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.

Sexy Lichens

Wednesday 10th of June 2020, 05:20 PM (1 week from now)

Contact: Allison Knight | alli_knight@hotmail.com | 027 487 8265

Speaker: Dr Allison Knight, Research Associate, Department of Botany.

Due to COVID-19 this event will be held via zoom. More details, including the meeting link, will be emailed to members on the 5th June.

The lichen symbiosis is extraordinary, intertwining organisims from two or even 3 distantly related kingdoms. Lichenised fungi are extremophiles, capable of living in environments well beyond the range of vascular plants. Some can even survive days or years exposed to the vacuum, radiation and temperature extremes of outer space! Intriguingly, lichens are very sensitive indicators of air pollution and can also be useful indicators of climate change. On the lighter side, the Sexy Pavement Lichen grows on the asphalt outside the Botany Department, and covers footpaths and roads all over New Zealand. It has been exploited by the unscrupulous, enticed the gullible and recently caused a global media frenzy.

Working morning at Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Saturday 20th of June 2020, 09:00 AM (3 weeks from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz

Due to COVID-19 this trip has been put on hold. Please check back closer to the day for any updates.

We will spend the morning leading a hand at the ecosanctuary, helping with a bit of weeding and seeing if we can add to their plant species list. In addition, there will be a chance to see the Otago Rare Plants garden (which many of our members have contributed to) and perhaps spy a takahe or tuatara. Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am.

Silken harp chords and the green choir

Wednesday 8th of July 2020, 05:20 PM (1 month from now)

Contact: Lydia Turley | lydiamturley@gmail.com

Speaker: James Crofts-Bennett.

Due to COVID-19 this talk has been put on hold. Please check back closer to the day for any updates.

The mutualistic relationship between the plant kingdom and the arachnid order Araneae is remarkable both in nature and how often it is over looked. There is extensive literary coverage on spider abundance and diversity in relation to vegetation texture diversity. So extensive is the research that beyond mere ecological significance, the relationship between spiders and plants has been adapted into agricultural practices! This talk will explore the theory, supporting evidence, then finally practical applications of exploiting this relationship. Research sites range from the William James building green roof to Orokonui ecosanctuary, grassy meadows to glorious podocarp forest and furtive fern villages! Descriptions of tiny tarsal claws guaranteed to make your skin crawl and close encounters with Aciphylla sure to incite sympathetic cringing! Come one, come all and behold the union of silken harp chords and the green choir!

Field trip to Tavora Reserve, North Otago

Saturday 11th of July 2020, 09:00 AM (1 month from now)

Contact: John Barkla | mjbarkla@xtra.co.nz | (03) 476 3686

Due to COVID-19 this trip has been put on hold. Please check back closer to the day for any updates.

Tavora is a coastal reserve near Palmerston managed by the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. Over more than 20 years the Trust has transformed the previously marram covered dunes into a showcase of pingao with many associated threatened species including shore spurge, Cooks scurvy grass and sand tussock. This is augmented with advanced riparian planting alongside the stream leading to the dunes. The reserve also has natural populations of the uncommon Aciphylla subflabellata, Lepidium tenuicaule, and Tupeia antarctica mistletoe hemi-parasitic on ribbonwood trees. We'll do an easy walking circuit of the reserve that takes in all the highlights. Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am.