Ian R. Hall, can be attributed to beginning the southern hemisphere truffle industry.
In 1979, while attending a conference in Colorado, Ian learned that the first ‘cultivated’ truffles had been produced in France. Soon after, he developed the idea of cultivating truffles in New Zealand, with a plan to supply the Northern Hemisphere off-season markets. Within 18 months he and a colleague had developed a method for producing Périgord black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) mycorrhized plants. One year later three experimental truffières were established in North Otago, New Zealand. The following year 3000 additional truffle mycorrhized hazelnuts and common oaks were produced, and a further 8 truffières were established between the Bay of Plenty and North Canterbury.
The first Périgord black truffles were produced near Gisborne in 1993, where the first commercial harvest was made in 1997. The bianchetto truffle (Tuber borchii), Burgundy truffle (Tuber aestivum) and the saffron milk cap mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus), were also introduced in the late 1990s.
Ian R. Hall has travelled widely and his knowledge of mushroom cultivation is international in scope. His firm, comprising Truffles & Mushrooms (Consulting) Ltd and Symbiotic Systems New Zealand Ltd, was established in 2003. Truffles & Mushrooms (Consulting) Limited, now advises internationally on methods for the cultivation of truffles and other ectomycorrhizal mushrooms, and the exploitation of the beneficial effects of mycorrhizas in forestry, horticulture, and agriculture.
Truffles & Mushrooms Consulting Ltd., aims to further the cultivation of edible ectomycorrhizal mushrooms. He also directs the activities of Symbiotic Systems N.Z. Ltd, a company that studies the beneficial effects of mycorrhizas in forestry.
Ian has published on a variety of topics in addition to edible mushrooms and mycorrhizas, including the pathology of grasses over sown into tussock grasslands and greenhouse design. He completed his PhD at New Zealand’s Otago University and a post-doctoral fellowship with Jim Gerdemann at Illinois University. Ian worked earlier, as an applied mycologist and plant pathologist with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF Technology). A list of his publications can be found on his companies’ web site: http://www.trufflesandmushrooms.co.nz/page9.html and on Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ian_Hall8
Two books by Ian are:
Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the World by Ian R. Hall, Steven L. Stephenson, Peter K. Buchanan, Wang Yun, and Anthony L. J. Cole
Taming the Truffle: The History, Lore, and Science of the Ultimate Mushroom by Ian R. Hall, Gordon T. Brown, and Alessandra Zambonelli