This is our team, a diverse group of people spanning the globe, all connected by a passion for Fungi.
Hover the map to see where our members are based
Giuliana Furci is the Founding Director of the Fungi Foundation. She is a Harvard University Associate, Dame of the Order of the Star of Italy, Co-Chair of the IUCN Fungal Conservation Committee, and author of several titles including a series of field guides to Chilean fungi and co-author of titles such as the 1st State of the World’s Fungi (Kew, 2018). Giuliana has held consulting positions in U.S. philanthropic foundations as well as full-time positions in international and Chilean marine conservation non-profits. She sits on the Board of Fundación Acción Fauna, and on the Advisory Board of Myco-Medica Life Sciences and of the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN).
Daniela's passion in the fungi kingdom began at the Universidad de Concepción, where she studied biotechnology and eventually specialized in the research of mycorrhizal fungi. Prior to becoming the organization's Program Lead, Daniela joined the Fungi Foundation as a volunteer in 2017 and acted as its CEO for three years. One of her first tasks was to create a plan for the sustainable collection of a species in danger of extinction, the Butyriboletus loyo. Today, she continues to be particularly driven by mycological expeditions and the development of activities at the intersection of colleges and fungal education of kids and teens. Daniela believes that there are unique moments in life - when one is at the right place, at the right time - and that these moments should be seized. She regards finding the Fungi Foundation and becoming part of it as one of those moments.
Alejandra is a journalist, nature lover and curious by nature. She has been a freelance reporter for newspapers and magazines, as well as content creator and multimedia producer in organizations dedicated to conservation and environmental education.
Diana was a devoted educator that has always had a passion for environmental conservation and more recently has become a "fungi fanatic". She was a teacher for over 15 years, where she developed curriculum and taught virtual and in-class educational programs. As Diana learned more about the importance of fantastic fungi in our environment, she was inspired to find a way to help the phenomenal funga awareness spread and grow. She was thrilled to join the Fungi Foundation team as the Education Lead and is helping to build a free mycological school curriculum to educate students all over the world about the true wonders of fungi!
Antonio’s passion for Fungi started with cultivation and then expanded to other areas of mycology: identification, art, ethnomycology, culinary uses, etc. He was made aware of Giuliana and the Fungi Foundation through Instagram, and since then he has been an admirer of our organization and its mission. Antonio also collaborates with other organizations such as MAPS Canada and Mapping the Mind.
Cristian, motivated by his first encounters with fungi, decided to study Engineering in Renewable Natural Resources. From the age of 13 he’s practiced Hankido, where he met and became friends with Furci. He eventually began working with her distributing our Field Guides dedicated to mushrooms in Chile. Cristian was one of the first foundation’s members, which he joined in 2013 and currently works for full time. As a lover of beer and specialty coffee he has routine encounters with the Fungi Queendom through the yeast. He enjoys playing sports and spending time in nature where he often keeps an eye to the ground in hope of spotting mushrooms.
Amanda Herrera joined the team of talented individuals advancing funga on the world stage as our Executive Assistant. Integrating her yogic practices for wellbeing on every level, Amanda has made a career using her analytical skills together with a mindfulness approach across a wide swath of industries. Her passion for working with clients and mission-driven organizations has helped her identify links between our experiences and capabilities to the opportunities that generate healthful, inspiring work with more enriching, impactful success. Amanda believes that education on the Fungi Kingdom and its unique benefits will have the incredible ability to balance the body and mind while symbiotically healing our environments and ecosystems.
Marios is a lover of all things nature and technology (and the intersection between the two). His fondness for nature began with foraging for chestnuts and oregano in the mountainous heartlands of Greece with his grandmother. He was infected with a passion for fungi at an early age, during his walks to school. During his mechanical engineering degree, he maintained his interest in all things fungi- through physical applications, creative and digital media, and cultivation. Marios wanted to apply his tech skills to spread the mycelial message of fungi and the need to conserve them, and so found the Fungi Foundation to be his calling.
Alina is a multi-passionate food futurist, strategist and connector invested in harnessing the powers of sustainable technologies, regenerative agriculture, and nutrition science to build a healthy, thriving future for all beings. After receiving her nutrition sciences and dietetics education at Cornell University and her license as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), she worked to reimagine food systems for human and planetary health. For the last six years, she has been leading marketing and product strategy at award-winning vertical farming company AeroFarms, responsible for brand marketing, product development, and nutrition strategy. Alina also serves as a board member for the international FarmTech Society, driving the controlled environment agriculture industry globally. Alina also works with cutting edge food, agtech and sustainability-focused organizations committed to a vision for a better world as a strategic advisor, connector and consultant. Check out her urban agriculture podcast Seeds and the City, and connect with her at AlinaZ.co.
Lives in Argentina, he is a mycologist and is the co-curator of the FFCL Fungarium. Although the value of a fungarium is mainly Biological, Francisco also enjoys the historical and artistic importance of the materials, since each sample presents a certain calligraphy, language and methods of the person who collected it. It becomes part of mycological history. He also enjoys literature, opera, reggaeton and trying foods from other countries, especially if they are spicy.
Joaquín has shown a strong interest in nature and conservation from a very young age. This interest was further nurtured during the family visits he undertook in his childhood to southern Chile. He firmly believes in the role that finance can play in driving environmental conservation across all domains. Within his experience, he has served as a project leader in various fields, including small water projects, researching the connections between sustainability and finance, and as a sustainable strategy consultant. He is a dog lover, has provided temporary homes for several rescued puppies, and has volunteered for this cause in Chile and the United States. He is an Industrial Civil Engineer and holds an M.S. in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.
These are our volunteers. They are an integral part of the
foundation who help us spread the mycelial message.
Kai is a naturalist deeply passionate about fungi and their role in the ecosystem. He is doing his undergraduate in Ecology at the University of Edinburgh.
Elders Program Volunteer
Elders Program Volunteer
Mariana Villani is an ethnomycologist, agroecologist, herbalist, researcher and teacher. Her focus is on preserving fungi and the traditional ecological knowledge of Indigenous peoples, traditional societies and local communities around the world. She has done projects with different Indigenous peoples in North America and volunteers on the Elders Project. She has researched hundreds of uses of mushrooms around the world, and the threats Indigenous peoples and fungi face. She is currently researching the Funga of Chapada Diamantina National Park and also teaching classes about the fantastic uses of fungi in Brazil.
Betsy is a British postgraduate student in Munich where she is studying anthropology of science and working part-time for an environmental NGO focused on transitioning the oil and gas sector. She thinks that by paying attention to the complex and surprising behaviour of fungi, we can learn a lot about how to manage our own actions and responsibilities as part of a global, multi-species ecosystem. She likes to swim in the sea and watch live music.
Conservation Program Volunteer
Conservation Program Volunteer
Belle is a forager, food justice activist, and videographer. She just completed an undergraduate degree focused in sustainable agriculture and is passionate about the role mycorrhizal fungi play in healthy soil and carbon sequestration. She's worked on farms all over the world and loves getting her hands in the dirt! Her favorite mushroom is a cinnabar chanterelle.