my *Mushrooms* license plateUW-La Crosse
Tom Volk's Fungi
Department of Biology
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

I found this big mushroom in VermontClick here for more fun things to do with giant puffballsGreetings from Wisconsin!! I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where I teach courses on General Mycology, Medical Mycology, Plant-Microbe Interactions, Latin and Greek for Scientists, as well as parts of Plant Biology. La Crosse is located in western Wisconsin on the Mississippi River in the beautiful driftless (unglaciated) area, between the river and spectacular 500-600 ft. bluffs. Here at La Crosse I am currently supervising four graduate students in Mycology right now (Sean Westmoreland from Appalachian State University in North Carolina, Nik Zitomer from Penn State University, Josh Burgess from UW- La Crosse, and Shai White from Ohio Wesleyan University via UW- La Crosse, and I'd love to hear from you if you're interested in a Master's degree (M.S.) with an emphasis on fungi, especially basidiomycetes. I am likely to have some grant money to support another student. Our department is likely to have some graduate (teaching) assistantships available if you qualify. We also have great M.S. programs in Microbiology, Clinical Microbiology, Aquatic Sciences, Environmental Sciences, and several more. I'm Director of Graduate Studies for our department now, so write me at if you would like more information. We also have some wonderful undergraduate programs, with small class sizes and with *real* Professors, not Teaching Assistants, teaching almost all of the lectures and labs. We place a high emphasis on undergraduate research here. I currently have four undergraduate students working in my lab.

NEW!! We need your help! My student Sean Westmoreland, needs fresh specimens of Hydnellum (not Hydnum, Phellodon, or Sarcodon) for his research. If you are willing to help, contact Sean at

Be sure to check out the newly updated Fungi that are necessary for a merry Christmas and Fungal Diseases that must be overcome to have a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

relatively NEW!! I've got my own domain! You can now get to this page using my new domain name          That will bring you directly to this page. Be sure to tell all your friends! :-)

Click here to jump to listings of the Fungus of the Month, or just scroll down a bit to see all the other interesting things on this page.

The Minnesota Mycological Society held the 2001 NAMA foray, July 5-8, 2001 at St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, about 70 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. I was the chief Mycologist, and I also presented a very successful 2-day workshop on polypore identification after the foray. The NAMA foray is a great place to learn many species of fungi in a short amount of time. Even though it had been dry, we collected more than 215 species of fungi! Click here for a list of species put together by Foray recorder Pat Leacock. Many other guest mycologists were also there to lend their expertise. Hope to see you at the next one!

I presented a short course called "Catching up on mycology: What modern plant scientists should know about fungi" before the Mycological Society of America/ American Phytopathological Society/ Society of Nematologists annual meeting in Salt Lake City August 24. You can read about this one-day 9am-4:30pm course here. There were 120 students in the course from 35 states of the USA, 3 Canadian provinces, Argentina, and South Korea.

I'm proud to announce that my first graduate student, Marsha Harbin, won one of four graduate student research prizes for her poster presentation at the International Botanical Congress/ Mycological Society of America meeting in St. Louis, August 1999. Her poster, co-authored with me, was entitled "The relationship of Morchella (morels) with plant roots." Marsha was also presented with the "2000 Outstanding Thesis Award for the Department of Biology and the College of Science and Allied Health at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse." Congratulations to Marsha! She finished her M.S. degree in December 1999.

During the month of December 2001 this page received its 358,000th hit since going online in November of 1995. Over 138,000 of those hits have come in the past year. Note that I only count hits to this main page; there have been thousands more to my other sub-pages. For example, all my pages combined received more than 380,000 hits in the past year. Many thanks to all of you from all over the world who have taken a few minutes to write and say hello or to send your compliments or criticism in the past 6 years that this page has been online. If you write, please let me know from what city and country you're writing from, or what state if you're in the USA. I've got a map on my wall with pins in the countries and states where my pages have been read! So I'd especially like to hear from you if you're reading this from outside the USA. [This site doesn't track anyone, and I don't have a mailing list of any sort-- I have enough problems answering the emails I get already. I also lost several weeks of email because of something stupid my computer did in upgrading my email program. I apologize if I haven't gotten to your email yet. ] With an email I received from Bonnie Bratina from Antarctica, I have now received email from *all seven* continents where my web page has been viewed. Thanks Bonnie!

Special greetings to new visitors from a story and link (plus a picture of me with lots of morels!) in Sports Afield magazine, the March 2001 issue. You're probably interested in these links: The morel was fungus of the month and there's also a page about the morel life cycle. Of course you should feel free to browse the pages below as well. There's plenty of fungi worth hunting! With this article, maybe we should start considering mushroom hunting as a sport? I guess I always have. There's the thrill of the chase, finding things to eat or to look at. Theoretically, mushrooms should be easier to find than animals because they don't move. -- but they also have *much* better camouflage and they don't make any noises to tell you where they are either. Maybe things are about equal...

My website has received many honors and awards, but the one I am proudest of is from Science Magazine. My site was presented with a "Cool Images Site" Award in the February 5, 1999 issue. Thanks to the American Association for the Advancement of Science for the honor. I have also recently been listed in Natural Selection, a gateway to quality evaluated Internet resources in the natural world, coordinated by The Natural History Museum, London. Natural Selection is part of BIOME, an integrated collection of Internet gateways covering the health and life sciences. I hope new visitors will find these pages interesting-- I try to have something for everyone here.

This page was last updated on January 3, 2002 and contains: