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A 21 blog post salute: highlights from drmgoeswild.com 2013

2013 was drmgoeswild.com’s first Christmas and he got so excited hanging up his botanical stockings and all, awe bless!

Launched in April/May 2013 drmgoeswild.com took off (viewing wise) in the Summer and has grown steadily since, now receiving around 3000 views per month.

drmgoeswild.com is a vehicle to communicate Dr M’s many passions for plants and field botany to his MSc students, to anyone else who will listen and even to those who wont!

Since the launch Dr M has published around 150 posts and aims to post something new – hopefully botanically topical or interesting or just funny, daft or plain bonkers – roughly every other day.

Dr M says it has never been a better time to enjoy plants and field botany and here are a few highlights (21 actually!) from Dr M’s 2013 posts:

    • 1. eXtreme Poaceae – the video that started it all off will always have a special place in Dr M’s heart – a touch of madness before he realised he would have to do some serious stuff as well!
    • 2. Dr M’s Tribes of Grasses – One of Dr M’s signature blog post series, to be completed in 2014
    • 3. Dr M’s top-20 plant families – another of Dr M’s signature post series and also to be continued/completed/expanded in 2014
    • 4. Tools of the eXtreme botanists trade – #1 the hand lens – Dr M’s most popular post with hundreds of views to date, not quite sure why but Dr M is not complaining!
    • 5. Marvellous mosses – Dr M is particularly fond of mosses and promises more mosses (and liverworts) in 2014
    • 6. A MOOC in field botany? – A Massive Open Online Course in case you were wondering, flavour of the month for some, and judging from the comments Dr M has received there would be takers for such an undertaking, watch this space!
    • 7. eXtreme carpology – another first for Dr M and created by two of his MSc students, eXtreme carpology is arguably the world’s first botanical party game! Try your carpological luck!
    • 8. Imagining lichens – Dr M is particularly fond of lichens and this project takes symbiosis and lichens as the inspiration for investigating the linkages between science and art, the work by Immy Smith is ongoing in preparation for Reading Science week in March 2014 – watch this space for more on this project
    • 9. University of Reading Whiteknights Bio Blitz! Definitely a highlight of 2013 and Dr M was there to film the proceedings during which many local environmental groups contributed and nearly 300 plant species were recorded on campus in the space of just two days!.
    • 10. Dr M’s plant ID video quiz – One of Dr M’s goals is to develop a library of videos to aid the identification of all the British vascular plant flora, here is #1, only a couple of thousand more to go!
    • 11. Aural identification – Dr M loves this beautiful cow and it’s great fun trying to ID grasses from the noise made when they are munched (as if!) by such a fine beast!
    • 12. EFL showcase – Dr M was part of this Enhancing Fieldwork Learning Showcase Event 2013 in Betws-y-Coed discussing the use of technology in field work and the use of video for plant identification (check out the EFL project here)
    • 13. Dr M’s eXtreme botany manifesto – chapter and verse on what makes Dr M and eXtreme botany tick!
    • 14. Those confounded elusive yellow composites – Dr M plans more post like this to help with the identification of difficult groups of plants, here the yellow composites are the case in point
    • 15. eXtreme botany Down Under – Dr M was tickled to find this whacky painting by Australian artist Dave Williams and entitled “extreme botany!”
    • 16. Dr M’s Christmas stocking fillers – Dr M reviews the main illustrated wild flower guides for Christmas
    • 17. Masterquadrat – Dr M on how to “do quadrats” – an under-appreciated video masterpiece – at least according to Dr M 😉
    • 18. The living botanical glossary – Another first from Dr M and his MSc students, this project to be developed into a video glossary – some time sooner or later!
    • 19. Botany is the best ‘B’ word – Dr M’s off the cuff talk on eXtreme botany given to the hapless audience at the Annual Exhibition Meeting of the BSBI in November 2013 after he accidentally and permanently deleted his presentation! (view the reconstructed presentation here!)
    • 20. Tools of the eXtreme botanists trade #4 the UoR Herbarium – where would botanists and the whole world be without the herbarium, up the proverbial without a proverbial, that’s where! More on taxonomy and herbaria here
    • 21. Type specimen: The video by John Hinton – Dr M cannot resist this favourite taxonomy video, OK it’s about beetles not botany but the principles and the format are pertinent and it’s brilliant!

If there is anything special you would like Dr M to post in 2014 or if you would like to offer a guest post, get in touch!

Featured image of Dr M in action is by Waheed Arshad, MSc student at University of Reading, check out Waheed’s botanical blog posts here

 

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