Ep. 97: Mushrooms of the Mountain Ranges & High Meadows of California (feat. Thea Chesney)

Thea Chesney is a lifelong Sierra Nevada foothill resident and naturalist. She has had an interest in mushrooms (and plants, and the rest of the natural world) since early childhood, which gradually became an obsession. She holds a B.S. in forestry from UC Berkeley, with an emphasis in botany and natural sciences. During her time at Berkeley, she spent plenty of time working and hanging out in the Berkeley mycology labs and continues to return to campus to provide specimens for and aid in teaching their mushroom ID course. She worked on a mushroom survey crew for the U.S. Forest Service around Mt. Shasta for several seasons, which allowed her to become intimately familiar with the fungal inhabitants and ecology of the area. Since then, she has continued with the Forest Service as a botanist for a long-term California-wide meadow monitoring project. She teaches occasional workshops in mushroom and plant identification, both for work and independently. She has also been involved with the California Rare Fungi Working Group since its inception. Her fieldwork and her own studies of plants and fungi are centered in the Sierra Nevada and other mountains of California, and she is currently working on a field guide to mushrooms of these understudied regions with Noah Siegel and Christian Schwarz.   


  • Mycology Lineage & Childhood Immersion in Nature  
  • Underexplored Mountain Ranges of California  
  • Diversity of Bioregions in Mountain Ranges  
  • Mycorrhizal Mushrooms & Tree Hosts  
  • Montane Water Cycles, Plant Ecology & Fungal Diversity  
  • High Meadows Ecosystems & Their Mushrooms  
  • California Rare Fungi Working Group  
  • The Future of Documenting Fungal Diversity  
  • Fire-Following Fungi  
  • Morel Habitat & Ecology in California  
  • Tips for Finding Morels  
  • Thea’s Lifelong Connection to the Sierras  
  • Klamath Mountains – The Most Biodiverse Pocket of California?!  
  • Future Work with Christian Schwarz & Noah Siegel  


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published