Fungus Fair (2-16-14) Guest Presenters

We have several exciting guest speakers presenting at the San Diego Mycological Society’s 16th Annual Mushroom Fair on Feb 16th, 2014

Our First Speaker will be Alyssa Allen presenting a demonstration of “Mycopigments” (Mushroom Dyes)

Alissa Allen has been experimenting with mushroom derived pigments for 15 years. Raised by a forager in the Pacific Northwest, she has been a student of the natural world her entire life. For the past two years she has been travelling around the US; studying regional habitats and sharing local mushroom dye palettes with fungophiles and fiber artists alike. Mushroom identification is her primary passion, but Mycopigments are her obsession. In addition using mushrooms to dye wool, she is currently exploring lichen dyes and mushroom pigments for paint. You can read more about mushroom dyes on her website

alyssa allen

Our Second Speaker is Distinguished Professor Elio Schaechter presenting “Mushrooms Through the Ages”

Elio Schaechter is a distinguished Professor, Emeritus, of Tufts University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor Emeritus, at SDSU, visiting scholar at UCSD, and a founding member of SDMS.  Elio is an actively retired microbiologist living in San Diego. He spent most of his research career working on growth physiology and bacterial cell organization. He has a deep love of teaching and has authored several textbooks and co-edited treatises. In retirement he is satisfying his curiosity in broader microbiological phenomena, especially those related to ecology and symbiotic relationships. His hobbies include studying wild mushrooms. For a short account of his activities, visit

Follow Elio and associates on the Micro Blog “Small Things Considered” at as they discuss  share their appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on planet earth.


Our Third Speaker is award-winning photographer Noah Siegel presenting “Mushrooms of California”

Noah Siegel is a nationally known award-winning photographer and mushroom identifier.  His field mycology skills are extensive – he has spent over two decades seeking, photographing, identifying and furthering his knowledge about all aspects of macrofungi. He has hunted for mushrooms throughout the United States and Canada, as well as on multiple expeditions to New Zealand and Australia. He is one of the premier mushroom photographers in the nation, having won numerous awards from the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) photography contest. Noah has spent the last four years traveling up and down the Californian coast, amassing pictures of over a thousand species!

He is currently working on, with Christian Schwarz, A Guide to Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, a comprehensive book to northern Californian mushrooms. He serves as a trustee for the Northeast Mycological Federation and is the northeast representative to NAMA, as well as the chair of the NAMA Foray Committee and also serves on NAMA’s Photography Committee.

Noah will be presenting a talk on the “Mushrooms of California”

Talk Abstract:  California is an extremely diverse state with many unique mushroom habitats. From the seemingly endless wet winters and its majestic forests full of mushrooms on the northern coast, to the Live Oak woodlands of central and southern California, the carpets of Morels in the mountains to the desert fungal oddities. Noah’s breathtaking photos will introduce you to some of California’s specialties; from the common edibles to some of the spectacular rare gems from every corner of the state.


In addition to our guest speakers, we will have a mushroom cooking demonstration. Times and Locations for the presentations and demonstrations will be posted in Room 101 and 104 Casa Del Prado in Balboa Park