Dr. Michael Castellano


Dr. Castellano was born in Brooklyn and grew up in the Los Angeles area and on Long Island.  He received an A.A.S. in Forestry from Paul Smith's College, a B.S. in Forest Management from Oregon State University, an M.S. in Tree Physiology from OSU, and a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from OSU.

He began his professional career in 1979 as a technician with the research office of Weyerhaeuser Co. in Columbus, Mississippi.  He then began working for the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station in 1980.  His current position is of Research Forester assigned to the USDA's Northern Research Station but is still stationed in Corvallis, Oregon, and is also a courtesy Professor of Forest Science at OSU.  

He's done extensive research on the aspects of ectomycorrhizae in forest ecosystems.  For the last 20 years, his research has focused on increasing our understanding of the natural history and identification of fleshy macro-fungi (particularly truffles)  in forested ecosystems.  This directly relates to how ecosystems can be maintained and restored and involves aspects of the ecology, biology and functional diversity of forest fungi.  His current main interests and areas of expertise include the biodiversity of macrofungi (particularly truffle species) in forests, and managing rare, sensitive and endemic macrofungi.

Read our full interview with Mike for more insights into his research here: A Visit to the Kingdom of Truffles

Dr. Castellano will be giving a paired lecture and field workshop called "What are Truffles and How do I Find Them?" at the SCMF Wild Mushroom Foray.