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News and Events, 2010

Congratulations to Sir Alan Mark for his Charles Fleming Award for Environmental Achievement from the Royal Society!

The 2010 Charles Fleming Award for Environmental Achievement has been awarded to Emeritus Professor Sir Alan Francis Mark FRSNZ, Emeritus Professor of Botany. Emeritus Professor Sir Alan Mark is New Zealand's leading environmental scientist and conservationist.

During his long research career he, together with students and colleagues he has mentored and inspired, has explored and illuminated the ecology of southern ecosystems, in particular tussock grasslands, wetlands and alpine communities, in a stream of highly influential publications.

See the Royal Society media release.



Thanks to Rachael, Kathryn, Chris and Ed for organising a great Botany Colloquium!

Group photo in Staff Room

Thanks to our judges Alan Mark, Gretchen Brownstein and Chris Hepburn who selected the winners of the Botanical Society of Otago best speaker awards were:
PhD student Ben Myles Phylogeography of Nothofagus menziesii: how much can chloroplast DNA tell us about the arrival and subsequent dispersal of this lineage in New Zealand? MSc student Rebecca James Will ocean acidification affect the carbon physiology of macroalgal communities? Hons student Sharon McKenzie Investigating the identity of Hypochaeris Mosaic Virus

These award-winning talks can be heard at the Botanical Society of Otago meeting on the 20th October at 5.20 pm in the Zoology Benham Building, 346 Great King Street.
Special thanks to Nikita Engels for assistance with the programme.

9th Annual Geoff Baylis Lecture.

Plant taxonomy: how can we tell if we're wrong?

Professor Philip Garnock-Jones.

Wednesday 15th September, 2010, 6 pm in Burns 1.

Plant taxonomy is practiced in many different ways by different taxonomists, but are there any unifying or general principles that can be applied? In this lecture, Professor Garnock-Jones will look at the two main types of problems that taxonomists try to solve—the delimitation of species and the classification of those species into higher-ranked taxa. For example, in Veronica, we have new taxonomic revisions of all the New Zealand groups, but we still don't understand the relationships of many of the species, especially among the shrubby hebes. Forty years ago, we had an outline by Lucy Moore of how the different groupings might be related to each other, a new Flora treatment that included a long list of species of uncertain status (e.g., Hebe biggarii), a suspicion that hebes hybridise more than is quite decent, and an almost complete list of chromosome numbers that suggested new understandings at species and higher ranks. Field work throughout New Zealand, new data from chemistry and genetics, and the framing of questions as explicit hypotheses have helped a group of us answer some of the questions, but many puzzles remain to keep the next generation of taxonomists busy.

Welcome to visiting researcher Associate Professor Glenn Hyndes

Glenn Hynde's research focus is on establishing pathways for the transfer of primary producers (especially seagrass and kelp) through coastal food webs using natural biomarkers (stable isotopes and fatty acids) and manipulative experimental approaches, such as labeled stable isotopes. Both seagrass and kelp have high levels of primary production and biomass in southern Australasia, and both macrophytes contribute substantially to drifting material (wrack) and therefore the detrital pool in other ecosystems. Glenn’s research is showing that seagrass contributes little to secondary production, at least directly, while kelp is readily taken up by consumers via mesograzers. His work is also showing that kelp potentially contributes to primary production through leakage of inorganic and/or organic nutrients from kelp and the uptake of those nutrients by seagrasses and epiphytes.

Mike Thorsen wins this year's Baylis Prize for best student research paper for 2009.

The prize-winning paper is: Thorsen, M., Dickinson, K.J.M., and Seddon, P.S. 2009. Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309. This research was conducted while Mike was a PhD student with Professor Kath Dickinson and Associate Professor Phil Seddon (Zoology).

Mike Thorse by stream

Congratulations to award winning first year students: Nikki Clarke, Man Iong Lei and Georgia Moore!

Nikki, Man Iong and Georgia were the highest scoring Ecol11 students continuing on the study Biol113. They each receive a copy of the Biol113 course text The Biology of Plants as well as hand lens, lab coat and pen.
Botany Colloquium

Friday 3rd September 2010

A one day meeting to provide Botany postgraduate students and researchers the opportunity to present their research.

Titles and abstracts for talks should be emailed to Gladys by Monday 26th July. Email Gladys at rachael.lawrence@botany.otago.ac.nz.

Botany Social Club

The Botany Social Club curling trip was a great evening of sweeping and counter-sweeping. One of the best throws of the night was by Nikita Engels - see the photographic evidence!

