Past Events

Field Trip: Hands-on Botanising in the Miocene!

Saturday 22nd of March 2014, 08:30 AM (5 years ago)

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

Three paleobotanists (Daphne Lee, Jennifer Bannister and PhD student Tammo Reichgelt) will take us to see and potentially collect fossil plants (leaves, wood and possibly amber) from Miocene forests at several sites near St Bathans. Bring suitable footwear—one site has gorse and some steepish banks to negotiate—the other two have easy walking access. Meet 8.30am at the Botany Department car park, 464 Great King St. to car pool. You will need 4WD vehicles to get to one site. We will rendezvous outside the old railway station at Ranfurly at 10 am, leaving there at 10:15 am. This is the last toilet stop before the field sites. We may be able to schedule afternoon tea at the Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans. Return by 5 pm. Bring handlens, a pocket knife, chisel or rock hammer, camera, protection from the sun and weather, lunch and plenty to drink.

Botanising in the Miocene

Wednesday 19th of March 2014, 05:20 PM (5 years ago)

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

Jennifer Bannister is a Research Associate in the Department of Botany. She studies plant macrofossils from sites in Otago and Southland in collaboration with Daphne Lees paleobotany research team in the Geology Department. A maar lake deposit of laminated diatomite has provided a wealth of evidence for a warm temperate/subtropical rainforest in Otago in the early Miocene. Fossil leaves, flowers, pollen, fruits and insects provide an amazing window into life in the surrounding rainforest. Jennifer prepares cuticles from fossil leaves and reference leaves and uses both cuticle and leaf features to help identify the fossils. New Zealand has some of the best preserved Cenozoic plant fossils in the world, and this research is yielding exciting results, with many papers and conference presentations. It is very impressive how much one retired member with a microscope, plenty of hydrogen peroxide and much ingenuity and perseverance can transform our understanding of the past. Jennifer gave the 2013 Lucy Cranwell Lecture to the Auckland Botanical Society. 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.

Trip to Omaui, Invercargill

Saturday 22nd of February 2014, 07:30 AM (5 years ago)

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

Exploration of a dune and shore community with Brian Rance, DOC, Invercargill. We are fortunate to have the services of Brian as our guide as he is very knowledgeable about the plants and ecosystems of the Southland region. The walk would include the Three Sisters Dune (with several threatened plants including the only remaining mainland site of Gunnera hamiltonii (status—Nationally Critical), and 20 other threatened or uncommon species!). We could also look at the coastal turfs towards Barracuda Point. We need to leave Dunedin early to make the most of the day so meet at 7.30 am at the Botany Department car park in Great King Street. If you wish to come please contact David Lyttle so we can arrange transport.

Climate Change: Impacts on Plants and Ecosystems in the Arctic

Wednesday 19th of February 2014, 05:20 PM (5 years ago)

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

Ulf Molau is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Gothenburg. He is also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and one of the researchers behind the IPCC's latest report. His research documents the effects of the rapid changes happening in the Arctic and the alpine parts of Northern Swedish Lapland on the plants and fragile ecosystems, and the global implications of this. The key driver is the ongoing warming, causing a vanishing "cryosphere" detected as permafrost thawing and reduced snow cover duration, with cascading effects on hydrology and ecosystem services. Much of this is recently published in the Arctic Resilience Report, an assessment ordered by the Arctic Council (the report can be downloaded here). We are extremely lucky to have an international speaker of such high calibre to kick-start our 2014 presentations. 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.

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Field trip to Kakanui Peak

Saturday 7th of December 2013, 08:30 AM (5 years ago)

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

Kakanui Peak at 1528 m is one of the highest points in the Kakanui Range which runs in a north-westerly direction inland from Palmerston. We will travel to the top of the Pigroot and climb up to the summit of the peak (approximately an 800 m climb). Vegetation is mainly snow tussock grassland but there will possibly be a few surprises as the area has not been extensively botanised in recent years. For an overview of this area, including the geology and wildlife please see this PDF. Foul weather back up date Sunday 8th December. Meet 8.30 am Botany Department car park, Great King Street.

End-of-year dinner

Wednesday 4th of December 2013, 06:30 PM (5 years ago)

Contact: Bill Wilson | rdwilson-dn@xtra.co.nz | (03) 477 2282

At Harvest Court Café, details to be confirmed at a later stage.

