On the third Tuesday of each month from September thru May, the Mycological Society of San Francisco has a General Meeting at the Randall Museum. Note: All regular General Meetings are open to the public. The highlight of each meeting is a speaker with slides on some aspect of mycology and mushrooming: ecology, taxonomy, mycophagy, sociology, etc. Before each meeting members bring collections which are put on display and identified. Refreshments are served before the meeting. Doors open and identification starts at 7 pm and the meeting starts at 8 pm. (The December meeting is replaced by a dinner at a different location.)
Christopher Grace is a Masters of Science candidate at San Francisco State University, under the mentorship of Dr. Dennis Desjardin. His research focus is describing thirty collections of Marasmius species from the African islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. These specimens were collected by Dr. Desjardin and Dr. Brian Perry, in 2009 as part of a California Academy of Sciences research expedition.
These 30 collections of Marasmius are made up of 21 species, some of which are believed to be new to science. Prior to the collection of these specimens, no Marasmius species have been documented from São Tomé or Príncipe. His work addresses this gap by describing these collections and contributes significantly to the documentation of fungal and total biodiversity of these islands. Upon completion of his thesis, he will publish a preliminary monographic treatment of the genus Marasmius from the African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe.
A disproportionate amount of the world’s mushroom-producing fungal diversity is believed to be located in tropical environments. These intrinsic diversity factors, coupled with the high propensity for environmental destruction common in many developing nations, make this kind of work time-sensitive.
As an undergraduate at Bard College at Simon’s Rock, (in the Berkshires of Massachusetts) Christopher Grace was lucky enough to be able to focus on mycology and fungal ecology, including identification and in-lab culturing techniques. Over the past three years, he has been studying and researching fungal taxonomy, systematics, and ecology. He will be continuing his passion for mycology at Clark University, studying fungal genomics starting in the fall.