Meet Our Speakers
Curtis J. Hansen is the Curator of Plants in the John D. Freeman Herbarium at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Over the past 22 years, he has focused his research on herbarium management, lichens of Alabama, vascular plant floristics, and outreach education about the natural world. He earned a Bachelors degree in Biology from the University of Utah and holds Masters degrees in Botany from Brigham Young University and Biological Sciences from Auburn University. In recent collaboration with the Alabama Mushroom Society, the Freeman Herbarium has begun an exciting and important project to further document and preserve the rich fungal diversity of Alabama. Mr. Hansen is a member of the Society of Herbarium Curators, American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Botanical Society of America, Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance, and National Academy of Inventors.
Curtis J. Hansen
Jay Justice became enthralled with mushrooms and fungi while pursuing a graduate degree many years ago. After completing his graduate degree, Jay joined the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) in 1980. In 1982, he was instrumental in forming the Arkansas Mycological Society and participated in his first NAMA foray in 1985. He has been a prominent member of NAMA, and a well-known mycologist in the decade since.
Alan E. Bessette, Ph.D., is a professional mycologist and distinguished emeritus professor of biology at Utica College of Syracuse University. A member of the North American Mycological Society, the Asheville Mushroom Club and the Gulf States Mycological Society, he has published numerous papers in the field of mycology and has authored or coauthored more than twenty-five books, including: Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America, Mushrooms of the Southeastern United States, and A Field Guide to the Mushrooms of the Carolinas, and Mushrooms of the Gulf Coast States. His latest book is Polypores and Similar Fungi of Eastern and Central North America. Alan served both as a consultant for the New York State Poison Control Center and as the scientific adviser to the Mid-York Mycological Society for more than twenty years. He has been the principal mycologist at national and regional forays and was the recipient of the 1987 Mycological Foray Service Award and of the 1992 North American Mycological Association Award for Contributions to Amateur Mycology.