Monthly Meeting March 12 Lorena Polovina (SVIMS Members Only)


Mycological Futures: Exploring Biofabrication in Architectural Applications

SVIMS monthly meeting  Tuesday, 12 March, 2024
St Luke’s Hall, 3821 Cedar Hill X Rd Victoria 6:30pm – 9:30pm. In person and on Zoom. 7:00 pm start, arrivals no earlier than 6:30 pm, ending 9:30 pm.  Zoom link was sent to members by email on March 8.
– refreshments
– bring mushrooms for Show and Tell
Our speaker will be Lorena Polovina –

Mycological Futures: Exploring Biofabrication in Architectural Applications

Lorena Polovina is an interdisciplinary architecture student with a civil engineering background and professional experience in building science and structural design. She is a leader in the embodied carbon space and biogenic material research. She is currently a researcher at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Biogenic Architecture Lab where she researches mycelium biocomposites and their application as thermal insulators to replace toxic materials such as polystyrene. She was also a UBC Sustainability Scholar where she authored the “Rebuilding Better Guide” to inform local government leaders and policymakers on climate change mitigation and adaptation through a low carbon resiliency lens. 

Monthly Meeting Dec 5 — Daniel Winkler

Please join us for our December 2023 SVIMS meeting at St. Luke’s Cedar Hill, 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Victoria.

Meeting details. We suggest 6:45pm arrival for a 7 pm meeting. This meeting is in-person only–no simultaneous online broadcast. (A short-term recording, only accessible by active SVIMS members, will later be available on this website.)

Foray. A foray with the speaker will take place on Dec 6. Time and location TBA.

Talk Title: “Fungal Fruits of the Forest – Edible Mushrooms in the PNW and Beyond”

Talk summary: The Pacific Northwest may be the richest region in the Western Hemisphere for great edible mushrooms. Choice edibles–Chanterelles, Hedgehogs, Matsutake, King Boletes, Oysters, Conifer Bearhead, and Cauliflower mushroom–are fairly easy to identify. There is also a variety of often-overlooked mushrooms in our woods that are superb edibles, such as Sweetbread Mushroom, Conifer Woodtuft, and White Coral Fungus. In this richly illustrated presentation, Daniel will help us learn to identify, collect, and prepare many great edible mushrooms.

Speaker bio: Daniel grew up collecting and eating wild mushrooms in the Alps. For the last 27 years, he has been living in the US Pacific Northwest. He shares his enthusiasm as a mushroom educator, photographer, and guide on his website. Daniel recently published Fruits of the Forest – Field Guide to Pacific Northwest Edible Mushrooms. (It will be available at the talk.) This 400-page, gorgeously illustrated book, which focuses on the edible mushrooms of the PNW, distills a lifetime of mushroom hunting from around the world. Daniel previously published a series of fold-out field guides: Edible Mushrooms of the PNW, Edibles of California (both by Harbour Publishing), Amazon Mushrooms, and Medicinal Mushrooms of North America.  He has also published the MycoCard set “Boletes of Western North America.” His ethno-mycological cordyceps research in Tibet and other Asian locations has been featured in National Geographic, New York Times, NPR, and BBC World Service.

Monthly Meeting by Zoom Tues. September 12, 2023

Shannon Adams is our speaker for the evening. Her topic:

Cortinarius 101 – Identifying the Genus, Conservation & Edibility.

More information is below her photo.

This is a zoom-only meeting – members should have received a link from our SVIMS President.  

6:45 pm to socialize. 7 pm to start.

Do you love learning about mushrooms but think ‘Cortinarius’ is too hard? It doesn’t have to be that way! Shannon will help you recognize distinctive features of Cortinarius and how to differentiate them from common ‘lookalikes’, and then take you on a rich visual tour to appreciate species diversity. During the talk you will get to know some of our most notable Cortinarius ‘celebrities’ and have new resources for ID when you find these diverse and beautiful species.

