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March 4th, 2020

Elinoar Shavit

"Fossilized mushrooms in amber and copal: A fantastic voyage"

Fossils of mushrooms are extremely rare, due to their fragile tissues and high water-content. When mushrooms fossilize in amber, an often transparent and light-colored material, their every detail can be seen, studied, and even imaged without causing harm to the specimen. These fungi/mushroom inclusions can provide a uniquely detailed window to the past. As a mycologist and gemologist, Elinoar has been in a unique position to spot, identify and collect rare pieces of amber and copal with mushroom inclusions. In her talk, Elinoar will present and discuss a one of a kind collection of such fungi and mushroom fossils in amber and copal. This collection also includes fossilized mushrooms in 25 million years old red Mexican amber from Chiapas and in copal from Colombia, some as yet unidentified. Some of these pieces have never been seen before, and were first published in Elinoar Shavit's 2019 paper in the April 2019 issue of FUNGI magazine (Vol. 11, No. 5).

Elinoar Shavit is an ethnomycologist specializing in mycological and cultural research regarding medicinal mushrooms, desert truffles, and the traditional use of fungi and plants by indigenous people around the world. She is a frequent speaker on these topics in international and domestic conferences, placing emphasis on issues of preservation of endangered fungi/plants with a history of use by indigenous people, their habitats, and the often equally endangered cultural traditions of the indigenous people who have used them, often for thousands of years. Elinoar has published numerous research papers on these topics, and recently contributed two chapters to the authoritative volume on desert-truffles published by Springer Publications prestigious Soil Biology series, Desert Truffles: Phylogeny, Distribution and Domestication. Elinoar Shavit is contributing editor at FUNGI magazine, past President of the New York Mycological Society, and past Chairperson of the Medicinal Mushrooms Committee at the North American Mycological Association. Elinoar Shavit is also a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) certified Gemologist (GG), specializing in fossil fungal inclusions in amber. She has also published on this topic, recently contributing a paper presenting for the first time an extremely rare collection of pieces of Mexican Red Amber and Colombian copal, which include fossil fungi.

As always, try to come around 6:15 to meet, greet, and share in some snacks!

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Meeting are at the Intown Community Church, 2059 Lavista Road, Atlanta, 30329. We meet from 7:00 to 9:00 with a social time for snacking, identifying mushrooms, browsing guides and making friends. The social time begins at 6:15. Members bring snacks each month. A sign up list for volunteering to bring snacks will be passed around. This is a chance to learn some, connect some and get filled in on some of the club's plans for the year.




In 2010, fungi were incorporated into Chile's Environmental Law (No .19,300, General Bases of the Environment, 1994) such that the Ministry of Environment must ensure fungi are classified in a national inventory using scientific and IUCN Red-Listing criteria.


Upcoming workshops will be listed here, stay tuned...


MCG features monthly meetings each year between February and November on a variety of fungi-related topics. To view some of our previous meetings go HERE.


In a Poison Emergency, contact:
Georgia Poison Center
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
PO Box 26066
Atlanta, GA 30303

Call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week:

In Metro-Atlanta:
Outside Metro-Atlanta:

The Mushroom Club of Georgia contacts are:

Dr. Coleman McCleneghan 
(h) 828-963-4116 
(c) 828-963-4116
Boone, NC

Jay Justice
(h) 501-837-5303
Little Rock, AK