Episodes
Darren Le Baron, aka Darren Springer, joins us  to talk about his work in psychedelic education around the globe. We ran into his glowing presence at Telluride Mushroom Fest, in the midst of his spore-spreading travels. Specifically, Darren teaches permaculture, mushroom cultivation,  mycology, and Pan-African history of mushrooms & other psychedelics. We discuss his nomadic education and research, how fungi are a fundamental natural technology, the life-giving roles of decomposition,...
Published 10/12/21
Researchers at Hyasynth Bio are using fungi to brew cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. Using a method called biosynthesis, the Montreal-based team has engineered brewers yeast to manufacture cannabinoids within their cells. This methods results in compound with a level of potency and purity not previously seen in the cannabis industry.  Today we have the pleasure of speaking with  co-founder and metabolic engineer at Hyasynth Bio — Alex Campbell.   Topics Covered: Origin story and technology...
Published 10/06/21
Mycorrhizal fungi are critical to life on Earth. They have symbiotic relationships with surrounding plant life and are vital for the growth and health of forests. Today we are joined by Dr. Suzanne Simard, one most influential researchers on these fungi. Suzanne has largely contributed to the scientific acknowledgment to mycorrhizal ecology, as well as creating awareness about their critical role in local and global ecosystems. As we learn more about these subterranean networks, their...
Published 09/28/21
Today’s show is all about spalting fungi and its unique mycology. This time, we are joined by THE expert, Dr. Seri Robinson, who has been studying the phenomena for over a decade. Aside from spalting’s unique mycology, we discuss the auspicious applications of these fungi and their metabolites.  Seri is an artist and Professor of wood anatomy at Oregon State University. They were introduced to spalted woods through wood working, quickly discovering the lack of information about the phenomena,...
Published 09/21/21
We are joined by Mycologist Neil Gow who has formal training in mycology, especially in relation to infectious fungi. On today's show, we look at fungi through the lens of pathogenic interactions with humans. Which fungi are most likely to cause a human zombie apocalypse? Why are fungi so useful for drug discovery? What happens when you inject psilocybin tea into your veins?  Although his research is on combating fungal infections, Neil is a big time mycophile with jaw dropping information...
Published 09/14/21
A lot is to blame for the climate crisis, one of the most dire being our excessive meat consumption. A possible solution? Fungi.  For animal agriculture to keep up with the demand, we are compensating for safety, animal welfare, and sustainable practices that are emitting methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. Even deforestation is an impact of global demand for meat and other animal products. Thankfully with education and/or commercialization of new fungi and plant based products, we...
Published 09/07/21
Today we are joined by Micahel Beug, a legendary professor and scientist from Evergreen State College. Micheal mentored a handful of the today’s great myologists such as Paul Stamets, Jonathan Ott and Jeremy Bigwood. With a PhD in organic chemistry and a love for mushrooms, Michael’s expertise was and continues to be instrumental for the growth of mycology as a whole. After just publishing a field guide “Mushrooms of Cascadia: An Illustrated Key”, we are blessed to have this opportunity to...
Published 08/31/21
All bodies are beautiful. All healthy lifestyle changes are beautiful. And for those who choose to pursue a goal of losing weight for the right reasons, there is a new ingredient showing promising results — psilocybin.  While known for mental and spiritual support, psilocybin’s benefit can transcend into the physical realm by way of mental health, as well as biophysically. We discuss the mental reframe that can support a weight loss regime and how psilocybin itself has appetite suppressant...
Published 08/25/21
Spalted wood is beautiful. It’s a form of rotting, and it’s caused by fungi. Spalting comes in many forms, with variety in patterns, colors and textures. Until this century, the biology of spalting wasn’t well understood, and even less so any methods to produce it in a laboratory setting.  Javier Riberia is back on the show to share some of the cutting edge research at EMPA to develop a method for commercially produced spalted wood. Topics Covered: History of spalted wood use in the United...
Published 08/17/21
Hear that...? Fungal violins have entered the music scene. This technology, known as Mycowood, uses fungi to partially degrade wood used to make violins; and it results in superior acoustics. We are joined by the scientist behind these innovative fungal projects, Dr. Javier Ribera, who is a materials scientist at EMPA with specialties in cellulose and wood materials. Javier walks us through the creation of Mycowood technology, and how this unique application could evolve in further wood-based...
Published 08/11/21
Modern farming practices are destroying vital soil ecologies, and our patch work solutions aren’t making things any better. Today we are joined by Dr. Elaine Ingham, a leading soil ecologist who has established the Soil Food Web School, a platform that teaches people how to optimize their growing operation and advocates the return to greener practices.  We discuss how we can repair the land using simple, natural, systems, and how in doing so we heal the planet by increasing carbon...
Published 08/04/21
Where is psilocybin headed? Recent societal vindication of psilocybin and other psychedelic therapies are paving a prominent future for these substances, especially in psychiatric therapy. But how do we navigate this resurgence for the better? What conversations should be had, what questions should be asked, and who should we trust? These are big questions that will evolve with the industry. Today we welcome Ron Shore, who has spent years studying clinical applications for psychedelic...
