Fall in Love with Fungi

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Event Date

April 7, 2018, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Botany, Ecology, and Nature

Program Information

Location: Most classes will take place at BRIT or at the FW Botanic Garden. Some classes and workshops will be taught off campus and/or may include field trips to other locations around North Central Texas.

Cost: Class tuition varies depending on the length of the class and materials needed. Please see the individual class listings for exact prices.

Who should attend: BRIT's Adult Education workshops are open to and suitable for all interested members of the general public. College students and upper level high school students with an interest in careers in field science, early career field scientists, naturalists, and formal/informal science educators may be especially interested in attending these classes.

Point of Contact

Laura Northern Venhaus

Director of the Libraries and Research Public Engagement

This two hour class will introduce participants to the basic biology of fungi and the critical role this kingdom plays in diverse ecosystems - from the saprobes that recycle organic material, to the mycorrhizal fungi associated with trees, forbs and grasses, and the parasites that kill. We will cover the common life-cycles and the different reproductive strategies including the major features needed to identify the macro-fungi (mushrooms) that we see in the field. We will also review the human uses of mushrooms, from food to dyeing fabric to toxic spill cleanup.

Instructor Denis R Benjamin grew up in South Africa, emigrating to the Pacific Northwest in 1970. He practiced pediatric pathology at children's hospitals in Seattle, Washington and Fort Worth, Texas. Benjamin became an amateur mycologist soon after his arrival in the USA. He has served as a consultant to the regional poison control center, as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and as Chairman of the Toxicology Committee of the North American Mycological Association. He is a frequent speaker at mushroom clubs and societies and is the author of the landmark book on the health effects of mushrooms (Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas) and a collection of mushroom foraging essays (Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging). Benjamin is a Resident Research Associate at the Botanic Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth. 

This class will be held in the Commons at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members.

About Botany, Ecology, and Nature

BRIT and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden are pleased to offer this series of classes and workshops that will focus on giving participants hands-on, experience-based education in the fields of plant and wildlife science, conservation, sustainability, and ecology. These carefully designed classes and workshops (most of which will will feature field investigations or lab work) will enhance  participants' prior education, offer participants the opportunity to assemble a unique set of skills, and allow participants to interact and network with professionals in their field of interest.