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Monthly Mushroom Speaker Series (MMSS)
March 7, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Dawn of Mushroom Materials – Sue Van Hook
Ecovative’s former Chief Mycologist, Sue Van Hook, will describe the journey that led to new materials science using mushroom mycelium as a natural resin. From dream guidance to a persistent professor, two engineers were led to start a new company, that in its tenth year has broken ground as the natural alternative Mresin® for engineered wood, replacing toxic formaldehydes currently used to make particleboard.
Sue is a mycologist, naturalist, teacher and healer. She has been studying the taxonomy and ecology of fungi for the past 40 years, having begun her coursework in the Pacific Northwest where the mushroom season lasts 9 months of the year. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in botany and mycology at Humboldt State University under the tutelage of Dr. David L. Largent, an authority on pink-spored mushrooms and author of the How to Identify Mushrooms series of books.
Sue worked for 5 years in land conservation for The Nature Conservancy managing a Northern California Coastal Dunes Preserve where she also conducted her graduate fieldwork. She moved to Belgrade Maine in the mid-eighties and worked as Director of Land Conservation and Stewardship for Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
For 18 years she taught biology and environmental science labs at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. Sue joined the Mushroom Materials company Ecovative as a Mycological Consultant at the outset in 2007, and has worked as the Chief Mycologist and Mushroom Whisperer for the past 5 years. Her work involves cultivating fungal strains from the wild, experimenting to optimize fungal performance and material characteristics for various product applications, training and mentoring all staff members in the biology of the fungi, and maintaining a high vibrational energy for the manufacture of living Mushroom® Materials through the use of plant essential oils and Healing Touch Therapy.
Marbletown Community Center
3564 Main St, Stone Ridge, NY 12484