October 2019 Club Meeting
The club is pleased to host Dr. Alison Pouliot presenting a talk entitled "Between Sex & Death – A Foray in Fungal Realms". Alison will be selling and signing copies of her book, The Allure of Fungi at the meeting.
Alison Pouliot is an ecologist and environmental photographer and honorary fellow at the Australian National University. She is especially interested in the ‘unregarded others’ and has a particular penchant for the fungal and the spineless. Alison moves between northern and southern hemispheres to have two autumns each year, guaranteeing a double dose of fungi. Her recent book, The Allure of Fungi, documents a forgotten corner of the natural world that is both beguiling and fundamental to life. Learn more about her work on her website www.alisonpouliot.com.
Between Sex and Death – A Foray in Fungal Realms
The scent of the prized Périgord truffle is somewhere 'between sex and death', according to one insightful forager. Throughout history, fungi have confounded with their dubious connotations, strange appearances and peculiar habitats. Across continents and languages, humans are sharply divided in their regard for fungi, with some cultures revering them and others subjecting them to the wrath of a reckless kick across the field.
Yet without fungi, life as we know it would be radically different. Fungi regulate the biosphere and support the earth’s ecological functioning. They provide us with food, wine and medicine. However, in the English-speaking world, the exceptionally few mushrooms with the capacity to dismantle human organs have received disproportionate attention. Centuries of mythologies and misunderstanding take time to unravel and redress.
This seminar delves deep into fungal realms, showcasing the aesthetics of these perplexing yet enchanting organisms, and explores some of their natural and cultural curiosities. Alison will include some excerpts from her recent book The Allure of Fungi in which she interacted with fungi and their followers across a dozen countries.