Future Events

Talks are held in the Zoology Benham Building, 346 Great King Street, behind the Zoology car park by the old Captain Cook Hotel. This is where we used to meet pre-covid. Please use the main entrance of the Benham Building to enter and go to the Benham Seminar Room, Room 215, located on the second floor. Please be prompt as we have to hold the door open. Zoom links for the talks are sent to members, join the BSO here.

Trips leave from the Department of Botany car park.

Field Trip on Saturday 3rd of August 2024, 09:00 AM (2 weeks from now)

Contact: Bradley Curnow | bradleycurnow@yahoo.com.au | (03) 477 2244

Our first stop will be an area behind the Arboretum. Here we will work to make a plant list (both natives and weeds) and note native plants which should be there and where they should be planted to assist the Aramoana Conservation Trust and the ORC with the site-led management plan. We will then a walk along the boardwalk to admire the saltmarsh and dune slacks. Finally a walk out on the mudflats to check on the health of the binding plants on the low dunes which form the outer barrier of the saltmarsh. Gum boots and warm clothes essential (and perhaps a snack). We won’t be walking on any saltmarsh vegetation. Meet at the Botany Department at 9am for carpooling or the Aramoana Domain at 10am. Return time 3pm. Contact Bradley Curnow bradleycurnow@yahoo.com.au

Workshop on Saturday 10th of August 2024, 01:00 PM (3 weeks from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz | 0210658497

Bring your favourite drawing materials for an afternoon of art at Tūhura Otago Museum. You can wander around the museum collections for inspiration or find a seat with a view into the trees. Everyone welcome, come for a bit of fun and maybe you start, work on, or just think about an entry for the drawing competition. Meeting place - Atrium Level 1

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 11th of September 2024, 06:00 PM (1 month from now)

Contact: Allison Knight

Location: Archway lecture theatre, University of Otago. Drinks and nibbles starting from 5:15 in the Botany tearoom.

Geoff Baylis was an eminent botanist who led and nurtured the Department of Botany for 33 years. He drew attention to several critically endangered plants on Manawatāwhi / Three Kings Islands, including the last surviving kaikōmako manawatāwhi / Pennantia baylisiana in the wild, brought back from the brink of extinction. In 2002 the Botanical Society of Otago held the first annual Geoff Baylis Lecture. Geoff described his pioneering advances on the function of arbuscular mycorrhizas, a symbiosis between a plant root and a soil fungus. Around this period Allison was spending time with leading field botanist Tony Druce, botanical artist Audrey Eagle and innovative micro-photographers Bill and Nancy Malcolm. She collected lichens for David Galloway’s Flora of New Zealand Lichens and Ramalina for Jennifer Bannister’s meticulous studies. Inspired by these notable botanists Allison set out to make knowledge of New Zealand’s exceptional lichen diversity more accessible to a general public and produced an illustrated introductory guide. Lichens, like mycorrhizas, are a mutually beneficial symbiosis between a fungus and a photosynthesizing organism. We now know that the lichen symbiosis is a powerful ecosystem in miniature, made up of organisms from many different kingdoms. Over millennia lichens created soil from bare rocks and became widespread pioneers of life on land. Most are long-lived and all sequester carbon. Lichens are so resilient they can survive temperature extremes, nuclear blasts and outer space. Some make antibiotics with great potential. Many are sensitive indicators of pollution, and some respond rapidly to climate change.
This lecture will highlight the significant contribution that Geoff Baylis made to botany. Allison will discuss lichen evolution, structure, identification and function and integrate current knowledge of the lichen ecosystem into understanding the critical role that lichens play in keeping the earth resilient.

