Paul Stamets

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Paul Stamets
Paul Stamets with Agarikon.jpg
Paul Stamets holding Fomitopsis officinalis
Born (1955-07-17) July 17, 1955 (age 63)
ResidenceShelton, Washington[1]
EducationMercersburg Academy
Alma materThe Evergreen State College
Known forMushroom expert[2]
AwardsBioneers Award from The Collective Heritage Institute (1998)
Scientific career
InstitutionsFungi Perfecti
Host Defense

Paul Edward Stamets (born July 17, 1955) is an American mycologist, author and advocate of bioremediation and medicinal fungi.[3]

Early life[edit]

Stamets was born in Columbiana, Ohio, a small, rural town he describes as ultra conservative, and grew up there with an older brother, John,[4] and younger siblings Bill, Lilly, and North.[5] He attended Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania from 1969 to 1973, Kenyon College in 1974 when he was 19,[4] and graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a bachelor's degree in 1979. Having trained in the martial arts since a child, he received a black belt in Taekwondo in 1979. In 1994, he received a black belt in Hwa Rang Do.[6][7][8][9][10]

Stamets credits his late brother John, a professional photographer and lecturer, with being his mycology influence. He states, "He inspired me on my path into the field of mycology, after his travels to Mexico and Colombia in pursuit of magic mushrooms" in the 1970s.[5]

Stamets is currently married to C. Dusty Yao and has two children from a previous marriage: Az and LaDena Stamets.

Research and advocacy[edit]

Stamets was on the editorial board of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms (Begell House).[citation needed] He is an advisor to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.[citation needed] He is involved in two National Institutes of Health-funded clinical studies on cancer and HIV treatments using mushrooms as adjunct therapies.[citation needed] He registered nine patents, mainly dealing with the pesticidal properties of mushroom mycelia. An advocate of preserving biodiversity, Stamets supports research into the role of mushrooms for ecological restoration.[citation needed]

Stamets is an advocate of the permaculture system of growing, and considers fungiculture a valuable but underutilized aspect of permaculture. He is interested in the use of mushrooms in bioremediation, a process he terms mycoremediation.[citation needed]

Registered patents[edit]

  • U.S. Patent # 9,931,316. "Antiviral activity from medicinal mushrooms and their active constituents". April, 2018
  • U.S. Patent # 9,474,776. "Integrative Fungal Solutions for Protecting Bees". October, 2016.
  • U.S. Patent # 9,399,050. "Controlling insects and arthropods using preconidial mycelium and extracts of preconidial mycelium from entomopathogenic fungi" July, 2016.
  • U.S. Patent # 8,753,656. "Compositions for controlling disease vectors from insects and arthropods using preconidial mycelium and extracts of preconidial mycelium from entomopathogenic fungi." June, 2014.
  • U.S. Patent # 8,765,138. "Antiviral and antibacterial activity from medicinal mushrooms." 2014
  • U.S. Patent # 8,501,207. "Mycoattractants and mycopesticides." 2013
  • U.S. Patent # 7,951,389. "Mycoattractants and mycopesticides." 2011
  • U.S. Patent # 7,951,388. "Mycoattractants and mycopesticides." 2011
  • U.S. Patent # 7,575,764. "Compositions comprising Hypsizygus ulmarius extract." (with A. Weil and C. Chen) 2009.
  • Australian Patent # 2001296679. "Mycoattractants and mycopesticides." (ceased) 2008
  • U.S. Patent # 7,122,176. "Mycoattractants and mycopesticides." 2006
  • U.S. Patent # 6,660,290. "Mycopesticides." 2006


Stamets was the recipient of the Bioneers Award from The Collective Heritage Institute in 1998,[11][12] as well as the Founder of a New Northwest Award from the Pacific Rim Association of Resource Conservation and Development Councils in 1999. He was named one of Utne Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" in their November–December 2008 issue.[13] In February 2010, Stamets received the President's Award from the Society for Ecological Restoration: Northwest Chapter, in recognition of his contributions to Ecological Restoration. His work was featured in the documentary film The 11th Hour.[14] He was also featured in the eco-documentary films Dirt! The Movie[15] and 2012: Time for Change.[16]

