Cornell University


silhouette of the mycologistCornell University is a pretty fungusy place. Here in upstate New York we’re surrounded by forests and waterfalls, we have an unusual diversity of fungusy faculty members, and we have more than a hundred years of fungal research behind us.

One other thing. Fungi get a lot of bad press. OK, so we’re responsible for the whole athlete’s foot phenomenon, but fungi do a lot of good, too. Like the friendly yeasts, who make beer, bread, and wine. And how about those tasty chanterelles? Even in the fullness of their horrific evilness, fungi are cool. That’s what we’re all about here.

This blog is for you, friends. It’s aimed at ordinary people with a tendency towards mycophilia. Sometimes we talk about delicious things, sometimes awful things. At times we may get a bit academic–after all, this blog emanates from the Ivory Tower. Go ahead! chastise us or ask clarifying questions by leaving Comments, that’s what they’re for.

Mushrooms are seasonal and have patchy distributions; this blog is the same way. It’s written by a loose collective of faculty, staff, and students (view staff manifestos here), and embellished with images, objects, and movies that mostly come from our talented departmental photographer, Kent Loeffler. We suggest you subscribe to receive notification of new posts. We do maintain copyright over our content, but it’s ok to use our images in teaching (please give us credit). Contact the Editor about other uses. You’ll find answers to some frequently asked questions about fungi and Cornell on our FAQ page. This blog is a place for fungi to share their stories.

Dr. Kathie T. Hodge
Editor and Blogificator

Associate Professor of Mycology
Department of Plant Pathology
Cornell University

Why we’re here

To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.
Thomas Henry Huxley, 1854. On the Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences.


Most people don't pay much attention to fungi, which include things like mushrooms, molds, yeasts, and mildews. Here at Cornell we think they're pretty fascinating. In fact, even the most disgusting foot diseases and moldy strawberries are dear to our hearts. We'd like to talk to you about fungi, so that like us, you too can tell gross stories at the dinner table. Afterwards, maybe you'll notice some things you would have overlooked before, and we think this could be good for the planet.

Kathie T. Hodge, Editor

Beneath Notice, our book of borescopic mycology.


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