I grow old ever learning many things.
I have taught a variety of different classes about fungi to very different audiences. I like my students and they generally like me; we learn a lot together. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about my classes.
Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds,
PLPPM 2010 (2 cr), PLPPM 2013 (3cr)
I began teaching Magical Mushrooms in 2015, and it's been a real blast for me and my many students. It's a big, popular class, with Spring enrollments between 250 and 400. My Shroom Squad and I offer students a grand guided tour of the kingdom Fungi. The class was invented by my predecessor, Professor George Hudler, to engage students who don't intend to become scientists, so there's not much jargon, and we focus on how fungi and humans do and don't get along.
The two-credit version of Magical Mushrooms has lectures and demonstration labs, in which students get to meet molds, mushrooms, and yeasts. The three-credit version adds a hands-on lab in which we do experiments, grow mushrooms, and learn how to work with fungi. Find out more about the class at our Magical Mushrooms website.
Mushrooms of Field and Forest
Mushrooms of Field and Forest,
PLPPM 3190, 2 cr
My Fall field class in mushroom identification has no prerequisites and is open to anyone interested in mushrooms. Students learn to use field guides and keys to identify Ithaca-area mushrooms, endure brief lectures about mushroom poisoning and mycophagy, and sometimes get rained on in the forest.
The class meets for 8 wks, starting the 2nd week of Fall semester. On Wednesday afternoons we visit local forests to collect mushrooms; Wednesday evenings we meet again to identify them. Grades are based on a mushroom collection, a quiz, and a final practical exam. The class is offered for letter grade only. It counts as CALS distribution credit in Life Sciences.
Current Topics in Fungal Biology
Current Topics in Fungal Biology,
PLPPM 6490, 1 cr
co-instructor: B.G. Turgeon
I co-taught this class from 2003–2015.
Now Prof. Turgeon teaches this graduate-level class based on exploring and critiquing the latest and greatest papers about fungal genomics, genetics, phylogeny, and ecology.
Medical and Veterinary Mycology
Medical and Veterinary Mycology,
PLPPM 3290, 2 cr
not currently offered
I developed this class on fungi that are vertebrate pathogens and taught it from 2009–2014. Gosh! those are some pretty amazing fungi.
The class was open to all students who'd taken Intro Bio, and especially aimed at pre-med and pre-vet students. Despite the fact that we weren't able to work with some of the most interesting fungi in the lab (because they might kill us), it was a successful class. It is still in demand although I am unable to teach it at this time.
Fungi, PLPA 3090, 3cr
I taught this Fall class (formerly "Introductory Mycology") from 2000–2011. It was a thorough introduction to fungi and fungus-like organisms. We got acquainted with fungi through lectures, a weekly lab, and a culture collection assignment, in which students learned to capture and tame a wild fungus. My students were mostly pre-med, pre-vet, food science, plant pathology, microbiology, and plant science students, and also people who just thought fungi are really cool. I think fungi are really cool and that comes through in my teaching style.