Field Trip on Saturday 14th of September 2024, 09:00 AM (1 month from now)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

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 and have lunch along the way. Meet at Botany Department carpark at 9am or the Okia Reserve carpark at the end of Dick Road at 9.45 am. Leader David Lyttle, email: djl1yttle@gmail.com

Field Trip on Saturday 5th of October 2024, 08:00 AM (2 months from now)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

Mahaka Katia Scientific Reserve (Pisa Flats) is situated on an elevated terrace above Lake Dunstan just north of Cromwell. It is a unique example of Central Otago dryland habitat that has mostly been lost to agricultural development and residential subdivision. Pisa Flats is one of the few remaining places where populations of a number of rare, native, dryland endemic species can still be found. These include Raoulia monroi, Lepidium solandri, Convolvulus verecundus, Myosotis uniflora and Craspedia argentea. Myosotis uniflora is classified as At Risk – Naturally Uncommon and the yellow-flowered form is more or less confined to the Pisa Flats. We are timing our visit to hopefully coincide with its spring flowering. Craspedia argentea is known only from this location and is considered Threatened – Nationally Critical. If we have time, we will possibly visit the saline sites at Springvale Scientific Reserve or the Chapman Road Reserve both near Alexandra to look at Central Otago spring annuals, a suite of dryland species that includes Myosotis brevis, and the tiny buttercup relatives, Ceratocephala pungens and Myosurus minimus.
We will meet at the Botany Department carpark at 8.00 am and travel to Cromwell and then on to the Reserve. Bring lunch, warm clothing, rain gear and suitable footwear. Travel time from Dunedin to Cromwell is approximately 3 hrs. Contact David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | 027 654 5470

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 9th of October 2024, 05:20 PM (2 months from now)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 5470

The flora of Western Australia (WA) contains over 10,000 species of vascular plants and that, together with the huge area that the State encompasses, means that the visitor will only experience a tiny fraction of the floristic diversity that WA has to offer. In late August 2023 David Lyttle, together with his wife Belinda, embarked on a two-week camper van trip round the State. After collecting the camper van in Perth they drove north to Kalbarri National Park and then South to the Stirling Range stopping at various points on the way before returning to Perth. Although the spectacular great swathes of wildflowers for which WA is known were not in evidence due to an unfavourable season, they found plenty of botanical interest including a wealth of Banksias, Grevilleas, orchids and sundews. The talk will provide an introduction to the flora of WA as well as covering the journey, the landscapes, aspects of the photography and will be illustrated with a collection of wild flower images taken during the trip.
Artwork from the Botanical Art competition will be displayed at this meeting, and prizes awarded. There may also be an art auction, depending on interest.

Talk / Seminar on Wednesday 13th of November 2024, 05:20 PM (3 months from now)

Contact: Jo Sinclair | josinclair6@gmail.com

Speaker: Jess Paull. In ages bygone, gymnosperms were at the height of their diversity. In the modern age, many face extinction due to the looming threat of climate change. What can this group (and others) tell us about our past and our future?

Field Trip on Saturday 23rd of November 2024, 09:00 AM (4 months from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz | 0210658497

Join us for a day exploring Quarantine Island Kamau Taurua, a public Recreation Reserve and an Historic Area in Otago Harbour. Wander the trails to check out the regenerating forest and the interesting human history. Bring a pair of work gloves if you feel like doing some volunteer weeding. Tools are provided. To book a place contact Gretchen by Wednesday 20th Nov. as we need to book the boat in advance (boat cost will be covered by the BSO). Bring appropriate clothing, water and lunch.

Field Trip on Friday 6th of December 2024, 05:00 PM (4 months from now)

Contact: Gretchen Brownstein | brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz | 0210658497

This is an adventurous weekend trip up the Tautuku River in the Catlins. We will follow local experts along trapline routes through mixed old growth and regenerating podocarp forest to investigate some interesting nooks. There is potential for exciting plant sightings. This trip requires a high level of fitness; we will be covering up to 10km of very rough routes through dense forest. Bring tramping boots, wet weather gear, food, water, and first aid kit. Contact Gretchen Brownstein (brownsteing@landcareresearch.co.nz) to book a spot (drive time: 2hrs one way, ~300kms return trip). Leaving Friday evening, returning Sunday.