Variation in pollinators' view of flowers and plants

Wednesday 20th of November 2013, 05:20 PM (5 years ago)

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

A talk by Dr John Conran, Associate Head, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Adelaide. Humans often assume that what we see is seen by others. This is not true and needs to be taken into account when thinking about plant pollination by insects and birds. Because of the variation of perceived light waves and ultra violet light, different species have different views of the world. For example a bees view of green foliage would be a 'real bad acid trip' for humans. Dr Conran will discuss the implications of this variation in relation to pollination in the NZ flora. 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.

Weekend trip to Long Point

Saturday 2nd of November 2013, 09:00 AM (5 years ago)

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

A weekend trip to this stunning Coastal peninsula in southern Catlins managed by the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust who have great plans to restore seabird communities there. As well as the stunning coastal scenery, penguins, seals and sealions, there are interesting plant communities including coastal turfs with rare plants, coastal shrublands and forest remnants. For more information visit the website. Please note it's quite exposed so come prepared for cold and windy conditions, but hope for better. Details on where we will be staying on the Saturday evening to be posted. We will leave Dunedin 9 am Saturday 2nd November and return by 4–5 pm Sunday 3rd. If you would like to come, please contact Robyn Bridges.

Talks by Botany Department Colloquium speakers

Wednesday 16th of October 2013, 05:20 PM (5 years ago)

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

Talks from Botany Department Colloquium winners showcasing some of the latest research by our most capable young botanists. A stimulating and varied evening is in store so please come and support the speakers. 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.

Next generation sequencing applications for Botantists—Why, how and how much?

Wednesday 9th of October 2013, 12:00 PM (5 years ago)

Contact: Tina Summerfield | tina.summerfield@otago.ac.nz | (03) 479 7578

A Department of Botany seminar. Dr Rebecca Laurie, NZGL (New Zealand Genomics Ltd). Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Visit to the Johnson's Garden and Styles Creek Bush, Broad Bay

Saturday 5th of October 2013, 09:30 AM (5 years ago)

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

A visit to the garden of Peter and Pru Johnson. Peter says, "This will be springtime, or at least one of its interesting months. My 2005 record of flowering times, done fortnightly, indicates that in early October we have had 180 different things in flower. Don't expect them all to be natives!" Bring cameras (of course). The second part of the trip is to Styles Creek Bush, which is 5 minutes walk up the hill. This is a QE II National Trust covenant on the property of Frank and Annie Pepers, 2.4 ha, fenced in 1987 and demonstrating what can be done with planting enrichment and weed control. The bush has a network of tracks, some a tad muddy underfoot, so wear your boots. Helen Clarke and I will be happy to explain what has been learned over the years. We may even offer prizes for anyone who spots a still-mature Bomarea, old man's beard, or passionfruit! The address is 5 Matariki Street, Broad Bay. Start time is 10 am (at Peter's place), or meet at 9.30 am at the Botany Department.

Theories and tests in community ecology

Wednesday 2nd of October 2013, 12:00 PM (5 years ago)

Contact: Tina Summerfield | tina.summerfield@otago.ac.nz | (03) 479 7578

A Department of Botany seminar. Professor Bastow Wilson. Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

POSTPONED: Seeing past the whiteout: new research on flower traits and pollinator behaviour in the New Zealand alpine

Wednesday 25th of September 2013, 12:00 PM (5 years ago)

Contact: Tina Summerfield | tina.summerfield@otago.ac.nz | (03) 479 7578

NOTE: This seminar has been postponed till a later date. A talk by Dr Janice Lord, Department of Botany. In the Union St. Lecture Theater (UNIST), cnr Great King St and Union St (West), Dunedin

Changes in eastern South Island indigenous grasslands: ancient, recent, small-scale and large

Wednesday 18th of September 2013, 12:00 PM (5 years ago)

Contact: Tina Summerfield | tina.summerfield@otago.ac.nz | (03) 479 7578

A Department of Botany seminar. Dr Susan Walker, Landcare Research. Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Botany Dept 4th year research student seminars

Wednesday 11th of September 2013, 12:00 PM (5 years ago)

Contact: Tina Summerfield | tina.summerfield@otago.ac.nz | (03) 479 7578

A Department of Botany seminar. David Cook, Nick Secker, Department of Botany. Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St