Field Museum staff and volunteers

Some of the people involved with the research and collections for mushrooms and other fungi.

Staff and paid interns

Those working with macrofungi.

Young man in herbarium.

Wyatt Gaswick

Wyatt began research with us while a graduate student and then worked as a research assistant with our Chicago area plot studies. He specializes in our local Russula (a thankless job), boletes (also challenging), puffballs, Crepidotus, as well as Xylaria and others.

Wyatt works with Dr. Peter Avis and Gayle Tonkovich on the Northwest Indiana Restoration Monitoring Inventory. Wyatt has been barcoding the macrofungi in the Field Museum herbarium as part of a nationwide herbarium project to put the macrofungus collections online. He is now continuing this work with the microfungi.

Volunteers and unpaid interns

Volunteers serve many important roles at the museum and are greatly appreciated.

Man using microscope.

Arthur Rocky Houghtby

Rocky joined our team as a museum volunteer to pursue his interests in the identification of various members of Strophariaceae and other brown-spored mushrooms. Besides expertise with the microscope, he is an excellent photographer and a contributor to Mushroom Observer: Rocky's observations.

The recent monograph on Pluteus section Pluteus included his specimen and photos of Pluteus americanus from Cook County, Illinois.

Young man in herbarium.

Westley Wallace

In 2015 Wes started our current project of repackaging historic specimens from sheets into boxes. Once repackaged we will be able to update the names, database the information, print new labels, and get the specimen information into the museum's online herbarium database. See Repackaging Methods.

This project will complete the digitization of our mushroom (macrofungus) collections for Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This allows us and other researchers to know these collections exist. This contributes not only to our local knowledge but the understanding of biogeography of mushrooms in North America.

Colleagues and visitors

The museum has numerous associated researchers and visiting scientists.

Man using microscope.

Javier Fernández López

Javier made several visits to the museum during his four month stay in Chicago, the summer of 2015, learning DNA phylogeny methods with Dr. Andrew Wilson at the Chicago Botanic Garden. He is a graduate student at Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid, Spain. He is studying the morphology and sequencing multiple DNA regions from cultures and specimens of the Schizopora and Hyphodontia group to sort out genus and species boundaries. Javier examined collections from the Field Museum herbarium including those from the Chicago area where Schizopora is somewhat common.

For other mycologists see fungi and lichens research at the Field Museum.