Published 07/27/21
How did multicellular life evolve? We don’t know! However, fungi are helping us develop ideas about the emergence of complex life. Today we are joined by Dr. William Ratcliff, who has successfully induced naturally unicellular yeast to evolve into multicellular ‘snowflake yeasts’ in his lab at Georgia Tech. Prepare for a delightful interview featuring evolutionary history, biotechnology, semantics, philosophy, and life itself. Dr. William Ratcliff has his Ph.D. in Ecology evolution and...
Published 07/21/21
Love chocolate? You have fungi to thank for that! On today's show we are walking you through the complex journey between the cocoa bean and a chocolate bar.  The unmatchable decadence is achieved by unique fermentation methods and microbes. Yeast, filamentous fungi, and bacteria are all at play and today we have a chocolate scientist and PhD candidate, Caitlin Clark, who has dedicated her research to chocolate fermentation. Topics Covered Lactic acid fermentation versus chocolates specialty...
Published 07/13/21
Over one million specimens of fungi share a space known as the Fungarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is the largest collection of dried fungi in the world with specimens as old as the 1700s. Today we welcome lead mycologist Tuula Niskanen, and Fungarium curator Lee Davies to spotlight this important collection. We discuss when, where, why, and how fungi from all over the world are collected, studied and preserved.  Topics Covered: How the Kew Fungarium is curated and maintained The...
Published 07/07/21
Today’s show covers a field known as mycovirology, or the study of viruses that infect fungi. This esoteric science is nascent but profound in its applications, and we are welcoming one of the few people in the world who are studying these relationships. Why do mycoviruses matter? How can we work with and against them? How can this subfield influence mycology as a whole? We welcome Dr. Brenda Wingfield from the university of Pretoria in South Africa. Brenda holds her degree in fungal genomics...
Published 06/29/21
Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Josh Bartch, the CEO of Mydecine, a research & development company with a special interest in psilocybin and psychoactive treatments. We discuss the origins of their work, their team, and current research and practices in the field. Topics covered: Mydecine's mission and commitment to human benefit via fungal discoveryPsilocybin treatment for PTSD and other mental health concernsMachine-learning based drug discoveryFormulation and...
Published 06/23/21
Zombie fungi aren't just cool — they're extremely useful. Dr. Brian Lovett is back on the show to discuss the powers of entomopathogenic fungi. We get into the weeds of what makes these fungi equip for success as carnivores, transgenic engineering, the evolution of pathology and more. Brian also shares cutting edge research from the MosquitoSphere in Burkina Faso, where he and his team work to combat malaria using Metarhizium fungi. Topics Covered: Defining entomopathogenic fungiChemical...
Published 06/15/21
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is one of fungi’s most well known chemical analogues. Today we bring you a leading scientist, Dr. David Nichols who speaks to the history, chemistry, legality and so much more of this notable compound.   Topics covered: David Nichol’s career pursuing psychedelic pharmacologyPatent litigation, especially with psychedelic constituents Lab testing for new psychedelic analogues in ratsBureaucracy of working with Schedule I substancesHow to synthesize LSDLSD’s...
Published 06/09/21
Ergot describes a group of fungi with powerful alkaloids. So powerful, that they have historical impact in history, medicine, and possibly religion. It's famous for the morbid poisoning in humans, for catalyzing the synthesis of LSD,  and its potential role in ancient ceremony. Today we are honored to speak with Dr. Daniel Panaccione, who is one of few ergot alkaloid specialists. Having studied their biosynthesis and genetics, he is a true expert on their chemical matters. Dr. Panaccione is...
Published 05/31/21
To celebrate our 100th episode, we kick off the show with a compilation of all the responses to our classic question "If mushrooms had the mic and could say one thing to the whole human race, what would they say?" We also have some updates for you all, including a message of gratitude for making the podcast possible. Enjoy the condensed fungal wisdom and some candid conversation between your co-hosts Alex Dorr and Lera Niemackl. Featuring: Nathalie Kelley Myron Smith Omar Thomas Sophia...
Published 05/26/21
We are humbled to be speaking with psychedelic pioneer, Dennis McKenna. Dennis and his late brother Terrence are some of the most influential figures in western psychedelic culture. The brothers contributed to the introduction to psilocybin mushrooms in the United States, including but not limited to, cultivation techniques, ethnomycology, user guidance, and providing spores. Dennis was active in the psychedelic movement in the 60s and continues to shape the 21st century renaissance through...
Published 05/18/21
A milestone for mycelium has emerged. Adidas has partnered with Bolt threads, a biomaterials company, to use mycelium in their Stan Smith Mylo Edition shoes.  Built with biology, crafted with humanity— Bolt Threads is pioneering the use of fungal materials into industrial commodities, and it's not something their team takes lightly. Today we are joined by the co-founder of Bolt Threads, Dr. David Breslauer, to discuss the philosophy and methodology behind their important contributions and...
Published 05/12/21
What does commercial mushroom farming look like in the United States? Today we welcome the production manager of Far West Fungi, Kyle Garrone, to share the history of commercial farming in the US. Far West Fungi has been in business for over 35 years, and the team has traveled far and wide to learn from mushroom farms around the globe. Kyle has designed systems for large scale cultivation in California for common culinary mushrooms like oysters, shiitake, lion’s mane, woodear, pioppini,...
Published 05/04/21
If you aren't convinced that fungi are omnipresent, bizarre, and mighty, you haven't read Fungipedia.
Published 04/28/21