Future Events

Talks are held at the Zoology Benham Building, 346 Great King Street, behind the Zoology car park by the Captain Cook Hotel. Use the main entrance of the Benham Building to get in and go to the Benham Seminar Room, Rm. 215, 2nd floor. Please be prompt as we have to hold the door open.

Trips leave from the Department of Botany car park.

A search for the co-evolutionary partner(s) of New Zealand’s sequestrate fungi

Wednesday 28th of August 2019, 05:20 PM (3 days from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcare.research.co.nz

Speaker: Dr Toni Atkinson.

New Zealand has long been known as a “land of birds”. The idea that the array of sequestrate fungi found here, many of which are colourful, may have arisen through coevolution with birds was first mooted in mycology around 20 years ago. It seemed a natural progression from the widely accepted hypothesis that New Zealand’s diverse divaricating plants evolved due to selective pressure from the now extinct moa species. The suggestion appears to have been taken up by mycologists, and is becoming part of the story of science in this land. This year, an international team using high-throughput sequencing techniques to analyse the DNA in moa coprolites, revealed the first real evidence that moa may have eaten fungi.

But what happens if we take a fresh look at the whole question? Are moa the most likely coevolutionary partners of our sequestrate fungi, out of all the vertebrate and invertebrate inhabitants of prehistoric New Zealand? In this recently humanised but greatly altered land, it is challenging to hold in mind the relationships that might have played out over evolutionary time. What might we have missed?

Please note the new date.

Chrystalls beach.

Saturday 31st of August 2019, 09:00 AM (6 days from now)

Contact: Sarah Kilduff | Sarah.Kilduff@dcc.govt.nz

We will go and see what we can find. Contact Sarah Kilduff (Sarah.Kilduff@dcc.govt.nz)

Geoff Baylis lecture: Geological constraints on the age and antiquity of land in New Caledonia and the Chatham Islands.

Wednesday 18th of September 2019, 06:00 PM (3 weeks from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcare.research.co.nz

Speaker: Hamish Campbell (Emeritus Scientist, GNS Science). Location: Castle 1, University of Otago (drinks and nibbles starting from 5:15 in the concourse).

This is an illustrated talk exploring the geological evidence for the emergence of land and onset of terrestrial conditions in New Caledonia (northern Zealandia) in the Oligocene, and in the Chatham Islands (eastern Zealandia) in the Pliocene. These age interpretations have significant implications for our understanding of the antiquity and biodiversity of the floras of both New Caledonia and the Chatham Islands.  

Field trip to Akatore.

Saturday 21st of September 2019, 09:00 AM (3 weeks from now)

Contact: Robyn Bridges | robyn.j.bridges@gmail.com | (03) 472 7330 / 021 235 8997

Akatore is a remnant of diverse coastal shrubland at the mouth of Akatore Creek, 45 minutes south of Dunedin. Some special features of this site include the diversity of shrub species and threatened species such as Coprosma obconica, Olearia fragrantissima, Melicytus flexuosus and Carex littorosa with the possibility of our discovering other threatened species. We may also visit the adjacent coast where the threatened cress Lepidium tenuicaule is present as well as Myosotis pygmaea. The timing of this trip is dependent on the tides, so please check our website nearer to the time.

Botanical art.

Wednesday 9th of October 2019, 05:20 PM (1 month from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcare.research.co.nz

The Botanical Art and Illustration Courses at Olveston began in January 2017. An Advanced Botanical Art and Illustration Course was later held beginning June 2018 and out of that course came the first Botanical Art and Illustration Exhibition at Olveston, which was held in December 2018. The classes have been hugely popular. The exhibition of original botanical artwork was of very high quality and created great public interest.

The courses are taught by Wayne Everson, who is an award winning teacher and practising artist. He holds a Master of Fine Art degree from RMIT University, Melbourne, and has taught art at tertiary level for many years in New Zealand and overseas. Wayne Everson will give the talk, which will centre on the success of the classes at Olveston and their botanical focus.

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Weekend trip to the Catlins.

Saturday 19th of October 2019, 09:00 AM (1 month from now)

Contact: John Barkla | jbarkla@doc.govt.nz.nz | (03) 476 3686

This is a placeholder with more details to come in the next newsletter and on the website. We plan to visit a range of botanically-inspiring coastal sites where there is always the chance of encountering interesting critters as well.