About Fungi Academy

Why Fungi?

Fungi and Mushrooms play a fundamental role in healing ourselves, the global community and our planet Earth as a whole. Fungi are an elder species, helping humanity to become more mature, responsible and conscious.

Fungi Academy is an alliance between humans and fungi, that inspires us to live in balance with each other and our environment.

Sacred Mycology

Sacred Mycology is the purposeful use and cultivation of edible, medicinal and psychedelic fungi. Fungi Academy connects a global community to empower the growing and sharing of fungal wisdom.
FungiAcademy_LOGO-10

Meet the Team

We are an international collective of passionate earthlings, working together to bring the magic of fungi to the world.

Since the beginning of 2016 we have been teaching practical skills of mycology.

Oliver Merivee (1984 - 2020)

Estonia

Founder

For Oliver Fungi Academy was truly a labor of love. His professional background was in marketing, but he was a self-taught mushroom grower for the past 7 years around the world, from his home in Estonia to Australia, Guatemala, and the States. His interest in mushrooms began, like many young cultivators, with psilocybin mushrooms. From there, his passion expanded to include all kind of fungi as he developed into a full-blown mycophile.

Oliver tragically passed away on Christmas day 2020

Jasper Degenaars

Netherlands

CEO (Chief Ergot Officer)

Jasper left his corporate sales job in 2014 after a truly powerful psychedelic experience.  He got called to travel the world in search for his true passions. While traveling through South-East Asia and Australia he found his passions in cooking and serving medicinal foods to others. This Myconaut is interested in all things Fungal. Home-style cultivation, Ethnomycology, fungal gastronomy and bringing people together like mycelium is where his hearth resides.

Jasper joined Fungi Academy in the beginning of 2019, just after many of the initial founders had left. He saw the potential of the project and decided to listen to his gut. From that moment he has been spending all of his time sharing the magic of mushrooms with the world.

Karena Beana

USA

COO (Chief Ostreatus Officer)

Karena has been a health blogger and influencer since she was 16. Her passion for wellness started at a young age when her parents grew ill due to poor lifestyle choices. When Instragram first released she jumped on board and decided to take the influencer route. She focused her time and energy into using this platform to spread positive and informative health and wellness tips that she learned through helping heal her parents from chronic diseases and illnesses.

She turned this passion into a career becoming 200hr+ Yoga Teacher, a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach in 2016. As medicinal mushrooms became more popular online, she has started to incorporate fungi into her practices and teachings, helping demystify and spread the magic of mushrooms.

Holden Davies

Australia

CCO (Chief Cordyceps Officer)

Holden has worked in the film industry from a young age, always fascinated by stories and the power they hold to convey knowledge and shape our understanding of reality. Specializing in documentaries Holden’s most recent projects have been focused on bringing to light ancient indigenous knowledge systems, collaborating directly with healers and spiritual guides to tell their stories of connection to our eco-system, ceremony and natural healing methods.

For the last 2 years he has been working along side Guatemalan Anthropologist Monica Berger on projects funded by Swiss research group R4D based around bringing Maya Healers and western doctors together to work on diagnosis and treatment of patients, to better understand health and disease.

Sam Blackstone

USA

Teacher, Editor, Writer

Sam is a writer, award-winning journalist, and emergent mycophile from the United States who arrived at the Fungi Academy one midsummer’s day in 2019 and left six weeks later with lifelong friends and a passion for mushroom cultivation.

In the past year 18 months, he’s built a laboratory and fruiting room in his home, cultivated and foraged over 20 species of gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, started a medicinal mushroom tincture business, and returned to the Fungi Academy to teach his techniques to students.

Corie Bidgood

Canada

photographer and videographer

Corie left Ottawa, Canada, after completing a Bachelor Degree in Anthropology. Having always had a call for adventure and for new experiences in her heart, she followed her dreams and flew on a one-way ticket to Mexico in 2015.After travelling many countries, experiencing new cultures, connecting with herself and finding community all over the world, she couldn’t stop coming back to Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.

Finally in 2019 Corie decided to stay still, landing in Lake Atitlan. Since then she has been cultivating her life at the Lake as a photographer and videographer, bringing all her passions together to share and inspire those around the world to follow their dreams.

Diego RamĂ­rez

Guatemala

Web developer, Musician and Yogi

Diego has led and helped many web projects to become a reality for over 10 years. After studying computer science for a year in college he decided to follow his passion for music, which he discovered in his childhood and started a career in music and audio in art college.

Always in search of the true nature of life and having experienced altered states of consciousness induced by entheogens, he committed himself to support the evolution of human consciousness through the use and sharing of meditation techniques and spiritual practices, becoming a great devotee of the ancient teachings of yoga and ayurveda.

Dijahn Fenner

South Africa

Educator

From youth in South Africa, Dijahn has found his greatest inspiration and sense of well-being through an intimate relationship with nature as the ultimate sage, ally, healer and teacher of the closest insights to objective truth. Upon leaving school, he devoted his focus to cultivate various modalities and approaches to work integrally with the environment in pursuit of creating the conditions conducive to thrive.

His passion for fungi started as a literal raging fire that catalyzed a journey to learn how to effectively utilize our ancestral allies to support reforestation of previously fire-swept regions. Soon fungi colonized his mind as being the keystone queendom that would empower the greatest change in the shortest time for everything from the health of the human body, mind and spirit to the flourishing of all life! Thus, with zeal to share the powerful potential of fungi, he continues to educate, facilitate and co-create at none other than Fungi Academy's physical community, here on lake Atitlan.