Richard W. Kerrigan was born and raised in California. He became interested in Agaricus in 1971, after meeting David Arora while both were undergraduates at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He earned a bachelor's and a master's degree at San Francisco State University (1976, 1982, with mentor Harry Thiers), a doctorate from University of California, Santa Barbara (1989), and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto (1989-1991). From 1991-2017, Kerrigan held the position of Director of Research, U.S.A., with Sylvan Inc., the world's leading producer of cultivated mushroom spawn, where he worked on breeding improved strains of cultivated mushrooms. His study of the diversity, taxonomy, systematics and phylogeny of wild species of Agaricus continues as a separate, independent area of research now extending over 45 years.
Emily Underwood is an artist and educator based in Central California. She blends her backgrounds in both science and art to explore the landscapes, flora and fauna of California. She has degrees in Earth Sciences and Geology from UC Santa Cruz and Oregon State University, and completed the Scientific Illustration program at CSU Monterey Bay in 2013. She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Joshua Tree National Park Service, in Alaska with the U.S. Forest Service, and at the Elkhorn Slough Foundation in Moss Landing. Her artwork has appeared in books, magazines, journals, museums, interpretive panels, and galleries. She teaches art/science classes at U.C. Santa Cruz, with school groups, and in various local workshops.
Christian is a naturalist currently living in Santa Cruz, the land of milk (caps) and honey (mushrooms). He studied Ecology and Evolution at UCSC, and now spends his time photographing, teaching about, collecting, and researching macrofungi. He is coauthor of "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast". Fungi satisfy his curiosity with their seemingly endless forms - from the grotesque to the bizarre to the sublimely beautiful. Besides dabbling in mushroom taxonomy, he particularly loves fish, plants, nudibranchs, moths, and dragonflies. He is passionate about citizen science - particularly iNaturalist.
Milton is an active member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society in Seattle. He designed methods to make easy-to-grow home mushroom kits for hobby growers.
Susie is a founding member of Cascade Mycological Society (CMS) and biology faculty member at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon where she teaches mushroom biology and plant science courses. She has decades of experience identifying flora, fauna and fungi and doing field ecology work throughout Oregon. With interests in biodiversity and landscape ecology, she works with students in her classes to investigate phenology and fungal ecology and has co-founded a local mycoflora project titled Macrofungi of Lane County. She has taught mushroom identification and microscopy workshops through her club and institution, as well as the North American Mycological Association and the Santa Cruz Mycoflora Foray.
Thea is a lifelong Sierra Nevada foothill resident and naturalist. Her childhood interest in local mushrooms, wildlife, and flora has transformed into a lifelong devotion to the natural world. While she was studying at UC Berkeley, she pursued her passion for taxonomy and discovered a love of teaching, as well as a yearning to continue to explore the California mountains. She currently works for the Forest Service on a long-term California-wide meadow monitoring project. Though she spends her summer days identifying sedges and other wetland plants, she keeps looking for mushrooms at every opportunity. She teaches occasional workshops in mushroom and plant identification. She continues to be fascinated with the Sierra Nevada and has a particular interest in the fungi of the mountains and their meadows.
Steve, affiliate curator in the University of Washington Herbarium, is a forest ecologist and itinerant educator, who has been hunting, photographing, and learning about mushrooms for over 40 years. Author of Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest (with Joe Ammirati), Tricholomas of North America (with three co-authors), and Mushrooms of Alaska's National Forests (with Kate Mohatt), he has taught mycology, botany, and biology courses at the University of Washington, The Evergreen State College, Bastyr University, and Santa Barbara City College, as well as workshops at many NAMA and local club forays. His particular interest is in the roles that fungi play in forest carbon and nutrient cycling.
Else is a mycologist who is interested in naming and classifying mushroom species in California and beyond, especially Parasol mushrooms. She has described 22 species as new for California, and most recently worked at the herbaria at UC Berkeley and SFSU for the Macrofungi and Microfungi Collections Digitization projects. She got her training at the national herbarium in the Netherlands, and her PhD at the university of Leiden, also in the Netherlands. The main reason for her taxonomic work is that it lays the basis for efforts to include mushroom species in nature management and conservation plans. She has proposed a number of Californian and Hawaiian species for the IUCN global database of endangered species. She tries to keep current with the mushroom literature. Else is also an avid knitter and likes to use mushroom dyed yarn for her creations.
Chad is a classically trained chef who has cooked for the last decade in a mix of restaurants and private clubs around the San Francisco bay area. He spends his free time hunting for and learning about mushrooms, and seeking out new techniques and traditional ethnic recipes from around the world to apply to our local mushrooms. His newest cookbook, "The Mushroom Hunter's Kitchen," was released last November.
Dr. Phil Carpenter has been a member of the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz (CA) (FFSC) since the club was founded in 1984. He has been very active in the FFSC since joining, acting as President for many years as well as several other offices, including Minister of Science for many years. He is also currently a Regional Trustee for the North American Mushroom Association (NAMA).
Phil has conducted mushroom identification classes for FFSC members for over ten years. In addition, he has taught mushroom foraging and identification at the University of California, Santa Cruz for over 25 years; for local park districts; for private resorts; for food events such as the Masters of Food and Wine and the Gourmet Fest in nearby Carmel; and for private parties. He heads up the mushroom identification service provided at the well-known and highly-attended annual Fungus Fair presented by the FFSC. He has been and continues to be a resource of mushroom identification for monthly FFSC meetings and periodic local and long distance forays. Lastly, he provides identification and consulting for mushroom poisonings for hospitals and veterinarians.
Joanne is a naturalist, amateur mycologist and citizen scientist. She has collected and studied fungi since 1966, traveling the world in search of fascinating finds, good photographs, and now DNA sequences and collections which might be valuable to science. Joanne's current project is documenting the MacroFungi of California's Channel Islands, starting with the Santa Cruz Island Reserve. She is currently on the Board of the North American Mycoflora Project.