More Than Mushrooms

The Fungus Among Us

Podcast Guest: Dr. Greg Mueller

Fungi are so much more than JUST mushrooms. Dr. Greg Mueller, former Chief Scientist at the Chicago Botanic Garden and current Chair of the IUCN SSC Fungal Conservation Committee, has a lot to say about the “fungus among us.” And, spoiler, he’s a FUN GUY!

In this episode of the Protect Species Podcast, we explore a world beyond pizza toppings. Fungi play a critical role as nature’s decomposers. From mycelium bricks to synthetic fungal leather, and even their role in cleaning up environmental disasters through bioremediation, fungi are the unsung heroes of the natural world!

Dr. Mueller brings to light the significant conservation challenges fungi face, largely due to habitat loss and climate change. We discuss the intricacies of fungi/plant relationships and how they are crucial for reforestation success, emphasizing the need for a holistic approach to conservation that integrates soil health and forest ecosystems. This episode also unpacks the fascinating process of nutrient and signal exchange between plants and fungi, dispelling myths and highlighting scientific realities.

We think you’ll agree that Dr. Mueller is a passionate fungi expert, who shares his enthusiasm and insights, leaving us with a playful yet profound appreciation of the fungal kingdom.

Additional links:
Chicago Botanic Garden
IUCN SSC Fungal Conservation Committee
The Fungus Among Us – Protect Species Blog

Protect Species Podcast

This podcast is a production of the Global Center for Species Survival, which is a partnership between the Indianapolis Zoo and the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC). We record all episodes at the Indianapolis Zoo in the Bedel Financial Media Studio, made possible by a generous gift from Elaine and Eric Bedel.