Cornell University


A platypus!

Bully for the Platypus

Tasmanian platypuses are coming down with a fungal disease of late. It’s caused by a fungus previously only found sickening amphibians. A platypus is a strange and baffling creature, and so is this fungus, Mucor amphibiorum.

George F. Atkinson

Here at the Cornell fungal herbarium, we’ve been busy curating and digitizing the massive fungus collection of George F. Atkinson. His influential work in the late 1800s and early 1900s took mycology a big step forward. Here’s an intro to Atkinson and his mycological legacy, written by CUP’s Assistant Curator Torben Russo.

The Lichens of Tower Road

It’s possible to walk down a street and not see any fungi… for some people. CUP Herbarium Curator Scott LaGreca sees lichens wherever he goes. Here he talks about the tree-dwelling lichens along Cornell’s main thoroughfare, Tower Rd, and what they suggest about air quality on our upstate New York campus.

Henningsomyces by Joe Warfel

Small Wonder

Upon lifting up a log, one often finds wiggly things, and they typically hog all the attention. But for the sharp-eyed, there are more subtle gifts. Lawrence Millman wrote this celebration of a delicately beautiful fungus you might find dangling under logs: Henningsomyces candidus. I wonder how many people in the world have ever seen it? Lawrence and I are fans of the small and odd, and Lawrence managed to sneak some into his splendid new mushroom guidebook, Fascinating Fungi of New England.

Narceus millipede

Small friends of fungi

An homage to the Little Things that run the world. Oh how we love them in all their unplumbed diversity! Here is a thoughtful reminder of the roles of the small and oft-overlooked members of the Dead Plants Society, courtesy of our many-legged guest, Bob Mesibov.

lost dog

A veterinary detective story

Since dogs can’t talk very well, it’s often difficult to figure out what’s making them sick. We recently told you about Shiloh, a beautiful dog who died of mushroom poisoning apparently caused by Galerina mushrooms. Now Shiloh’s Veterinarian, Dr. Carolyn Orr, speaks about her role in determining the cause of Shiloh’s rapid decline.

Goodbye Shiloh

Eulogy for a lost dog

Our guest Tami Mungenast shares the moving story of her dog Shiloh, who died of mushroom poisoning in 2008. Yes, dogs are just as susceptible to poisonous mushrooms as people–in Shiloh’s case a brown Galerina sp. in her yard was the culprit. Warning! Sad.

spore discharge

The Perfect Pitch

This delightful guest post by Moselio Schaechter and Merry Youle explains the mechanism by which mushrooms discharge their spores. You always wanted to know why mushrooms are associated with dank and humid places–this clever water-assisted mechanism is the explanation.

Mushrooms in Samoa

Daisuke Goto – The first to cultivate mushrooms in Samoa

Our correspondent and Cornell grad student visits Samoa, and reports on the state of mushroom cultivation methods in the South Pacific.


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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