David Meigs Beyer, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Mushrooms
David Meigs Beyer, Ph.D.
102 Buckhout Lab (office)
104 Buckhout Lab (lab)

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-863-7059
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Mushroom cultivation
  • Composting
  • Mushroom nutrition and physiology
  • IPM and Disease Management for Mushroom cultivation
  • Mushroom extension services for the North American mushroom industry


  1. B.S., Arts and Science, Syracuse University
  2. M.S., Plant Pathology, Penn State University
  3. Ph.D., Plant Pathology, Penn State University

In 1979, I began my career as a mushroom grower for Leaver Mushrooms, Ontario, Canada. In the early 1990’s I left Leaver as the Director of Growing to pursue a PhD in mushroom research at Penn State University.

As a Professor of Mushrooms my research and extension programs cover all aspects of mushroom growing, from composting through production, including disease management.

The U.S. Dept of Agriculture – NIFA awarded a $1.4 million Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) grant to Dept. of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology (PPEM) to Dr. Beyer and nine other researchers. The purpose of the grant is to develop tools and strategies for adoption by organic growers that address fungal and bacterial diseases, and fly infestations and increase profitability.  Organic mushroom growers currently represent 20 percent of the 346 total US mushroom producers.  Project outcomes will provide organic growers with tools, techniques and strategies to increase production yield and quality, and increase profitability by reducing input and administration costs. 

Other ongoing research projects include the reuse of compost and casing to produce a second crop of mushrooms; alternative materials for mushroom substrate and the study of cultural factors influencing a new mushroom pathogen, identified as Syzygites megalocarpus.

My extension program includes grower educational workshops and the annual Mushroom Short Course. I have been fortunate enough to work with mushroom growers around the world who continue to amaze me with their intuition and resourcefulness.