Michael Weese


Michael Weese, entrepreneur and founder of MushroomLife, is a self-taught mycologist and fungal enthusiast in the Mid-Atlantic. His life’s work involves being a teacher, guide, wild food purveyor, product developer, consultant, mushroom cultivator, photographer, permaculturist, ecologist, environmental steward, conservationist and friend to nearly all he meets.

Michael’s influence spans the globe, as he inspires folks to both forage in the wild, and cultivate their own mushrooms at home. Through sharing his knowledge and experience online, in the classroom, and in the field, Michael inspires others to explore their worlds with wonder and a sense of curiosity that is never too thirsty. Creator of some of the most popular fungal cultures ever cloned and circulated, Michael has a special talent for developing champion genetics from wild-harvested specimens.

Michael manages six online forums with the intentions of spreading fungal awareness and enthusiasm, promoting a fair mushroom market, and decreasing apathy toward nature through the constant demonstration of fungal beauty and diversity. It is because of his artistic eye that Michael’s photography has been published in “The Journal of Wild Mushrooming,” and used by his mentors and peers in their teachings across the planet.

Always striving to take the arts, interests, and passions of his chosen field to the next level, Michael is confident our relationship with the hyphae is the way forward.

Mandie Quark


Mandie walked barefoot in 2007 to receive her Bachelor’s in Chemistry from a small eclectic Honors College situated on a historic Maryland river. She spent the first part of her career studying molecular biology in academia, with a healthy fascination of mycology on the side. For more than a decade Mandie worked as a biomedical research scientist at a Top-100 Hospital in Philadelphia. There, while earning her Masters in Biochemistry from the University of the Sciences, Mandie preformed high throughput screening in a chemical genomics laboratory. Although she was the leader of several drug discovery campaigns, no fruitful advancements were made and she became disenchanted. What her medical research career lacked in momentum was the inclusion of natural products, her true interest.

Although she has always believed in the power of pharmacognosy, with a hint of melancholy Mandie made the decision to hang up her academic lab coat in 2018 to purse an alternative career path. In her spare time Mandie enjoys taking pictures of mushrooms and explaining the mysteries and complexities of science to the general public. Her series of classes, “Chemistry for Mycologists” and “Molecular Biology for Mycologists” were well received by the myco-community. In the future she hopes to do more photography and offer more classes on advanced scientific topics for fellow mycologists.