Connecticut Valley Mycological Society, COMA (CT/Westchester Mycological Association) and PVMA (Pioneer Valley Mycological Association)  and a member of the North American Mycological Association. Bill is a former High School Biology teacher.


Thomas Huber


Thomas J. Huber is currently serving as the Director of Cedar Eden Center for Healing & Well-Being, and Thomas Huber Consults (THC).  Previously, he served as a TRiO Student Support Services Director, Counselor and faculty member for almost 32 years at three different colleges teaching a variety of courses related to Psychology, Mycology, Integrative Design, Ecological Restoration, and all matters related to holotropic, renewable and restorative practices for human being so that all beings may flourish.


Gavin McIntyre

Gavin cofounded Ecovative in 2007 to solve environmental challenges through biology. He oversaw research and development during the company’s early product launches, now he leads business development, growing a network of international mycelium-material partners. Gavin is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where his studies in mechanical engineering and social design led to his passion for building home-spun bioreactors in which he has cultivated everything from oysters to orchids.

Gavin's presentation is: The Future is Grown: Mycelium Materials


Ethan Crenson

Ethan Crenson became interested in fungi around 10 years ago and joined the New York Mycological Society. He is an avid contributor to the NYC five borough fungal survey, an endeavor launched by Gary Lincoff to inventory the fungal inhabitants of New York City.  During forays in New York, he has added nearly 50 species (mostly ascomycetes, most of them tiny, one of them previously unknown to science) to the NYMS species lists.  He is a frequent leader of the NYMS winter forays that have extended the knowledge of New York's fungal diversity.  He often conducts off-season ID sessions which incorporate microscopy and the use of literature and keys and the education of club members in both. He has presented his findings to Northeast Mycological Federation and the New York Mycological Society at the 2017 Emil Lange Lecture series.  He also maintains the NYMS web site and designs the club newsletter.  He is an artist and graphic designer. 

Ethan's presentation is: Pyrenomycetes Large and Small (But Mostly Small).


Kay Hurley

Kay Hurley is an amateur naturalist who has studied lichens for 17 years and is a frequent participant on the lichen team at bio-blitzes. She remembers some of the pitfalls when she started her lichen adventure and can help others avoid them. She wrote a weekly nature column for her town newspaper for 10 years which resulted in a book, “Who's Who in the Natural World.” She is a member of the Boston Mycological Club.

Kay's presentation is: Lichen Identification – Removing the Mystery.


Gary Gilbert

Gary Gilbert is an active member of the Boston Mycological Club and regularly teaches classes and leads walks in the Boston area. He began mushrooming in the 1980’s as a member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and regularly travels the country foraging, collecting for identification. He is a manager of the Mushroom Identification Page on Facebook.

Gary is presenting a class on Introduction to Mushroom Identification.


Long Litt Woon

Long Litt Moon (born 1958 in Malaysia) is an anthropologist and Norwegian Mycological Association–certified mushroom professional. She first visited Norway as a young exchange student. There she met and married Norwegian Eiolf Olsen. She currently lives in Oslo, Norway. According to Chinese naming tradition, ‘Long’ is her surname and ‘Litt Woon’ her first name.

Her talk is titled: The Way Through The Woods. Of Mushrooms and Mourning.


Rick Van de Poll

Dr. Rick Van de Poll is the principal of Ecosystem Management Consultants (EMC) of Sandwich, New Hampshire, which has conducted natural resource inventories for the public and private sector of New England since 1988. Dr. Van de Poll has completed biological inventories on over 300,000 acres of land, and has recorded over 1800 mushrooms in Northern New England, including a number of undescribed species. He co-founded the Monadnock Mushroom Club in 1988, and founded the local Sandwich Area Mushroom (SAM) Club in 2001. He has taught Mycology at the undergraduate and graduate level for over 20 years. He has been on the Northeast Mycological Federation (NEMF) Faculty list since 1996 when he co-chaired the joint NAMA-NEMF Foray at Mt. Ascutney. He is currently the President of NEMF.

Rick will speak on: Squamanita: Chasing the Fungal Sasquatch through the Adirondacks. 


Sue Van Hook

Sue studied mycology as an undergraduate and graduate student with David Largent at Humboldt State University in Northern California where the season for macro fungi lasts 9 months. She worked in land conservation for 10 years on both coasts and went on to teach biology and environmental science for 18 years at Skidmore College. Most recently she helped start Ecovative Design and served for 9 years as the Mycologist and Energy Keeper for the start up company. She consults, teaches, leads walks and generally communes with nature. Find out more about her work at:

Sue's talk is: Regenerating the Soil Sponge: what’s mush love got to do with it?


Rosalind Lowen

Dr. Rosalind Lowen was an honorary research assistant at the New York Botanical Garden where she conducted research for many years. Her doctoral research at CCNY was on the ascomycete genus Nectriella. She has described several new species of ascomycetes in about 2 dozen publications. Among her interests are ascomycetes that occur on lichens, mold that occurs in buildings, fungi on Mt. Washington and especially ascomycetes of the Hypocreales. She has given programs to mushroom clubs, at nature areas and ascomycete workshops and talks at Forays. She has taught seminars at Eagle Hill in Stueben Maine. She is an advisor to the Northeast poison control center. She is now retired and resides in northern New Hampshire where she continues her mycological activities.

Roz's talk will be: Tales of Interesting Ascomycetes.


Matt Schink

Matt Schink is an independent researcher from upstate New York.  He is self taught with no formal mycological training but has been interested in mushrooms for about 11 years now but didn't get really into it until about 6 years ago. Matt became primarily interested in Ganoderma after finding a specimen and being unable to conclusively identify it to my own satisfaction.  He has written two articles for Mushroom, The Journal of Wild Mushrooming, and helped author the study "Elucidating "lucidum": Distinguishing the diverse laccate Ganoderma species of the United States".

Matt's presentation will be:  Ganoderma of the United States.