Paul Stamets
Paul Stamets with Agarikon.jpg
Paul Stamets holding Fomitopsis officinalis
Born 1955 (age 60–61)
Residence Shelton, Washington[1]
Nationality American
Fields Mycology
Institutions Fungi Perfecti
Host Defense
Education Mercersburg Academy
Alma mater The Evergreen State College
Known for Mushroom expert[2]
Notable awards Bioneers Award from The Collective Heritage Institute (1998)

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


Early lifeEdit

Stamets was born in Columbiana, Ohio a small town near Youngstown in Ohio, a town he describes as bible belt and ultra conservative, with an older brother John[4] and 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 Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a bachelor's degree in 1979. Training in the martial arts since a child, he received a black belt in Taekwon Do in 1979. In 1994, he received a black belt in HwaRang Do.[6] [7][8][9][10]

Paul Stamets credits his late brother John, a professional photographer and lecturer, with being his mycology influence. Paul 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]

Research and advocacyEdit

Stamets is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms (Begell House). He is an advisor to the Program for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He is active in researching mushrooms' medicinal properties,[11] and is involved in two National Institutes of Health-funded clinical studies on cancer and HIV treatments using mushrooms as adjunct therapies. He earned nine patents on the antiviral, pesticidal, and remedial properties of mushroom mycelia. His work has been called pioneering and visionary.[12] A strong advocate of preserving biodiversity, Stamets supports research into the role of mushrooms for ecological restoration.

Stamets discovered four new species of mushrooms. He is an advocate of the permaculture system of growing, and considers fungiculture a valuable but underutilized aspect of permaculture. He is a leading researcher into the use of mushrooms in bioremediation, processes he terms mycoremediation and mycofiltration.


Stamets was the recipient of the "Bioneers Award" from The Collective Heritage Institute in 1998,[13][14] 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. In February 2010, Paul 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.[15] He's also been featured in the eco-documentary films Dirt! The Movie[16] and 2012: Time for Change.[17]

In 2008, he delivered a TED talk: "Paul Stamets on 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World",[18] which has been well reviewed.

In October 2011, he delivered a TEDMED talk: "Is the world ready for a Medical Mushroom Mystery Tour?"[19]

On June 30, 2012, he received an honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) degree from the accredited National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, Oregon.[20]

In January 2014, he received an award for "Contributions to Amateur Mycology" from the North American Mycological Association.[21]

On June 10, 2014, Stamets was honored as an Invention Ambassador by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).[22]

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 preeminent 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.”[23]

Patents grantedEdit

US 8765138  on July 1, 2014: "Antiviral and antibacterial activity from medicinal mushrooms".[24]

US 8753656  on June 17, 2014: "Controlling zoonotic disease vectors from insects and arthropods using preconidial mycelium and extracts of preconidial mycelium from entomopathogenic fungi".

US 8501207  on August 6, 2013: “Mycoattractants and mycopesticides.”

US 7951389  on May 31, 2011.: "Mycoattractants & mycopesticides"

US 7575764  on August 18, 2009, with Weil, A., Chen: “Compositions comprising Hypsizygus ulmarius extract.”

US 7951388  on October 20, 2008: "Mycoattractants and mycopesticides"

US 7122176  on October 17, 2006: “Mycoattractants and mycopesticides.”

US 6660290  on December 9, 2003: “Mycopesticides.”


Popular CultureEdit

In season one, episode two, entitled "Amuse-Bouche", of the NBC television series Hannibal (TV series), the antagonist is named Edolon Stamets; his modus operandi—burying people alive and growing mushrooms with their bodies as a food source.


  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 as a guru in the fungal world... 
  3. ^ "KEXP 90.3 FM – Mind Over Matters". 
  4. ^ a b Bioneers Annual Conference 2014
  5. ^ a b Seattle Times article by Michael Unchurch, "Obituary: John Stamets, photographer of Seattle’s ever-changing skyline" June 13, 2014
  6. ^
  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. ^ "Smallpox Defense May Be Found in Mushrooms". August 3, 2006. 
  12. ^ "How mushrooms will save the world". 
  13. ^ "Bioneers 06: Paul E. Stamets". LinkTV. 2006. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ Linda Baker (November 25, 2002). "How mushrooms will save the world". Salon. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ Ideas and Experts: Paul Stamets
  16. ^ The Participants | Dirt! The Movie, February 23, 2013
  17. ^ "2012 Time for Change". 
  18. ^ Paul Stamets. "Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world - Talk Video -". 
  19. ^ Paul Stamets. "Is the world ready for a Medical Mushroom Mystery Tour? - Talk Video -". 
  20. ^ Press Release from NCNM mentioning Stamets' honorary degree
  21. ^ Awards page, NAMA
  22. ^ "Meet the Invention Ambassadors". 
  23. ^ The July 2015 issue of Inoculum, newsletter of the Mycological Society of America.
  24. ^ "Patent US8765138 – Antiviral and antibacterial activity from medicinal mushrooms". 
  25. ^ "Author Query for 'Stamets'". International Plant Names Index. 

External linksEdit

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