Contribution of the author

Mr. Mahesh Kumar ADHIKARI was born in a village (Kudawa Ramchandra) of Gaur, Rautahat, Narayani zone. He was a school teacher in Shanti Nikunja Vidhyala, Marutol, Kath.

Adhikari did M. Sc. in Botany in first division (1973) from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu and diploma in French language from FCC, Kathmandu.

He was appointed as Asstt.Lecturer in Botany in R. R. Campus, Janakpur, Tribhuvan University, in 1973 / 74.  He left this job and joined HMG service in 1974, where he was appointed as Assistant Scientific Officer (Project In charge) to different Herbal farms of Department of Plant Resources, HMG. In 1988 he was promoted to Scientific Officer (sectional head of Cryptogams) Godavary. In May.1997, he was assigned as Act. Project Coordinator, Nepal Flora Implementation Project, Since 1999 to 2006 he became the Chief (Senior Research Officer) of National Herbarium and Plant Laboratories at Godavary. At present he is Joint Secretory (Gatz. 1st class) at Department of Plant Resources, Thathali, Kathmandu, Nepal. 

Mr. Adhikari is the first Nepalese citizen to receive the Doctorate (10 May, 1996) on 'Biodiversite des Basidiomycetes au Nepal: Etude Systematique et Biogeographique, from University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. The thesis throws light on phytogeographical diversities, historical review of mycological explorations, systematic and biogeographic studies on biodiversities of Uredinales, Hymenomycetes and Gasteromycetes prevailing in this Himalayan region. The special focus has been given on diversities and distribution of the genus like Amanita, Russula, Lactarius, Polypores and Gasteromycetes including some new taxa. The evolutionary trends within the genus Russula, the ethnomycology and mycobiogeography have also been discussed.

To his credit, since 1976 till now, he has published more than 140 papers in national and International journals, bulletins and books. These cover historical accounts (1990), taxonomic (1976 to till now), ecological (1995) and ethnomycological (1996) studies on fungi, cultivation of the fungi (Claviceps purpurea, 1982, 1992; Lentinus edodes, 1993), the collection and consumption of wild edible mushrooms (1996) and screening of their food value (l996). These papers include about 200 species of mycodiversities, which are new to Nepal and the taxa new to science (viz.Passalora nepalensis Adhikari & Manandhar (1986); Russula nepalensis Adhikari (1990), Coleosporium anemones Ono, Adhikari & Rajbhandari (1988).Puccinia kyangjinensis Ono, Adhikari & Rajbhandari (1988), Uromyces himaliacus Ono, Adhikari & Rajbhandari (1988)., Puccinia  ophiopogonis var. phulchowkiensis, Adhikari (1998), Puccinia kathmanduensis Adhikari (1998), Russula chloroides var. godavariensis, Adhikari (1999), Russula delica var dobremezii, Adhikari (1999), Uromyces tamagadiensis Adhikari (1998) and Brachycodiellopsis fimicola gen. et sp. nov. Decock, Castaneda Ruiz & Adhikari (2004),

The mushrooms described by him Russula nepalensis Adhikari [20/12/1994 (5/9/2051)] and Russula kathmanduensis Adhikari [12/6/2006 (29/2/2063)] were released as postage stamp by Govt. of Nepal, Dept. of Postal Services.

The discovery of wild Claviceps purpurea found infecting a wild grass  (1992) and screening of its alkaloids, detailed taxonomic approach on the genus Lactarius (1996), Russula (1988 - 90) and Amanita (1996) of Nepalese Himalayan belt are note worthy contributions. The 'Annotated checklist to Uredinales of Nepal' (1996) is also a note worthy contribution to know the diversities of Rust flora prevailing in this Himalayan region. Natural History Society of Nepal published the book on ‘Mosses of Nepal’, the checklist of Mosses (1992). Following his contribution the Department was able to publish the books on 'Fungi of Nepal' (1996 –2001) in three volumes (Bull. no. 13, 16, 17), “Research on Plant Tissue Culture” (Bull. no. 24, 2004) and “Fascicles of Flora of Nepal Lycopodiaceae” (2004). He published another book on “Mushrooms of Nepal” (2000), which covers in vivid the historical account, list and colored photographs of the mushrooms, evolutionary trends (Russula), ehtnomycolgy, collection and marketing of mushrooms, conservation, mycobiogeography and the affinity of this Himalayan mycoflora.

He is the editor of  ' Fungi of Nepal. 1 - 3’, ' Godavary Phulko Kheti (= Cultivation of Crysanthemum )' (1996). 'Proceedings Flora of Nepal' (1997), 'Flora of Nepal Implimentation Project Proposal and National Work Plan' (1997), Bulletin of Department of Plant Resources, Medicinal Plants of Nepal (2007) and 'Natural History Society Bulletin.

He has attended National, Regional (Asiatic) seminars (organized by NCST, RONAST, ECOS, Ministry of Forests & Soil Conservation & HHPCL, Dept. of Ayurveda & WHO) and International seminars and symposium (Fourth International Symposium on Arcto - Alpine mycology, France; IUFRO Symposium on impact of diseases, India,. International Institute of Advanced Homoeopathy (IIAH), India, International Seminar Cum-Workshop on Flora of Nepal, Organised by DPR & CDB Kathmandu, Nepal.) with papers on mycology, Ayurvedic herbs and Flora of the country.

He is the Life member and Member of Editorial board (1990-92) of Nepal Botanical Society, Life member and Secretary (1991 - 1996) and member of editorial board (since 1991) of Natural History Society of Nepal, Member of Ecological Society of Nepal, Member (since 1993) and Member Secretary of APINMAP/SCAMAP committee, Nepal National commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Education & Culture (since 6 Nov., 1996) and IUFRO committees (1994). At present he is the Vice President of Nepal Botanical Society (2005) and Mycological and Phytopathological Society of Nepal. .

He was awarded 'Young Scientist Traveling Fellowship Award' by ICSU / COSTED / UNESCO, India in 1992. He is decorated with 'Janpad Sewa Padak' HMG/N (2048), 'Shree Panch Birendra Rajyarohan Rajat Mahotsav Padak' (2053/1996) and 'Mahendra Vidhya Bhushan Padak' (A grade) (2053/1997).

Recently a Japanese well-known mycologist Prof. Dr. Yoshitaka Ono, has named a fungus after him (Puccinia adhikarii).

Botanically he has traveled and explored nearly all the zones from east to west and tropical to Nival zone of Nepal.

He has visited the country like Japan, Germany, France, Thailand, India.