Colorado Mushrooms: A World of Wonder at your Feet
Join mycologist Dr. Andrew Wilson on a two-day exploration through meadows and forests to discover the hiding places of the elusive mountain mushrooms while learning about the ecology, natural history, and general biology of fungi. With the expert guidance, you will learn identification techniques, examine mushrooms in their natural habitats, learn how fungi contribute to ecosystems, and appreciate the incredible variety and beauty of Colorado’s fungi. These fascinating fungi are essential partners for many plants in our native ecosystems. Understanding this important relationship enhances the amateur mushroom enthusiast’s search and enjoyment of local mushrooms. This year’s workshop features one and a half days in the field collecting mushrooms on Thursday and Friday and culminates with collecting, preparing for, and helping with the Mushroom Fair on Friday. You will learn the most during the Mushroom Fair while helping sort, present and talk about the fungi you have collected in the class.
This workshop is perfect for anyone intrigued by these species, whether you are an experienced “shroomer,” or have little background in the subject. This class is NOT about going to the “hot mushrooming spots” and picking edible mushrooms, but rather it is about gaining an understanding how these fungi help keep ecosystems balanced. Share your knowledge and invite your friends to the Annual Mushroom Fair.
This class requires advance registration to ensure appropriate planning for the field experience.
About the Instructor:
Dr. Andrew Wilson is the Assistant Curator of the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at the Denver Botanic Gardens and has been studying the biological diversity of mushrooms and other macro fungi for over fifteen years. Andrew first learned to document mushroom diversity from Dr. Dennis Desjardin at San Francisco State University. This began by studying and describing mushroom diversity from Java and Bali, Indonesia. He then earned his Ph.D. from Clark University in the laboratory of Dr. David Hibbett. In David’s lab, Andrew learned how to use DNA sequence data to explore questions about the evolution of mushroom diversity. After a time at the Chicago Botanic Garden working with Dr. Gregory Mueller, Andrew is now at the Denver Botanic Gardens, where will be applying his skills to better understand the origins of fungal diversity in the Rockies and in mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere. Through the availability of collections-based research he studies the formation, ecology and distribution of fungi using morphology and genetic information. This data helps to build a “story” that explains how such diversity arose in fungi, and help lead researchers to new and exciting questions to explore in these organisms.