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Colin Clubbe and James Wong welcome the first ever Botanical University Challenge!

After the initial inspiration and what seems like an eternity of planning by Dr M (University of Reading) and John Warren (IBERS Aberystwyth) the great day arrived, 10/03/16 and the first Botanical University Challenge ever in the Jodrell lecture Theatre at RBG Kew. Five fabulous teams – Reading, Aberystwyth, Edge Hill, Southampton and Kew – with botanical knowledge, skill and enthusiasm in spades, prepared
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The first ever Botanical University Challenge is nigh! Hosted by self-confessed @BotanyGeek and Kew alumnus James Wong BUC 2016 will be held in the Jodrell Laboratory at Kew from 2 pm Thursday 10th March 2016. As the final teams swot up and Dr M and colleagues John Warren and Laura Rozario make the final preparations and our host @botanygeek hones his botanical repartee, Dr M
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Possibly the youngest botanist in the country!

Last year Dr M posted botanical selfies here from two young botanists, George Garnett and Ryan Clark, this year sees the posting of a selfie from Reuben Nebbett-Blades who at just twelve years old could easily qualify as the youngest botanist in the country! And he’s certainly a dedicated field botanist this young chap, into the serious groups of plant groups like sedges and
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Dr M’s Valentine’s Day Botany Quiz!

Whether you are a lonely heart, a happy single or a devoted recent of long-standing starry eyed couple try Dr M’s extra special Valentine’s quiz inspired by the forthcoming Botanical University Challenge (10/3 at RBG Kew!). So, fingers on buzzers! Your starter for ten: The Rose must surely be the Valentine’s bloom of choice, but what four other blooms feature in the top five most
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The very first Botanical University Challenge 10/3 at RBG Kew!

BOTANICAL UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE 2016 This is the brain-child of Dr M  (School of Biological Sciences, University of Reading) John Warren (IBERS, University of Aberystwyth), and Paul Ashton (Edge Hill). The first ever Botanical University Challenge Will take place at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, hosted by James Wong, 2 pm Thursday 10th March 2016 Jodrell Lecture Theatre (Jodrell Laboratory building) TW9 3DS. Preview: Try your luck –
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Dr M discovers Gerard’s herbal – in Reading’s Oxfam bookshop!

Dr M’s favourite place in Reading is the Oxfam music shop in the Town centre where you can find, amongst others, second hand CDs, vinyls and sheet music aplenty. A visit this sunny saturday yielded nothing especially tempting and so Dr M journeyed across the road to the Oxfam bookshop were he was intrigued by a copy of Gerard’s herbal in the glass cabinet reserved
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Test your grass ID skill with the species recovery trust!

As you no doubt know, Dr M is particularly fond of Poaceae, and was therefore especially delighted to see that the species recovery trust has a brand new grass ID quiz for all to test their Poaceous knowledge! So, they ask, how many UK native grasses can you identify? Are you a Giant Fescue or a Hairy Brome? 40 questions to test, tease and entertain. Have
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A life-time of reasons to be cheerful about botany: Phil Gates

Dr M is proud and delighted to present this latest in this series by botanist and country diarist Phil Gates who Dr M “met” (the two have never actually met!) on Twitter. This virtual meeting goes to show  just how significant the internet has become as a virtual meeting place, a discussion forum and a vector for sharing and spreading the botanical word! And beautiful
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Botany books: Dr M’s late stocking fillers!

OK, Christmas stockings have been well and truly emptied now, so Dr M browses the library shelves for New Year botany gifts. If it’s plant ID books you are looking for then check Dr M’s review here. If its botany of the more literary and philosophical variety then read on! First up is “From Roots to Riches” the book of the landmark BBC radio
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Botanical University Challenge!

YOUR STARTER FOR TEN: Haver you ever wished Paxman would ask more botany questions on University Challenge? Well, here’s the answer: Dr M and colleagues John Warren (Aberystwyth) and Paul Ashton (Edge Hill) have masterminded a brand new botanical concept for 2016: Botanical University Challenge!  A botanical version of the ever popular BBC formula which will be hosted by James Wong at the Royal Botanic
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