Ep. 113: Mushrooms of the Rocky Mountains and Arctic Alpine Biome (feat. Dr. Cathy Cripps)

Today on Mushroom Hour we have the honor of being joined by Dr. Cathy Cripps. Dr Cripps is a mycologist and professor at Montana State University where she teaches and does research on fungi. She earned her BS from the University of Michigan and PhD from Virginia Tech with Dr. Orson Miller. Her research on mushrooms that survive in Arctic and alpine habitats has taken her to Iceland, Svalbard, Norway, Greenland, the Austrian Alps, and Finland. She is co-author of “The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat”, and “Fungi in Forest Ecosystems”, and has authored numerous scientific papers. She is also involved with using mycorrhizal fungi in the restoration of whitebark pine. With over 40 years of experience collecting mushrooms, first as an amateur when she lived in a cabin in Colorado and later as a professional leading forays and teaching field classes in Montana, her love and enthusiasm for the Rocky Mountains and its fungal creatures runs deep.   


  • Interest in Organisms from the Benthic Deep to the Mountaintops  
  • Falling in Love with the Colorado Mountains  
  • Coming out of the Mountains to Pursue a Graduate Degree  
  • Foundations of the Telluride Mushroom Festival  
  • Distinguishing Montagne, Alpine and Subalpine Ecosystems  
  • Alpine Mushrooms and 1 Inch Dwarf Willows  
  • Subalpine Aspen Forests  
  • Montagne Conifer Forests  
  • Role of Soil pH and Tree Age in Fungal Community Composition  
  • Mycorrhizal Fungi as Key to Resiliency of White Bark Pine Forests  
  • Biogeography of Arctic Alpine Fungi   
  • Native and Endemic Fungi of Mountain Biomes  
  • Writing “The Essential Guide to Rocky Mountain Mushrooms by Habitat”  
  • Future of Research on Mycorrhizal Fungi  


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