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.

Seaweed communities – Responses to invasion, climate change and nutrients

Wednesday 14th of April 2021, 05:20 PM (3 days from now)

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

Speakers: Gaby Keeler-May, Isla Twigg, Ben Williams, and Nam Chand. This month we have a series of short talks from four Marine Science PhD students.

Gaby Keeler-May is assessing the impacts of the invasive kelp, Undaria pinnatifida, in the subtidal rocky reefs of southern New Zealand. Her focuses are to compare invasive and native seaweed contributions to the total biomass of kelp forest ecosystems, to evaluate the distribution and expansion of Undaria at sites of past and recent introductions, and to determine the impact of Undaria on native kelp abundance and its ability to resettle after large-scale removal.

Isla Twigg’s research revolves around the microbial communities of kelp forests. She is interested in how the productivity of different microbial communities changes with environmental conditions, and between species of macroalgae. This involves tracking seasonal patterns in environmental conditions and bacterial productivity, as well as experiments exposing these microbial communities to different types of stress. Nam Chand will discuss her research on the community habitat and ecophysiology of soft sediment red macroalgal communities in Otago Harbour, with a focus on the red endemic macroalgae Adamsiella chauvinii. Specifically the research investigates the algal habitat community and epifauna composition within A. chauvinii meadows. Moreover, it will also assess the nitrogen uptake by A. chauvinii and other dominant algae within its meadows.

Ben Williams’ will talk about the trends in kelp forest decline in New Zealand driven by climate change and anthropogenic stressors. He will also discuss the future for kelp forest reseeding and how this can be used to rebuild degraded fisheries.

BSO Annual General Meeting and Photographic Competition

Wednesday 12th of May 2021, 05:20 PM (1 month from now)

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

The photographic competition is a popular and eagerly anticipated event for anyone interested in botanical photography. Enter your best photos and learn what makes a good photograph and how to improve your photographic skills from our panel of expert judges. Your photographs may be chosen for the BSO Calendar so this is your opportunity to have one month of fame. Start organising your entries now and don’t wait until the last minute.

BSO Fungal Foray to Waikaia Forest

Friday 21st of May 2021, 05:00 PM (1 month from now)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 54750

Waikaia Forest at Piano Flat is an isolated remnant of the mixed beech forests (red beech - Nothofagus fusca, mountain beech - Nothofagus cliffortioides and silver beech – Nothofagus menziesii) that once covered much of the area. The area supports a unique invertebrate fauna with several rare species being found there. Beech trees are dependent on various mycorrhizal fungi for their survival and growth. We plan to look at the fungal diversity of this forest in conjunction with Assoc. Prof. David Orlovich of the Otago University Botany Department as part of his ongoing research. David is planning to go earlier in the week to do some collecting. The BSO foray will take place on the morning of Saturday 22nd and will be followed by a workshop at a base in Waikaia township where we will examine and identify any specimens collected. It is suggested that anyone wishing to participate travel down on Friday evening so they can get an early start on Saturday morning. People can either travel back on Saturday evening or on Sunday. Accommodation is available at the DOC Campsite at Piano Flat or the Waikaia Motor Camp. For further details and to arrange carpooling contact David Orlovich (david.orlovich@otago.ac.nz) or David Lyttle (djl1yttle@gmail.com).

Fungi at Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Wednesday 9th of June 2021, 05:20 PM (1 month from now)

Contact: David Orlovich | david.orlovich@otago.ac.nz

Speaker: David Orlovich, Department of Botany. I have had the privilege of collecting fungi at Orokonui Ecosanctuary on several occasions since it was established. The ecosanctuary hosts an interesting array of fungi, some of which are associated with particular plant species that grow there, and some that are not known from elsewhere in New Zealand. This informal talk will give an overview of the fungi at Orokonui and showcase some of the interesting finds.

Almost an island - the remarkable flora and habitats of Banks Peninsula

Wednesday 14th of July 2021, 05:20 PM (3 months from now)

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

Speaker: Melissa Hutchison. Banks Peninsula comprises approximately 100,000 hectares of volcanic hill country, rising to a height of 920 metres above sea level at its highest point (Mt Herbert-Te Ahu Pātiki). The vegetation pattern is influenced by varied altitudinal and climatic gradients, which have contributed to a unique and diverse indigenous flora (>550 vascular plant species and >200 lichen species), including a number of endemic species. Prior to human arrival in New Zealand, the Peninsula was largely covered in indigenous forest, but this was rapidly cleared following European colonisation, and by 1920 was reduced to relatively small, isolated fragments, mainly on steep slopes at higher altitudes. Indigenous woody vegetation cover has increased in recent years through natural succession, with primary forest, secondary growth forest and shrubland now covering about 15% of the Peninsula. More than 2200 hectares of land is currently protected in Department of Conservation and Christchurch City Council reserves, with a further 1500 hectares on private land protected through conservation covenants (>120 covenants). The vegetation and flora of the Peninsula has been by well-documented by legendary botanist Hugh Wilson, but recent ecological surveys have shown that there are still exciting botanical (and lichenological) discoveries waiting to be found!

To be held via zoom.