In 2008, he delivered a TED talk: "Paul Stamets on 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World".[17]

In October 2011, he delivered a TEDMED talk: "Is the world ready for a Medical Mushroom Mystery Tour?"[18]

On June 30, 2012, he received an honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) degree from the National College of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon.[19]

In January 2014, he received an award for "Contributions to Amateur Mycology" from the North American Mycological Association.[20]

On June 10, 2014, Stamets was honored as an Invention Ambassador by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[21]

On July 15, 2015, Stamets became the first-ever recipient of the Mycological Society of America's Gordon and Tina Wasson Award. Named after the late ethnomycologists, the award is intended "to recognize people with non-traditional academic backgrounds who have made outstanding contributions to the field of mycology, or who have widely transmitted significant scientific or aesthetic knowledge about fungi to the general public."[22]

On September 24, 2017, the CBS Network aired Star Trek: Discovery. Stamets has a character named after him on the show, Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets, Chief Engineer of the USS Discovery. On this show, Stamets is portrayed as an astromycologist, and is credited with discovering a mycelial network that powers an advanced spore drive. The spore drive uses a mycelial network that is being cultivated on board of the USS Discovery to plot coordinates between two locations in space and then to promptly travel there.[23][better source needed]


  • Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (2005, ISBN 1-58008-579-2)
  • MycoMedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushroomswith C. Dusty Yao (1999, ISBN 0-9637971-9-0)
  • Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World (1996, ISBN 0-89815-839-7)
  • Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (1996, ISBN 1-58008-175-4)
  • Mushroom Cultivator, The (1983, ISBN 0-9610798-0-0)
  • Psilocybe Mushrooms & Their Allies (1978), Homestead Book Company, ISBN 0-930180-03-8


  1. ^ Maureen O'Hagan (December 3, 2010). "Meet Washington's spirited mushroom man". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  2. ^ Jim Myers (May 26, 2015). "The fungus among us". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 19, 2015. Paul Stamets, widely regarded an expert in the fungal world...
  3. ^ "KEXP 90.3 FM – Mind Over Matters".
  4. ^ a b MushrooMetropolis (February 11, 2015). "Life changing magic mushroom (psilocybin) experience - Paul Stamets" – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b Seattle Times article by Michael Unchurch, "Obituary: John Stamets, photographer of Seattle’s ever-changing skyline" June 13, 2014
  6. ^ "Mushrooms, the Hwarang & the Martial Arts -".
  7. ^ Andy Isaacson (2009). "Return of the Fungi". Mother Jones. Retrieved July 19, 2015. He eventually graduated from Olympia's Evergreen State College...
  8. ^ James Trimarco (October 1, 2010). "Can Mushrooms Rescue the Gulf?". Yes!. Retrieved July 19, 2015. He began his career in the forest as a logger, not as a scientist, and holds no degree higher than a bachelor’s from the Evergreen State College.
  9. ^ Dan Heim (October 17, 2013). "What is White Infrastructure?". Municipal Sewer & Water Magazine. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "About Paul Stamets". Paul Stamets, Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  11. ^ "Bioneers 06: Paul E. Stamets". Link TV. 2006. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  12. ^ Linda Baker (November 25, 2002). "How mushrooms will save the world". Salon. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "Utne Reader: 50 visionaries who are changing your world (2008)". Utne Reader. 2008. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  14. ^ " Ideas and Experts: Paul Stamets".
  15. ^ The Participants | Dirt! The Movie, February 23, 2013
  16. ^ "2012 Time for Change".
  17. ^ Paul Stamets. "Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world - Talk Video -".
  18. ^ Paul Stamets. "Is the world ready for a Medical Mushroom Mystery Tour? - Talk Video -".
  19. ^ "Press Release from NCNM mentioning Stamets' honorary degree".
  20. ^ "Awards - North American Mycological Association".
  21. ^ "Meet the Invention Ambassadors".
  22. ^ The July 2015 issue of Inoculum, newsletter of the Mycological Society of America.
  23. ^ Star Trek: Discovery
  24. ^ IPNI.  Stamets.

See also[edit]

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