Ep. 47 - Bioluminescent Mushrooms, Psilocybe of Mexico and the Power of Citizen Mycology (feat. Alan Rockefeller)


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Today on Mushroom Hour we are blessed to speak with our very special guest Alan Rockefeller. Alan is a mycologist who has undertaken extensive field and lab research on the mushrooms of California and Mexico. He has been collecting mushrooms for 17+ years and has focused on the taxonomy and photography of Mexican mushrooms for the past 11+ years.
Our epic journey brings us back to the dawn of the new millennium when a young Alan Rockefeller first became spellbound by fungi. A few years into his mycology explorations, he had a chance encounter on shroomery.org with a biologist in Mexico who was posting amazing fungal finds. Alan made a connection and began traveling to Mexico each year to seek out rare fungi.

Since he began these adventures, he has played a central role in mapping fungal diversity throughout different climate ranges in Mexico. This includes some of the most in-depth field observations in the world when it comes to those incredible bioluminescent and infamous psilocybin containing fungi. We'll cover it all - how bioluminescence occurs in biology, the evolutionary significance of bioluminescent enzymes and psilocybin compounds in fungi and how Alan goes about finding the rarest varieties of these fascinating organisms.

The epitome of the self-taught naturalist and citizen scientist we'll learn the secrets of how Alan gained his vast taxonomic knowledge. Just "showing up" and pursuing his interests he has been able to collaborate with leading academics in the field of mycology. Alan then reveals how we can all contribute to the science of mycology by making good observations in the field and cataloging them effectively for posterity. We get a masterclass on cataloging field finds including how to take good photos in the field, record relevant observations, preserve dried specimens and even how we can sequence the genome of our fungal finds. This is an incredible opportunity to soak up wisdom and experience from a legend in the field of citizen mycology.

Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour (@welcome_to_mushroom_hour)
Music by: Ancient Baby (https://peckthetowncrier.bandcamp.com/)
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (http://www.wyndistefano.com/)
Episode Resources
Alan Rockefeller FB: https://www.facebook.com/alan.rockefeller
Alan Rockefeller IG: https://www.instagram.com/alan_rockefeller/
New Bioluminescent Mushrooms in Mexico (Article): https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331996064_New_species_and_records_of_bioluminescent_Mycena_from_Mexico
Alvalabs (Resource): http://alvalab.es/
Shroomery.org (Resource): https://shroomery.org
Mycena Perlae ๐Ÿ„: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/981470-Mycena-perlae
Panellus stipticus ๐Ÿ„: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panellus_stipticus
Neonothopanus Gardneri ๐Ÿ„: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonothopanus_gardneri
Psilocybe moseri ๐Ÿ„: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psilocybe_moseri
Lepitoa Trichroma ๐Ÿ„: https://mushroomobserver.org/104595?q=1VIoQ

64 episodes