Jason Leane – “Citizen Science And The Discovery Of Novel Fungal Species”

Jason Leane – “Citizen Science And The Discovery Of Novel Fungal Species”
by Andrew Bryant, 21 Feb 2019.

Jason Leane is not a scientist – he works as a technologist at Brooks Secondary – but citizen-scientist he most assuredly IS.  So a lifelong interest in science and biology has translated into a most unusual and interesting hobby…and a fascinating talk for us!

In a nutshell, the advent of quick and affordable gene sequencing technology has allowed us to classify species based on genetics as opposed to physical features.  That’s why Jason has a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine in his kitchen…yes you heard that right…
yes, he’s been literally cooking DNA…
and learning lots in the process.

Jason’s been examining local mushrooms.  It seems he’s been finding some that may be slightly mis-categorized, wildly mis-named, or suspiciously far from their known habitat.  He may even have found a new species  – or ten.

Because as more data emerge, in the fungal world at least, we’re discovering that we’ve been wrong.  A lot.  Luckily, in science, being wrong means you get to learn something.  We learned a lot…from the largest organisim on Earth to amazing, real-time DNA analyes using a smart phone.

Amazing.  Keep on cooking!



Sunshine Coast Trail

Sunshine Coast Trail
by Laurette Hamoline, 24 Nov 2017. 

Twelve members of the Malaspina Naturalist’s Club enjoyed another pleasant outing with Duane Sept, our speaker from the previous evening.

We explored a short part of the Sunshine Coast Fairview Bay Trail from the parking lot to Harbour Point.

Along the way we saw several species of fungi including golden chanterelles (Craterellus formosus), winter/funnel chanterelles (Craterellus tubaeformis), bleeding mycena (Mycena haematopus), delicious milk cap (Lactarius deliciosus).

Of course the vistas and the companionship were appreciated as well.

Mushroom hunt

Mushroom hunt
by Nancy Pezel, 14 Oct 2017. 

It was a damp morning but that didn’t deter the eleven hardy members that met at Squirrel Crossing to learn about mushrooms.

At the picnic spot across the bridge, Izi Loveluck gave us an informative talk on the basics of wild mushroom identification, a useful handout about mushrooms and some spore print charts, as well as some tips on where to look for mushrooms in the surrounding forest.  We then split up into small groups and started searching for specimens.  After an hour we regrouped and laid out the specimens we’d gathered.

Izi and Laurette Hamoline identified chanterelles, some kind of Bolete, fawn/deer mushroom, bleeding milk cap (Lactarius rubrilacteus) and some kind of Russula from our findings.

Izi had also brought a couple of pine mushrooms and a cauliflower mushroom she had found the previous day for us to look at.  David Bedry generously provided his stove so Izi could cook up some of the chanterelles, the cauliflower mushroom and a shrimp mushroom (Russula xerampelina), with lots of butter!

We enjoyed sampling some tasty mushrooms before the cold finally forced us home.