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MCG meeting: Stephen Axford and Catherine Marciniak
May 4 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Stephen Axford and Catherine Marciniak
Stephen Axford has an international reputation as a specialist in macro fungi photography. He also has a unique expertise in time-lapse photography of fungi. The beauty and scientific accuracy of Stephen’s fungi photography has captivated national and international media, fungi experts and the general public, with a following that stretches from Patagonia to Vladivostok. He even has a mushroom documented in China named after him ….Panaeolus Axfordii.
Over the past 10 years Stephen, with filmmaker and life partner Catherine, Stephen has travelled some of the most remote forests on the planet to help scientists document fungi.
His photographs have appeared on international websites and in international books and scientific journals magazines, including: Nat Geo Magazine, Geo Magazine in Germany, Roots Magazine, Guardian Observer , China Geography and Civilization Magazines.
Stephen’s fungi time-lapses have featured in award-winning science documentaries, including BBC Planet Earth 2, The Kingdom: how fungi made the world, Fantastic Fungi, Our Planet, Hostile Planet, Magical World of Oz, and the just released productions BBC’s Green Planet and Genepool Productions Carbon.
They are also included in many documentaries he makes with Catherine Marciniak, including the documentary “Planet Fungi – north east India” which is a fun fungi safari in the eastern Himalayas.
Catherine has had a distinguished career as a documentary director, writer, cinematographer and editor. She has a passion for sharing inspiring human stories and stories that share the beauty of nature. For over a decade she was a features reporter for Australia’s public broadcaster, She has won many including being a finalist in the 2019 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
Their most recent film adventure is the iMax documentary “The Secret World of Fungi” starring Merlin Sheldrake and showcasing the Stephen’s time-lapses. Catherine is a co-writer on this project. Look out for it in iMax cinemas in late 2022.
An important part of Stephen and Catherine’s myco-media work is their international collaborations with universities, research facilities and fungi organisations where they document fungi in forests around the world and record the ethnomycology of the people who live on the forest fringe in these remote regions.
At the invitation of the Kunming Institute of Botany part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Stephen and Catherine have documented the fungi in some of China’s tropical and temperate rainforests. Stephen’s photographs have subsequently been used to illustrate comprehensive field guides of fungi in Yunnan. This myco-media team have also collaborated with the Fungi Foundation of Chile, Balipara Foundation in India, BELT’s Vertical University in Nepal and Mountain Futures in Myanmar.
For Stephen and Catherine international partnerships are a significant way to share the story of fungi, the inspiring work of mycologists around the world and the importance of fungi to life on the planet.
Stephen is also an ambassador for Sonya Australia.
The documentary “ Planet Fungi north east India” took the couple into unchartered forests for fungi. Working with local village people as their guides. With the young scientists from the Balipara Foundation in the Eastern Himalayas and the Kunming Institute in China, the team identified 34 species of fungi that are possibly new to science, including an extremely bright, luminous mushroom which has since been written up and named Roridomyces phyllostachydis … which is very exciting.