UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

Can mushrooms replace Styrofoam and keep the oceans cleaner?

A University of Alaska Anchorage researcher who hopes to curb ocean pollution thinks fungi might have a useful role to play.

University of Alaska Anchorage professor Philippe Amstislavski holds a sample of a shipping container insulated with biodegradable mushroom tissue. Photo courtesy of Philippe Amstislavski.

Philippe Amstislavski, an associate professor of public health at UAA, is experimenting with using mushrooms to create biodegradable insulation, shipping material and other environmentally friendly products. Alaska Sea Grant, a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, is helping to measure the material’s thermal properties this week at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, a research facility operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

UAA’s Philippe Amstislavski with Alaska Sea Grant’s Chris Sannito and Quentin Fong, of UAF College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, at the Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center.

Chris Sannito, ASG’s seafood technology specialist, is also coordinating commercial shipping trials for the material. Some fishermen are excited to give the mushroom-based product a try.

Read more in this recent Anchorage Daily News article.

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