Michael Beug completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Washington in 1971. After one year teaching at Harvey Mudd College, he spent 32 years at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where he taught chemistry, mycology and organic farming.
Michael started mushrooming in 1969 and began photographing fungi in 1973. His photographs now have appeared in well over 80 books and articles on mushrooms. In 1975, he joined the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) and the Pacific Northwest Key Council, a group dedicated to writing macroscopic keys for the identification of fungi. His specialties are the Ascomycota
, the genus Ramaria
, and all toxic and hallucinogenic mushrooms. He is researching oak-associated fungi of the Columbia River Gorge, especially Cortinarius
species. He has discovered more than 50 new mushroom species from a dozen genera. His hobbies are organic farming and winemaking.
In NAMA, he serves on the Education Committee, is chair of the Toxicology Committee, past chair of the Editorial Committee, and past editor of the Journal McIlvainea
. He won the 2006 NAMA Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology. He regularly writes about mushrooms in Fungi Magazine
, The Mycophile
, and Mushroom: The Journal of Wild Mushrooming
. Michael has prepared over two dozen PowerPoint presentations about mushrooms (available through NAMA as a two DVD set).
With coauthors Alan and Arleen Bessette, he wrote Ascomycete Fungi of North America: A Mushroom Reference Guide
, University of Texas Press, 2014. He is a coauthor of MatchMaker
(now renamed MycoMatch
), a free downloadable mushroom identification program for Pacific Northwest fungi covering 4,300 taxa with over 6,000 images of over 2,400 taxa (www.mycomatch.com
). He has just published Mushrooms of Cascadia: An Illustrated Key
, Fungi Press 2021, designed as a field companion to MycoMatch (or traditional field guides). The illustrated key makes identification much easier and faster; and allows for more species to be covered in a small book of just 314 pages.
- Contains over 900 illustrated species
- Over 1000 color photographs
- Covers coastal Alaska to central California, inland to Idaho, with an emphasis on the mushrooms of Cascadia
- Weighs 1 pound 3 ounces and at 5.5" x 8.5" easily slips into any backpack!
For each species the combination of pictures, keys and comments will provide the critical features needed for identification, plus the range, fruiting time, habitat and edibility. Updates to the book and ordering information are at www.mushroomsofcascadia.com