MSSF Meetings

On the third Tuesday of each month from September thru May, the Mycological Society of San Francisco has a General Meeting at the Randall Museum.
The highlight of each meeting is a speaker with slides on some aspect of mycology and mushrooming: ecology, taxonomy, mycophagy, sociology, etc. Before each meeting members bring collections which are put on display and identified. Refreshments are served before the meeting.

  • Doors open and identification starts at 7 pm.
  • Announcements begin at 8 pm, followed by the presentation. (The December meeting is replaced by a dinner at a different location.)
  • Note: All regular General Meetings are open to the public. Some meetings have reserved seating or may have an admission fee for non-members.

Next Meeting

  • March 17, 2020
  • The Mycological Society of San Francisco is pleased to host Bob Cummings

Dedicated to Decay: How Wood-Decay Fungi Unravel the Fabric of Life


Bob Cummings The bulk of biomass on Earth is plant material. Plant cell walls are composed in large part of cellulose and hemicellulose, making them the most abundant carbohydrates on Earth. In the process of decomposition, wood-decay fungi such as Laetiporus, Pleurotus and others, produce cellulolytic enzymes capable of breaking down these carbohydrates to simple sugars for metabolism. Cellulose and hemicellulose in wood cell walls are accompanied by lignin, a more chemically complex, polyphenolic compound. It adds rigidity and strength to the wall, and also serves to protect the carbohydrates from attack by cellulolytic enzymes. Wood-decay fungi have evolved lignolytic enzymes and a variety of other complex yet elegant methods to oxidize, demethylate and/or depolymerize lignin, giving them access to their carbohydrate food source.

Bob Cummings is Professor Emeritus of Biology at Santa Barbara City College. He taught courses in Botany for over 40 years, and retired from the classroom in 2012. He continues to develop and offer an online course in Plant Diversity.

Bob’s doctoral research at UC Santa Barbara in the mid-1970s involved tracking chemical changes in plasmodial slime mold cell surfaces during developmental stages of the life cycle. He also found time away from the lab bench for frequent mushroom forays and photography, passions he pursues to this day. He has been leading forays, collecting, photographing, and eating wild mushrooms since the 1960s. He fields calls from physicians and veterinarians and has worked for many years with local hospitals and clinics treating mushroom poisonings. He also serves on the North American Mycological Association Toxicology Committee. He is a frequent speaker and foray leader for such groups as the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Santa Barbara City College, Slow Food of Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Mycological Society and others. Bob is also a wine maker, producing 150 gallons of Merlot per year from central coast grapes. He lives in Montecito with his wife Lynne, a retired elementary school teacher (and bird-watcher), and daughter Carly, who is a student of classical voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.


2020 Meetings

    Parasol mushroom
  • No meeting in December
    Fungus Fair on Sunday, December 6, 2020
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2020
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2020
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2020
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020
  • Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2020
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020

2019 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
    Fungus Fair on Sunday, December 8, 2019
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2019
  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019

2018 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2018
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2018
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2018
  • Tuesday, April 17, 2018
  • Tuesday, March 20, 2018
  • Tuesday, February 20, 2018
  • Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2017 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
  • Tuesday, November 21, 2017
  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2017
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017
  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2017
  • Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2016
  • Tuesday, September 20, 2016
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 17, 2016
  • Tuesday, April 19, 2016
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016
  • Tuesday, February 16, 2016
  • Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2015 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2015
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015
  • Tuesday, September 15, 2015 2015 video
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2015
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2015
  • Tuesday, March 17, 2015
  • Tuesday, February 17, 2015
  • Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2014
  • Tuesday, October 21, 2014
  • Tuesday, September 16, 2014 video
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 20, 2014
  • Tuesday, April 15, 2014 video
  • Tuesday, March 18, 2014 video
  • Tuesday, February 18, 2014 video
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2014 video

2013 Meetings

  • No meeting in December
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2013 video
  • Tuesday, October 15, 2013 video
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Talk & Slides
  • No meetings June-August
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2013 video
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2013 video 1 video 2
  • Tuesday, March 19, 2013 video
  • Tuesday, February 19, 2013
  • Tuesday, January 15, 2013