Paul Stamets is an ambitious researcher with lots of fieldwork on his name. In the damp old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, it is difficult to find a log that has not been lifted by the mycologist to see if there is an undiscovered mycelium network hiding underneath. He started this kind of research in the late 70’s and since then he has identified over 250 species, collected them and stored in genetic files.
Stamets is most of all interested in the medical effects of the mushrooms and their unrecognized biological restoration techniques that could solve many environmental problems. He believes in a deeper ecological connection in which mushrooms play an important role. Stamets is currently occupied with the experimental techniques that he refers to as ‘mycorerecovery’ and ‘mycoremediation’ and whereby mushrooms are being cultivated that can clean up toxic-waste dumps, improve the health of humans and animals and demolish chemical weapons. Stamets’ saying ‘mushrooms will save the world’ is a much used quote.
He is also the owner of the company Fungi Perfecti, where edible as well as medicinal mushrooms are grown in the North American state Washington. On the website of this company growkits, spawnbags and many other ‘tools’ are sold to simplify the life of a practising fungi-fan as much as possible.
Stamets wrote six books about mushrooms under which ‘Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World’ and ‘The Mushroom Cultivator’, better known amongst mushroomlovers as ‘the mushroombible’ written by ‘the mushroomprophet’. His latest book is titled ‘Mycelium running: How mushrooms can save the world’.