Gastón Guzmán, Mexican mycologist and anthropologist, Died at 83

Gastón Guzmán was born on August 26, 1932, in Xalapa, Veracruz and died on January 12, 2016.

He was a Mexican mycologist and anthropologist.

He was an authority on the genus Psilocybe.

Guzman concern in mycology started in 1955 when as a graduate student he decided to update his school’s (National Polytechnic Institute) poorly kept a collection of fungi.

In the early part of his career, Gunzman discovered a large assortment of species about which little was known at the time, which inspired him to choose fungi as the topic of his professional thesis.

Gaston Guzmán was invited by the University of Mexico to assist Rolf Singer, who would visit Mexico the following year to study the hallucinogenic mushroom genus Psilocybe, in 1957,

Gaston agreed and held the Singer through his explorations in Mexico.

However, they were in the Huautla de Jiménez region, in their last day of the expeditions, they met R. Gordon Wasson.

It was a “fructiferous meeting” for Gunzman.

Gaston published his first paper on a blue-staining Psilocybe species, in 1958, and the first paper on the ecology of neurotropic fungi.

In 1971, Gastón Guzmán gained a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation of New York, with the support of Richard Evans Schultes to study the genus Psilocybe, which resulted in a comprehensive monograph on the subject in 1983, titled The Genus Psilocybe: A Systematic Revision of the Known Species Including the History, Distribution and Chemistry of the Hallucinogenic Species.

He was the writer of 8 other books and over 350 papers on Mexican mushrooms and has described more than 200 new taxa of fungi worldwide.

Over half of the known psilocybin mushroom species were discovered by Guzmán.

Among his other positions, a co-founder and former president of the Mexican Mycological Society (1965), he was also president of the Latin American Mycological Association (2000–2002), founded by him in La Habana, Cuba, in 1990.

Gaston Guzmán held an emeritus research chair at the Ecological Institute of Xalapa where he founded the Department and Herbarium of Fungi which now has more than 50,000 specimens.

In 1955, Gaston founded the Mycological Herbarium in his school of Biology in Mexico City (ENCB).

A combination of more than 100,000 specimens, the most sizable collection in Mexico.

He has a daughter, Laura Guzmán Dávalos, was also a prominent mycologist.

Gunzman was the founder the Mycological Department at the University of Guadalajara.

Gaston Guzmán passed away at 83 yrs old due to heart attack in Guadalajara, Mexico.