The Next Big Thing in Mycology:
How You Can Play Your Role

Stephen Russell

Despite over 200 years of mycological progress, few regions have up-to-date surveys of the macrofungi (mushrooms) that occur in their area. This is especially true for surveys that are broadly supported by genetic data. Knowing a.) what species exist and b.) the range of these species is foundational knowledge that can inhibit many other lines in inquiry if the data is incomplete or inaccurate. The North American Mycoflora Project is looking to significantly enhance our knowledge of North American mushrooms by producing a comprehensive survey of macrofungi across the continent. Since registration was announced in January 2018, over 70 individual projects have signed on to begin documenting, vouchering, and sequencing the DNA of local macrofungal specimens in this new coordinated effort. Stephen Russell will discuss how you can make an impact on the success of this continent-wide effort. Learn how to effectively collect, organize,  and sample mushrooms for DNA research.

About the Teacher
Stephen Russell is a Ph.D. student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, where he explores the biodiversity and ecology of macrofungi (mushrooms). His interest in mushrooms began with applied mycology, particularly mushroom cultivation, and is the author of The Essential Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms. He was the founder of the Hoosier Mushroom Society ( in 2009, and still serves as the President. He is also a coordinator of the North American Mycoflora Project ( – an organization dedicated to surveying all the macrofungi of North America – particularly through engaging citizen scientists. His current academic work focuses on creating a DNA-based mycoflora of Indiana.