Proprietor of Napa Valley Fungi, Stephanie S. Jarvis spent her undergraduate years at Sonoma State University (SSU) where she earned a bachelors degree in Plant Physiology. When Sudden Oak Death (Phytophthora ramorum, SOD) first became listed as a serious threat to the oak woodlands of California, it was at SSU that she cut her teeth in Biology while studying the ecological ramifications of SOD with Dr. Richard Whitkus and Dr. Hall Cushman. Stephanie was the first to develop a method of extracting DNA from the California bay laurel tree (Umbellularia californica), which is a vector for the spread of Sudden Oak Death. She discovered through AFLP studies that the population of bay trees growing within its distribution range (northern-coastal Mexico to mid-coastal Oregon), have very little to no genetic variation. It was at SSU that Stephanie was trained in microbiological laboratory protocol and worked on various projects including wetland delineation, lime disease, various fish genetics projects, and as a volunteer on many other ecological studies.
In 2005 Joe Schneider of Pacific Tree Care and Paul Dubois of Davey Tree asked Ms. Jarvis to develop a seminar to teach arborists about mycology and the specific relationships that pathogenic fungi have with trees. From this venture she became inspired by the profession of arboriculture and the direct correlation between trees, plant pathogens, and better diagnostics for risk assessment. Since this first undertaking of teaching mycology to arborists, she has now taught several seminars on fungal identification and ecology for better diagnostics of tree-health, and variations of this, and continues to do so for the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. Stephanie became a certified arborist in 2010, and a certified risk assessor in 2011.
Ms. Jarvis recently completed her Masters of Science in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at San Francisco State University under the guidance of world-renowned fungal taxonomist Dr. Dennis Desjardin. A profound project, Stephanie described 35 species of Lycoperdaceae fungi from California, two of which are new discovered species and several of which have been transferred to new genera. This study included field collections of fungi in every county of California over the course of seven years and the examination of herbaria material of every species documented from here, including type specimens housed in various herbaria around the globe and acquiring original descriptions of these species. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was performed on various tissue types to create highly magnified and high resolution images of tissue and spore ornamentation. DNA sequences were produced in order to derive the phylogenetic relationships of these fungi within the Lycoperdaceae and with closely related species. The resulting 350-page thesis, The Lycoperdaceae of California, can be acquired by contacting Ms. Jarvis through her email: [email protected]
Currently Ms. Jarvis has a consulting business and works with several arborist companies on identification and remediation of fungal plant pathogens. Her sterile laboratory facility is in Napa, CA.
Stephanie cultivates fungi for a small handful of restaurants in the Napa Valley and grows medicinal species of fungi for cancer patients. She uses wine industry waste products for much of her fungi cultivation, and strives to keep this business green. Her mushroom farming facility is in Vallejo, CA.
Being an arborist, and a mycologist, Stephanie has been drawn into truffle orchard projects. For consultation of the cultivation of truffles, she is happy to discuss the options and the science of being successful in this business.
Napa Valley Fungi utilizes the internship program from the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences to help with the cultivation of fungi and laboratory analysis. This is a family run business. Stephanie's father, Mr. Brian Jarvis, who is a retired marine biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Services, helps with a large handful of projects from various construction projects, to welding, and fungi cultivation.
For inquiries and questions, please contact: [email protected]
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