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Archives - Seminars - 2011

All seminars we held in Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St, unless otherwise stated.

December 2011

Invasive Species in Natural Ecosystems

Dr Margaret Stanley, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

Wednesday 21st December, 12 Noon.

November 2011

Ecosystems in waiting or a bright new future?

Dr John Ogden.

Wednesday 9 November 2011 12 noon
Student Learning Centre Seminar Room GW3, Information Services Building access via Cumberland or Albany Sts

Mixed plant and animal communities are now widely established in New Zealand. Will the forests of yesteryear eventually re-establish, or should we welcome a new species mixture dictated by a new disturbance regime? Work on the dynamics of the scrub communities on Great Barrier Island will be discussed.

Mountain earthquakes and their ecological effects: the case of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Prof Qian Wang, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Wednesday 16 November 12 noon

October 2011

Differential Susceptibility to Ocean Acidification.

Associate Professor Catriona Hurd, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Tuesday 4 October 2011 4pm
Marine Science Seminar room

My Place in the World: An Update on the Electron Microscopy Facilities at the University of Otago.

Allan Mitchell, Technical Manager, Otago Centre for Microscopy

Wednesday 5 October 2011 12 noon

Orokonui Landmark Lecture - The Meaning of Eco: Science or Brand?

Professor Kath Dickinson, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 12 October 2011 7.30pm
St David’s Lecture Theatre

MSc proposals

Aiko Lignon: MSc Plant Biotech proposal- genetic variation in Alfalfa mosaic virus
Max Corral: MSc Botany proposal- Can we use virus infection to manipulate secondary metabolites in economically important plants?

Wednesday 19 October 2011 12 noon
Phys Ed Seminar Room #213-4, 55 Union St

September 2011

Friendly Forest Fungi: mycorrhizae of NZ native forest trees

Wednesday 21th September 2011,12:00 PM - 12:50 PM

A talk by Dr David Orlovich in celebration of International Year of Forests 2011. I will discuss the importance of fungus-root symbioses in NZ forests and describe recent research on native mycorrhizal fungi. A Department of Botany Lunchtime Seminar. Note: Special time and Venue: Union St Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St. Venue is subject to change, so please check back here for an update closer to the day.

10th Annual Geoff Baylis Lecture: Complex relationships with friends and foes: How native plants manage the risks

Wednesday 14th September 2011, 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Castle 1 Lecture theatre

Speaker Dr Bill Lee Landcare Research, Dunedin; Joint Graduate School of Biodiversity and Biosecurity, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland.

Plants share a world with many other organisms that represent both potential enemies and possible allies. For their enemies plants are a food source, but plants have developed numerous defences, including co-opting other animals, to protect vital organs. This involves strategic alliances, armed neutrality and active warfare. Plants also develop interdependencies with other biota for obtaining resources, assisting reproduction and dispersal, and limiting herbivory. The talk will explore what we know about these interactions in New Zealand, and discuss some of the extraordinary relationships amongst and between fungi, arthropods, birds, and plants. Emphasis will be on the strategies and tactics involved from the perspective of the plants, and how much plants are prepared to repel enemies and gain friends in natural ecosystems.

Landmark Lecture - The Meaning of 'Eco' Science or Brand?

Professor Kath Dickinson

Wednesday 12th of October, 7:30 pm.
St David Street Lecture Theatre.

2011 Botany postgraduate student colloquium a big success!

Thanks to colloquium organisers Chris Cornwall, Kathryn Lister, Lars Ludwig and Rocio Suarez-Jimenenz.

This year's botany colloquium was a great success showcasing the wide variety of research being conducted in the department, ranging from marine to terrestrial to aerial! Three students won prizes for outstanding presentations; Jaz Morris (4th year) for his work on the effects of greenhouse conditions on the physiology of giant kelp, Diego Urrutia Guevara (MSc) for his work on alpine plant and soil composition in the Old Man Range and Tim Crawford (PhD) for his research into the low-oxygen electron transport in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

Guest speaker Professor Robert Poulin from Otago's own Department of Zoology impressed everyone with his witty and informative presentation on "Getting your research published." His advice was beneficial to staff and students alike and we very much appreciated Robert's time and enthusiasm.

Academic staff also contributed by competing in our inaugural 3-minute research competition in which Janice Lord took out the overall winner for her smooth moves and presentation titled "sex, bugs and rock'n'roll."

Thanks go to all the presenters, the Department of Botany for funding, the Botanical Society of Otago for putting up the student awards.

July 2011

Induced mutations and biotechnology for horticultural crop improvement

Professor Shri Mohan Jain, Department of Agricultural Sciences University of Helsinki, Finland.

Wednesday 17th August @ 12 noon

John Smaillie Tennant Lecture: How many species will survive the 21st century?

Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden

Thursday 21 July 2011 at 6.00 pm, St David Lecture Thearter.

June 2011

Plant-environment interactions: plant strategies and applications

Dr Rainer Hofmann, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences Lincoln University

Tuesday 7 June 1 pm in Benham Seminar Room, Zoology Department

In their natural environment, plants are exposed to a wide spectrum of environmental variables, including peak levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation in summer, limited availability of water and nutrients, and many other abiotic and biotic factors. While the effects of these variables can impose considerable stress on plants, frequently they can also contribute to cross-tolerance. In many of these cases, flavonoids have been implicated as biochemical mediators. Our findings highlight the importance of UV radiation-mediated flavonoid production for preconditioning plants to better cope with other environmental variables such as drought. Our results are in line with plant strategy theory, indicating that investment into biochemical protection can come at a cost for primary productivity. The findings provide new avenues for plant improvement and crop production via the selection of productive germplasm that contains key protective metabolites to balance trade-offs between plant productivity and stress resistance. Applications of this knowledge in viticulture and oenology are also discussed.

May 2011

An investigation into the symbiosis of Pseudocyphellaria crocata

Jess Yardley (MSc final)

Wednesday 11 May 12 noon

Title: to be advised

Emma Wallace (MSc proposal)

Wednesday 11 May 12:30 pm

Antioxidative strategies of intertidal macroalgae to radiation stress

Dr Ralf Rautenberger, DGF Postdoctoral Fellow, Botany Department)

Wednesday 25 May 12:30

April 2011

Oxidative damage and antioxidant defences of the macroalgae Ulva pertusa and an associated grazing mollusk in response to fluoranthene contamination.

Nikita Engels, (MSc final), Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 13 April 12 noon

Plant strategies along small-scale snowmelt gradients in New Zealand.

Annika Korsten, (MSc final) Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 13 April 12:30 pm

March 2011

Thursday 3rd March 5:30 PM

Archway 4 Lecture Theatre, access from Union Street East

Mountain tops to ocean depths: my involvement with a range of ecological/environmental issues, mainly in the south

Union Street Lecture Theatre, Cnr Union St West & Great King St

Wednesday 16 March 12 noon

Hybrid fitness and ecological speciation in flowering plants

Professor Diane Campbell, University of California, Irvine and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

Toxins, climate change and marine invertebrates.

Kathryn Lister, PhD Proposal, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 30 March 12 noon

What is the role of facilitation in structuring alpine communities?

Britt Cranston, PhD Proposal, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Wednesday 30 March 12:30 pm

January 2011

The role of shrubs and rabbit herbivory in the ecological restoration of the drylands of south-central New Zealand.

Amadou Camara, PhD Candidate, Department of Botany, University of Otago

Monday 24 January 12 Noon