Paul Edward Stamets (born July 17, 1955)[3] is an American mycologist and entrepreneur who sells various mushroom products through his company. He is an author and advocate of medicinal fungi and mycoremediation.

Paul Stamets
Stamets holding Laricifomes officinalis in 2006
Stamets holding Laricifomes officinalis in 2006
Born (1955-07-17) July 17, 1955 (age 68)
Salem, Ohio, U.S.
EducationMercersburg Academy
Alma materThe Evergreen State College

Early and personal life


Stamets was born in Salem, Ohio.[4] He grew up in Columbiana, Ohio with an older brother, John, older brother, Bill, an older sister, Lilly, his twin brother North, and younger siblings.[5] He graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a bachelor's degree in 1979.[6] He worked as a logger.[6] As of 2013, Stamets was married to Carolyn "Dusty" Yao.[4] He has an honorary doctorate from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland.[7]

Mycological interest


Stamets credits his late brother, John, with stimulating his interest in mycology,[5] and studied mycology as an undergraduate student.[4] Having no academic training higher than a bachelor's degree, Stamets is largely self-taught in the field of mycology.[8][9]

Stamets received Bioneers Award from The Collective Heritage Institute in 1998 and the Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology from The North American Mycological Association in 2013.[10] He also received an Invention Ambassador (2014–2015) award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[11][12]


Stamets plays a significant part in the 2019 documentary film Fantastic Fungi, and edited the film’s official companion book, Fantastic Fungi: Expanding Consciousness, Alternative Healing, Environmental Impact [13]

The character Lieutenant Commander Paul Stamets on the CBS series Star Trek: Discovery was named after the real Stamets. The fictional version is an astromycologist and engineer aboard the USS Discovery, and is credited with discovering how to navigate a mycelial network in space using a "spore drive".[14]


  • Psilocybe Mushrooms & Their Allies (1978), Homestead Book Company, ISBN 978-0-930180-03-4
  • The Mushroom Cultivator: A Practical Guide to Growing Mushrooms at Home (1983), Paul Stamets and J. S. Chilton, Agarikon Press, ISBN 9780961079802
  • Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms (1993; 3rd edition: 2000), Ten Speed Press, ISBN 978-1-58008-175-7
  • Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World (1996), Ten Speed Press, ISBN 978-0-89815-839-7
  • Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (2005), Ten Speed Press, ISBN 978-1-58008-579-3)
  • Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness & Save the Planet (2019), Earth Aware Editions, ISBN 978-1-68383-704-6, 978-1683837046


  1. ^ Myers, Jim (May 26, 2015). "The fungus among us". The Tennessean. Retrieved July 19, 2015. Paul Stamets, widely regarded an expert in the fungal world...
  2. ^ Shea, Carolyn (2014). "Following the Mycelial Path to Discovery and Saving the World". Evergreen Magazine. Retrieved September 5, 2019. ... as an Evergreen student in the 1970s ... [he entered] into the study of mycology with faculty member Michael Beug ...
  3. ^ Stamets, Paul [@PaulStamets] (July 18, 2020). "Yesterday, I turned 65 years of age" (Tweet). Retrieved February 4, 2024 – via Twitter.
  4. ^ a b c Miller, Kenneth (May 31, 2013). "How Mushrooms Can Save the World". Discover. Archived from the original on November 15, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Upchurch, Michael (June 13, 2014). "Obituary: John Stamets, photographer of Seattle's ever-changing skyline". Seattle Times. Retrieved November 5, 2022. He inspired me on my path into the field of mycology, after his travels to Mexico and Colombia in pursuit of magic mushrooms
  6. ^ a b Isaacson, Andy (November 2009). "Return of the Fungi". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  7. ^ Gilmore, Molly (December 6, 2019). "Paul Stamets becomes fungi phenom with acclaimed documentary and Star Trek character". Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  8. ^ O'Hagan, Maureen (December 3, 2010). "Meet Washington's spirited mushroom man". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Trimarco, James (October 1, 2010). "Can Mushrooms Rescue the Gulf?". Yes!. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. 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.
  10. ^ "NAMA Awards". North American Mycological Association. Archived from the original on September 6, 2019. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
  11. ^ "Paul Stamets. Founder, Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense Organic Mushrooms". AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassadors. Archived from the original on February 8, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  12. ^ "Inaugural Class of Invention Ambassadors Highlights Need for Innovation". American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). July 18, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  13. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (October 10, 2019). "'Fantastic Fungi' Review: The Magic of Mushrooms". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  14. ^ "Star Trek's secret weapon: a scientist with a mushroom fetish bent on saving the planet". CBC Investigates. CBC. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  15. ^ International Plant Names Index.  Stamets.

Paul Stamets website