About the Author

Learn more about Michael Amaranthus, your favorite mushroom enthusiast, and the author of Fry, Thrive or Die.

About Dr. Mike Amaranthus

Dr. Mike Amaranthus believes fungi should emphasize fun. As a two-time cancer survivor, getting to know this amazing group of mushrooms has enriched and perhaps saved his life. He believes that a book can be not only accurate and have substance but also delight the reader with stories, history, possibilities, recipes, and much, much more.

In the same way, he is a retired research soil scientist for the US Department of Agriculture and associate adjunct professor at Oregon State University. Dr. Mike has several mushroom and truffle species named after him in his honor. Yes, having fungi named after you is an honor, not a curse!

Two decades ago, Dr. Mike and his wife, Eileen, founded Mycorrhizal Applications Inc., a biotechnology company focusing on growing and using mycorrhizal fungi to increase food production using fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The globally groundbreaking products are now used in over thirty countries. They’re both thankful for a full and warm home, raising five children and having eight grandchildren.

Honor Award

Dr. Mike received the USDA’s highest Honor Award for scientific achievement after his twenty years of contributions as a USDA research scientist, authoring and co-authoring over one hundred scientific papers.


Dr. Mike Amaranthus holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California–Berkeley and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University.

An Active Mentor

Dr. Mike is active as a mentor and volunteer for youth and cancer support network organizations all over Oregon.