Brian Hunt

Έγινε μέλος στις: Αυγ 18, 2017 Τελευταία δραστηριότητα στις: Νοε 28, 2023 iNaturalist

I’ve forage for wild mushroom for since the 1980s and have always had a fascination with the diversity of our surroundings. I’m a Lifetime member of The North American Mycological Association & The Hoosier Mushroom Society. Recognized as a morel and wild mushroom identification expert by Indiana Department of Health. One of my interests with fungi is the growth of their fruiting bodies and the wide range of diversity within a small location. All my DNA sequence specimens are available for research here.

Review of my Exploration into the world of Fungi Including Lichens. Winter 2022

In 2014, I joined The Hoosier Mushroom Society (HMS) to help fill a need seen within my community and to greater my knowledge of local mushrooms. Had the pleasure to participate in the first in person wild edible mushroom courses given by HMS in efforts to be recognized as a Wild Mushroom Expert by our state to legally sale and serve a selected few species to the public. Also began the process to open the first of a kind forest mushroom cultivating business in southern Indiana (Brown County Forest Farming LLC. During the course Stephen Russell mentioned a project of documenting all Indiana fungal diversity, and I was intrigued since I’ve noticed during my own research with multiple sources to what appeared to be multiple names being used for same species. A lot of confusion within and several observed specimens seen in my backyard just wasn’t found in them. Later this evolved. into a citizen science-driven program. Unfortunately, living out in the middle of the forest in a dead zone for cellular and internet devices. It was difficult to get involved until late 2017. Also became certified by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) and the Produce Safety alliance (PSA) through Purdue extension to incorporate federal safety protocols within a newly developing field of cultivating specialty mushrooms under the forest canopy.

With a few new cell towers in Brown County and upgraded phone. In 2018 made my first collections and promoted others too, knowing I wouldn’t witnessed all seen since being little when I learned about Morels and gained curiosity of fungus discovered throughout the year. Since then, I’ve became a lifetime member of North American Mycological Association ( and included all of my findings in FunDiS Biodiversity Database on iNat for working in collaboration with professional mycologists. Managed to collect and document the most species during the first online N.A. Continental Mycoblitz event held in 2019. Learned a lot within five years exploring local diversity (2018-2022 observations) · iNaturalist and got a few locals involved adding to Indiana fungi kingdom list as well. Met several famous top professional mycologists from around the world in zoom meetings. Gave mushroom presentations to local community, Purdue extensions, and a statewide environment conference. Educated 1000s of people of what else the woods have to offer other than the morels during farmer markets. After all we do have more than corn in Indiana.

To date “Dec. 31, 2022”, I’ve documented 993 local species with collections of over 2000 fungi, including Lichens during the HMS Forays, and a few not seen during events dates throughout the years. All have been included in FunDiS Biodiversity Database . Species numbers will probably raise with full review of all 2,030 sequences from this collection. Participated in the process of taking samples from specimens and was involved with the DNA sequencing of 2022 fall collections. Learned how to analyze the data and determine best suitable name. Heard, I’ve achieved more sequence specimens in my collection than most University Labs. Surprisingly, added hundreds of new species records for Indiana, with several being a first of their kind ever witnessed in the world. 4 observations are considered vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. One of those is also a first record of it in Indiana. You’ll be surprised what you can find in your backyard when you constantly have an eye out for the unexpected fungi fruiting body.

I’ve came to the conclusion, some names used within my mushroom books and used by everyone on social media could be compared to feces in the phrase “**** has hit the fan and went all over the place”. Luckily, new science will help show what named species will clean it up. It will take some work of course. Now, I consider my older books has become décor and mementos. Have new abilities to learn about a subject and gained a knowledge that very few people in the world have. Researchers are discovering new species at an incredible rate with DNA sequencing and new methodologies. I’m honored to be part of HMS leading the way in the crossroads of America in this field. All thanks to a fungi. Now with a new year upon us, I’m looking forward to more exploration. You’ll be amazed how much more there is to discover. Join us in are next foray and you too will be amazed what you can find.

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