The talk will explore the wild mushrooms that fruit in Poland and in North Carolina, their ecological roles, their culinary value, and their taxonomy. Do the same mushrooms occur in both places?
Van Cotter's passionate interest in fungi began when he was assistant manager on a fruit tree farm in Michigan watching beautiful cherries succumb to fungal brown rot. For his graduate degrees he studied beech bark disease in New England and then boletes (friends of the forest) in the Himalaya. His career in the Crop Protection Industry was focused on finding new chemicals to control fungal diseases, nematodes and insects. In retirement he has been volunteering teaching and working mycological research projects at local Universities and in Farmer-to-Farmer assignments around the world in mushroom cultivation, crop protection and management of mycorrhizae in forest nurseries.