Everyone finds their own way into the world of mushrooms and fungi.
Maybe by way of an article in a magazine. Or a video on YouTube. Or, if they were lucky, an invitation to go foraging in the woods with a friend.
On this page I share some of the resources, experts and websites that have inspired or informed my own journey in some way.
But first, if you haven't seen it, you may want to watch... the Fantastic Fungi movie. There's an accompanying book you can get as well. Amazing photos.
There are plenty of other experts I follow, and I’ll be adding to this list over the months to come. But this is a pretty solid starting point.
Paul Stamets has been an inspiration to thousands of budding mycologists during a career spanning 4 decades.
Through his books, research and business he has done more than perhaps anyone else to promote and advance our understanding of mycology.
He also strikes me as something of a troublemaker. Which, in my book, is a compliment.
If you’re new to his work, the quickest way to get a feel for his take on this topic is to watch his TED talk, 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World.
You can learn more about his work at his website, paulstamets.com.
Like Paul Stamets, Jeff Chilton is something of an elder statesman in the world of mycology. His company, Nammex, has been developing and supplying organically certified mushroom extracts to the supplement industry since 1989. For the public, he sells supplements though another site, RealMushrooms.com.
In 1983 he and Paul Stamet co-wrote the book, The Mushroom Cultivator.
Suzanne Simard is a professor of forest ecology, and teaches at the University of British Columbia.
Her primary focus is on how trees communicate with one another through the networks of mycorrhizal fungi that connect their root systems.
You can watch her TED talk on the topic here…
Toby Kiers is a Professor of Ecology & Evolution at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Like Suzanne Simard, she studies the symbiotic relationships between trees, plants and fungi.
But while Suzanne Simard paints a picture of cooperative mutualism that feels almost romantic, Toby Kiers look at the relationship between fungi and trees as more transactional and even selfish.
You can watch Toby Kier’s TED talk on the subject on her website…
Merlin Sheldrake is the author of The Entangled Life.
Of all the books I have read about mushrooms and fungi, this is the one that “blew my mind” the most often. At least once a chapter.
More about Merlin Sheldrake and his book here…
Trad Cotter, and his wife Olga Katic, are the owners of Mushroom Mountain. Mushroom Mountain is a mushroom research facility, an ecotourism destination, and an educational facility.
One part of their work I find particularly interesting is their focus on mycoremediation.
And if you get to hear him speak, he's really funny.
Check out the MushroomMountain website.
Gabrielle is a pianist, multi-media artist, and amazing mushroom forager.
She's perhaps most famous for her TikTok channel where, among other things, she shows us how to make Puffball mushroom pizza!
Places I got to for the facts on fungi.
Fungi For the People - A glossary of terms related to mycology
Mushroom References - A curated list of references relevant to physicians, scientists and the intellectually curious
Mushroom Observer - A forum where amateur and professional mycologists discuss and share photos of mushroom sightings from around the world
North American Mycological Association - Promoting, pursuing and advancing the science of mycology in North America
I love to read about mushrooms and fungi. But I also enjoy watching videos and listening to podcasts.
Here are my current favorites...
FreshCap Mushroom YouTube channel
If you have some favorites of your own, please let me know.
Because I have a thing for good photographs, whatever the subject.
Steve Axford - Amazing mushrooms photos from Australia, India and China.
Alison Pollack - Beautiful macro photography of mushrooms and fungi
Taylor Lockwood - Check out his top 100 photos. Amazing!
Saara Alhopuro - Photographs of art created with mushrooms. Beautiful work.
Also on Instagram @forestlikefairytale