Congratulations to Todd Beaumont for winning the best student poster prize at the meeting of the New Zealand Marine Science Society.

Thesea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri was chosen because it is known that it lives for a relatively long time in an oxygen-saturated cold environment that may effect levels of oxidative stress. The results were interesting as they did not clearly support the free radical theory in either of the two tissues sampled (gut and gonad), but an interesting relationship between gluathione metabolism and reproductive potential was observed in the gonad tissue with age.

Botany at the Science Fair

Armed with Jellybeans, seaweed, beer and much more John Steel, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls and Sharon McKenzie brought Botany to the Science Festival this weekend. Learn more in the Sharon's report in the July edition of Green News.

Anna Hopkins Visiting Researcher

While in Dunedin, Anna is working with David Orlovich, looking at the ecology of the forest pathogern Neonectria fuckeliana in Pinus radiata in New Zealand. The focus of the ecological study is an increased understanding of aspects of the basic biology of the fungus as well as the impact of silvicultural practices on fungal dispersal, infection and survival. This knowledge will enable forest managers to better manage their forests to limit the spread and infection of N. fuckeliana and thereby reduce the incidence of stem cankers.

Tennant Lecture

20th July at 6 pm in Archway 2

Associate Professor Mike Pearson, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

The Pacific: emerging plant virus diseases of vanilla and other crops

More Information

Botany Colloquium

Friday 3rd September 2010

A one day meeting to provide Botany postgraduate students and researchers the opportunity to present their research.

Titles and abstracts for talks should be emailed to Gladys by Monday 26th July. Email Gladys at rachael.lawrence@botany.otago.ac.nz.

Botany Social Club

The Botany Social Club curling trip was a great evening of sweeping and counter-sweeping. One of the best throws of the night was by Nikita Engels - see the photographic evidence!

Events
Botany Seminars

Botany Seminars are held every second Wednesday at noon in the Union Street Lecture Theatre. Complete seminar list
July/August 2010

Tuesday 20 July 6.00 pm
Annual John Smaillie Tennant Lecture

The Pacific: emerging plant virus diseases of vanilla and other crops
Archway 2 Lecture Theatre
Associate Professor Mike Pearson, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland

Wednesday 28 July 12 noon
Union Street Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

The effects of macroalgal metabolism on pH regimes within near-shore communities and its implications for ocean acidification
Chris Cornwall, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Growth effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi from two Central Otago sites on a coexisting invasive plant, Hieracium lepidulum
Max Crowe, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 11 August 12 noon
Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Toxic cyanobacteria in New Zealand: from toxin regulation to national regulation
Dr Susie Wood, Cawthron Institute, Nelson

Wednesday 25 August 12 noon
Union Street Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Energetic requirements for growth of the deep-water red seaweed Anotrichium crinitum
Dan Pritchard, Department of Botany, University of Otago

30 August – 3 September

Mid Semester Break
September/October 2010

Wednesday 8 September 12 noon
Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

BTNY 480/490 presentations

Investigating the identity of Hypochoeris Mosaic Virus. Sharon McKenzie, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Mauve the mysterious flower colour pigment in Euphrasia dyeri
Vicky McGimpsey, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Difference in Cortinarius communities for three forest types: Pinus radiata, Nothofagus spp. and Kunzea ericodes. Suli Teasdale, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Does foliage of Thymus vulgaris (Labiatae) inhibit the germination of native shrub and grass species? Ella Hayman, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Tree species effects on canopy transpiration in two Catlins forests.
James Wang, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 22 September 12 noon
Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Pathways of connectivity in marine landscapes
Dr Glenn Hyndes, Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia

Wednesday 6 October 12 noon
Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Physiological responses of macroalgae under high PAR, UVR and elevated temperature
Dr Michael Roleda, Marsden Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Botany, University of Otago


Next Seminar 14th July 2010

When sea urchins get sunburnt: Impact of the ozone hole
Kathryn Lister, Department of Botany, University of Otago
Talk and Field Excursion

John Steel will give a talk on ‘Fabulous Ferns’ on 11th July at Orokonui ecosanctuary.
An illustrated talk and field excursion Time: 10am – 3pm. Cost: $39
Tennant Lecture

This years Tennant Lecture is on 20th July at 6 pm in Archway 2, the speaker is Associate Professor Mike Pearson, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

More information
Botany Colloquium

Botany Colloquium Friday 3rd September 2010. A one day meeting to provide Botany postgraduate students and researchers the opportunity to present their research. Registration is extended until Monday 26th July.

More information