Shannon Adams is a User Researcher in the tech industry who has a passion for the genus Cortinarius. When she emigrated from Australia 20+ years ago she was struck by the diversity and beauty of Cortinarius species she saw in the Washington Cascades, and started trying (and failing) to identify them. For the past 6 years, she has been collecting and documenting Cortinarius species and has over 1,200 collections in her personal herbarium.

In 2021 she led the publication of a new Cortinarius species – Cortinarius rufosanguineus – and has recently worked with other Cort experts to describe three additional species she will introduce to us. Shannon is here to spread her love of the Cortinariaceae and to give you resources to help you get to know BC species.  

Links: and see also Cortinarius on iNaturalist.

Monthly Meeting by Zoom Tues. March 14, 2023

Tyson Ehlers will talk with us about Slime Moulds.

In this talk: Tyson will provide an overview of the biology of myxomycetes, their morphology, life history, and habitats. He will discuss collection and storage techniques and cover the major taxonomic groups with photographs and tips for identification.

A zoom link has been sent (March 13) to SVIMS members by e-mail. There is no in-person meeting. Starting time for the zoom meeting is 6:45 pm.

Tyson Ehlers is a forest ecologist and biologist from the Slocan Valley, BC. His taxonomic interests are varied and tend toward the overlooked and understudied, which naturally led him to devote much of his time to studying fungi. He is an avid mushroom collector and photographer and strives to document the diversity of macrofungi in BC and has worked on numerous mycological research projects. 

Along with his scientific interests, Tyson guides mushroom forays, advocates for the conservation of wild mushroom habitat, and has coauthored a book, Mushrooms to Look for in the Kootenays. 

Like many who spend their time looking for fungi, slime moulds inevitably caught his attention. But there wasn’t much information available to learn more about these strange creatures and they remained an enigmatic curiosity. Somehow this passing interest became an obsession and for the past several years Tyson has devoted his time to the slime. He has been collecting and learning about slime moulds and is collaborating with other BC myxo-enthusiasts to produce a baseline inventory and guidebook for the slime moulds of BC.

Background. Slime moulds are not fungi, but they have traditionally been studied by mycologists because they look similar and occupy many of the same habitats. Commonly referred to as plasmodial slime moulds, myxomycetes are amoeboid eukaryotes which produce macroscopic fruiting bodies with a relatively complex structure. They are unicellular organisms which have demonstrated remarkable abilities, such as solving mazes, and “learning” in the absence of a nervous  system. Slime moulds have little economic value, they are not an important source of food or medicine, and they are challenging to find and hard to identify. But they are exquisite life forms, and perhaps that is their main attraction.

Myxomycetologists are few and far between. There are only a handful in Canada and here in BC there are only three of us giving myxomycetes serious attention. There are few regional guides to aid in identification, and it has been said that knowledge of myxomycetes is  equivalent to that of fungi 30 years ago. But the myxo-revolution is spreading, aided by advances in extreme macrophotography that is revealing the elegant beauty of these extraordinary creatures. Highly skilled professional photographers are publishing award-winning photographs in a variety of media, winning over legions of new fans.

Internet forums, like the Slime Mould Identification and Appreciation Facebook group and iNaturalist provide a venue for information sharing. And for the first time ever, slime moulds are included in the General Status of Species in Canada in the recent Wild Species 2020 report.

With just over 1000 species described worldwide, it would seem a simple task to inventory myxomycetes nation-wide. But most of
them are tiny and not easy to find or identify and few individuals have historically
contributed to building an inventory. In BC alone, there were fewer than 100 species to be found in provincial herbaria prior to our work. In the past few years, we have now documented over 200 species in BC, many of which are new records for Canada, some new to North America, and at least one new undescribed species. 

Presentation / Meeting with Michael Beug

Michael Beug will be zooming in from Cascadia in Washington Thurs. Dec 2.
He’ll tell us about A New Kind of Mushroom Book. Details are in the poster below. The meeting starts at 6:45 pm. Miss supper if necessary – you won’t regret it..

Members will receive a zoom link about 2 days beforehand. The presentation will be recorded and after editing by Steven Strybosch will be posted on our YouTube Media page, accessible from the members-only section of our website. It will also be live-streamed to our Facebook site.