The Moore Theatre in Seattle, Washington, was filled with fervent Paul Stamets fans last Wednesday, March 29. Stamets is a renowned mycologist and mushroom expert, as well as the founder of Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense. A wide range of demographics, ranging from dreadlock-bearing 1960s-inspired youth to sophisticated scientists and field-workers, were in attendance, excited to hear Stamets speak.

As Dan Bernardo, PhD and Vice President of Washington State Univeristy, introduced Paul Stamets, there were waves of applause. “Possibly the thing you will be most excited about,” he said, “is that Paul Stamets is being honored by the Star Trek universe, as they introduce a new character, astromycologist Lt. Stamets.” The crowd burst into applause, standing ovation and all. Birth Movies Death reports on the subject: “Anthony Rapp, who built a career from originating the role of Mark Cohen in Rent, will play Discovery’s science officer and astromycologist Lt. Stamets, apparently named for real-life mycologist Paul Stamets. Based on his job title, Stamets studies space fungus, which has got to be the most specialised field yet explored in Star Trek.”

From his signature mushroom hat to his Agarikon travel companion, Paul Stamets is unmistakable. The mycologist focused on two major topics during his presentation: the power that mycelium has on the immune system of humans, animals, and plants, and the benefit that this immune support can provide to bees, particularly when considering their rapid population decline. Aside from his countless scholarly articles, FDA approved studies, and statistically significant research regarding mycelium’s immunity-strengthening properties in humans, Stamets has been focusing a majority of his time on how these properties can positively influence bee populations. The rapid decline in bee populations can be seen below:

These decreases can be attributed to the introduction of new farming practices, including parasites and pesticides. Stamets discovered that in nature, bees often spend time inside of cavities in the trunks of trees consuming fungi that grows within. In an apiary (where beekeepers house bees), bees are not able to consume fungi in the same way. Stamets provided research that strongly suggests that through consuming a mycelium-based nectar (which his team has developed), bees develop stronger immune systems, and are able to survive new farming practices for much longer and at substantially higher rates. Paul Stamets and his team are hoping to further this area of research, and ultimately halt the decrease in bee populations worldwide.

To read more about Paul Stamets and his work, visit

To see how Stamets’s research can benefit your own health, read about his mushroom supplement brand, Host Defense.

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