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Giuliana Furci

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Giuliana Furci
Born12 August 1978
Occupation(s)Mycologist, Speaker, Author
Known forEnvironmental activism
TitleDame, Order of the Star of Italy
  • Carmelo Furci (father)
  • Ximena George-Nascimento (mother)

Giuliana Furci OSI (born 12 August 1978) is a field mycologist, speaker, author, and founder and CEO of the Fungi Foundation.[1] She is a Harvard University associate, National Geographic Explorer, Dame of the Order of the Star of Italy, deputy 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[2] and the publication delimiting the term “funga” and the 3F Proposal - Fauna, Flora & Funga. 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 the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN),[3] and other organizations. Giuliana has received several distinctions including the 2022 Buffett/National Geographic Leadership in Conservation in Latin America Award,[4] 2022 Gordon and Tina Wasson Award from the Mycological Society of America,[5] and the 2013 Presidents Award from the International Society for Fungal Conservation.[6][7][8][9]


Giuliana was born in London to a Chilean mother (Ximena George-Nascimento) and Italian father (Carmelo Furci). Her mother was a Chilean refugee who had fled her country because of the 1973 coup, having been a political prisoner for 365 days between 1973 and 1974.[6][10] Her father is from the village of Dinami in Calabria, Italy.[11]

At the age of 14, Giuliana left London for Chile with her mother.[7]


In 1999, Giuliana began her career as a self-taught mycologist while studying aquaculture in the Universidad de Los Lagos in Osorno, Chile.[12] She traveled through Chile documenting fungi from 2000 to 2005 with her colleague Carolina Magnasco. This journey yielded a collection of over 6,000 photographs and hundreds of collections of fungi.[13]

In 2005, Giuliana flew to Washington State and took her first class with Paul Stamets at Fungi Perfecti, titled Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Fungi. Upon her return to Chile, Carolina Magnasco and Giuliana opened a Reishi Cultivation farm in Santiago called “Fungi Australe SA” which operated for 2 years before closing due to the choice of not pursuing a career in a for-profit business.[14]

In 2007, Giuliana wrote her first book “Fungi Austral”, a field guide to Chilean austral fungi. From late 2005-2010 Giuliana worked for Terram Foundation as the salmon farming program coordinator.[7][15][12]

In 2012, Giuliana founded the Fundación Fungi.[6] Her work triggered the inclusion of fungi in Chilean environmental legislation and made it possible to assess the conservation status of over 80 species of fungi. Fundación Fungi (Fungi Foundation) was the first NGO in the world dedicated to the protection of fungi, and has offices in Chile and the USA. She has published two field guides on Chilean fungi: Guías de campo Hongos de Chile Volumen I and Volumen II.[13][14]

Giuliana is the curator of the FFCL Fungarium, which is continuously studied in collaboration with experts from Harvard University, Conicet Argentina, and the University of Florida. As a field mycologist, she helped describe three new species: Amanita galactica, Cortinarius chlorosplendidus, and Psilocybe stametsii. She has conducted mycological expeditions in close to 20 countries.[16][17][18]

Media and awards[edit]

She has been recognized and awarded by the McKenna Academy, Mycological Society of America and the National Geographic Society. Her work with the Fungi Foundation has been featured in international media such as the New York Times, the Guardian, Science Magazine, BBC, The Atlantic and the Times of India.[6][19][20][21][22][23]

Furci is the recipient of the Order of the Star of Italy.[24]


  1. ^ "Team". www.ffungi.org. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  2. ^ Willis, Kathy J, ed. (2018). State of the World's Fungi (Report). Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Who We Are". www.spun.earth. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  4. ^ "The National Geographic Society Announces 2022 Award Honorees". National Geographic Society Newsroom. 9 June 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Past Gordon and Tina Wasson Awardees – Mycological Society of America". Retrieved 22 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d Shafik, Meghji (12 August 2021). "The Chilean mycologist celebrating fungi's "hidden kingdom"". BBC.
  7. ^ a b c Tim Ferriss (29 July 2021). "Giuliana Furci on the Wonders of Mycology, Wisdom from Jane Goodall, Favorite Books, and the World's Largest Fungarium (#525)". The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast). Tim Ferriss. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  8. ^ D'Elia, Gabriela (25 March 2021). "Giuliana Furci: Justice for Fungi Through the 3 Fs". fundis.org.
  9. ^ Kuhar, F., Furci, G., Drechsler-Santos, E.R. et al. Delimitation of Funga as a valid term for the diversity of fungal communities: the Fauna, Flora & Funga proposal (FF&F). IMA Fungus 9, A71–A74 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03449441
  10. ^ Tim Ferriss (29 July 2021). "Giuliana Furci on the Wonders of Mycology, Wisdom from Jane Goodall, Favorite Books, and the World's Largest Fungarium (#525)". The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast). Tim Ferriss. Event occurs at 6:45. Retrieved 19 August 2021.
  11. ^ Nascimento Publishing and Bookstore (1875-1986), memoriachilena
  12. ^ a b Furci CV Accessed 22.08.2021 (Curriculum Vitae)
  13. ^ a b Furci, Giuliana (2018). Guía de Campo Hongos de Chile, Vol.2. Fundación Científica Fungi. p. 320. ISBN 978-956-9284-02-1.
  14. ^ a b Furci, Giuliana (2013). Guía de Campo Hongos de Chile, Vol.1. Fundación Científica Fungi. p. 256. ISBN 978-956-9284-00-7.
  15. ^ "Giuliana Furci". www.rewild.org. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  16. ^ "Taxonomy browser (Cortinarius chlorosplendidus)". www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
  17. ^ "Index Fungorum - Names Record: Volvanarius chlorosplendidus". www.indexfungorum.org. Retrieved 27 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Index Fungorum - Names Record: Amanita galactica". www.indexfungorum.org. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  19. ^ Sengupta, Somini (27 July 2022). "Unearthing the Secret Superpowers of Fungus". New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  20. ^ Furci, Giuliana (11 November 2021). "The earth's secret miracle worker is not a plant or an animal: it's fungi". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  21. ^ Popkin, Gabriel (7 July 2022). "A Fungal Safari". Science. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  22. ^ Moens, Jonathan (15 August 2021). "'Flora and Fauna' Is So Outdated". The Atlantic. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  23. ^ Moens, Jonathan (15 August 2021). "'Fungi form a kingdom of life — they show us how we all need others to live'". Times of India. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  24. ^ "Gazzetta Ufficiale". www.gazzettaufficiale.it. Retrieved 31 October 2023.