MSA Award



 Founded in 1932

©Mycological Society of America

Dear Gary,                   May 2, 2017

Congratulations on receiving the Gordon and Tina Wasson Award for your outstanding contributions to the field

of mycology and for your efforts in educating the public about fungi. It is my pleasure as President of MSA

2016-2017 to make this special award formally and I realize just how much “citizen scientists” have to

contribute to society. Many people, both who become mycologists and those who are simply fascinated with the

enormous diversity of mushrooms that they see in the forest have likely referred to your Audubon’s Guide.

I am amused and enlightened by the information available on your website ( ). It is

wonderful that you bring in the writings of such luminaries as Charles Darwin and Henry Thoreau to educate

your audience and I find it amusing that you have influenced the likes of Martha Stewart! In the words of one of

your supportive MSA members nominating you for this award, “He captures the very essence of a professional

amateur mycologist. He has educated and excited more people about mycology than practically any of us.”

Fundamentally, that’s what we are all about in MSA, the education and excitement of studying fungi and MSA

very much appreciates your work to bring these fascinating organisms to light for the public.

Your writing is prolific and your hosting of public forays and education workshops is tireless and generous. You

have not only written eight books on mycology but maintain an active blog with many followers. In public

activities, your MSA supporters note extensive work with NAMA, which itself contributes much to the public

awareness of fungi and to the MSA. Further, you are the co-founder of the Telluride Mushroom Festival, where

you have steadily improved the scientific content as well as the public’s enjoyment of mushrooms. Most

impressive to me (partly because I now have children living in NY City), is your work with the New York

Mycological Society. Not only is the commitment to running a foray every weekend impressive, but the fact that

you persist through the winter is a huge testament to your dedication to public education on the fungi.

Thank you so much for your continued activities and service to the improving public understanding of fungi.

The impact of your activities no doubt extend well beyond fungal biology to improving society’s understanding

of science and the role that science can play in their everyday lives.

Best wishes,

Georgiana May

Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota

President of MSA 2016-2017






Clades are here to stay…..a Paradigm for our Times


[Click on the image for an enlargement.]

Clades are used in Botany and Zoology, as well as Fungi – and what they have to tell us is not insignificant or irrelevant.

Clades can show us the lineages of organisms. Knowing how to see past appearances to the reality of things can direct our research in so many fields.

Clades can help us choose particular groups to search for medicinal benefits that would otherwise escape us.

Clades can help us choose particular groups to work with in our efforts to develop tools for bio-remediation and myco-remediation.

In mushrooms, “gills,” and “pores,” and “teeth,” and such, even “puffball-like,” are terms useful for field identification, but not to understand much beyond that.

The clades we now know cut across all these easily observed field characteristics to show us the “real” relationships our mushrooms have.







ETHNOBOTANY: A FIELD STUDY at the New York Botanical Garden

4 Wednesdays, June 8 – 29, 2016