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.

Fungal Foray to Knights Bush

Saturday 25th of May 2019, 08:30 AM (1 day from now)

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

Fungal Foray to Knights Bush, led by keen mycologist Andy Nilsen. This forest bordering the Clutha River at Tuapeka West has many different ecosytems to explore. Plantings of macrocarpa, pine, eucalyptus and Douglas fir grow on the edge of a diverse area of native forest. Inside the forest are stands of old kanuka, silver and mountain beech, ancient totara and matai on the shady slopes, with mixed podocarp/broad leafed forest on the river flat and a kowhai/korokia/divaricating shrub mix on the sunniest slopes. A list of known fungi from the area will be circulated and there will be a prize for the person who adds the most new species to the list! Meet at the Botany Dept car park at 8.30 am to carpool. 4WD to cross the access paddocks and footwear with good grip for the steep slopes recommended. Be prepared for all weathers. Contact Allison Knight 027 4878265.

iclicle-fungus-knights-bush-0572.jpeg

Field trip to Okia Reserve, Otago Peninsula

Saturday 8th of June 2019, 09:00 AM (2 weeks from now)

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

Okia Reserve is a large coastal reserve on the Otago Peninsula that is jointly owned by the DCC and Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. It comprises an old dune system that is rapidly changing from its dominant bracken cover to woody coastal species. The hollows between the dunes hold a variety of wetlands that include turf, bogs and ponds. The Otago Regional Council regard the dune hollow vegetation to be the best example in the Otago Coast Ecological Region. Along with the Pyramids - a significant geological feature, and Victory Beach - the longest beach on the Peninsula, there's plenty to keep us occupied. We'll do a walk that encompasses all these features. Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am or the Okia Reserve carpark at the end of Dick Road at 9.30 am. Contact John Barkla 03 476 3686 or jbarkla@doc.govt.nz

Revegetation of Wangaloa Coal Mine Reserve

Wednesday 12th of June 2019, 05:20 PM (2 weeks from now)

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

We are privileged to have Cathy Rufaut and Professor David Craw (winner of the 2018 Otago University Distinguished Research Medal) to talk to us about their ongoing geo-ecology project at the Wangaloa Coal Mine Reserve and how they have monitored re-vegetation on this challenging site.

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

Wednesday 10th of July 2019, 05:20 PM (1 month 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?