Bioneers 2024 Conference

Merlin Sheldrake – How Fungi Make our Worlds

Introduction by Toby Kiers, Ph.D., Executive Director and Chief Scientist, SPUN

Most fungi live out of sight, yet they make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that support and sustain nearly all living systems. The symbiotic mycorrhizal networks formed by plants and fungi comprise an ancient life-support system that easily qualifies as one of the wonders of the living world. Yet climate change strategies, conservation agendas and restoration efforts overlook fungi and focus overwhelmingly on animals and plants. This is a problem: the destruction of underground fungal networks accelerates both climate change and biodiversity loss and interrupts vital global nutrient cycles. In this session, Merlin Sheldrake, the biologist and bestselling author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make our World, will drive home just how critically important fungi are and discuss the visionary work of the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN) and its efforts to map and protect the mycorrhizal fungal communities of the planet. He will also present cutting-edge research into the flow dynamics of carbon and nutrients within mycorrhizal fungal networks.

Zellerbach Hall


March 30th | 11:41 am to 12:04 pm


Merlin Sheldrake
Biologist and Writer
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures

Introduced by

Toby Kiers
Executive Director and Chief Scientist
Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN)