Home   Archive by category "Botanical education"

Botanical education

So, Why are plants smelly then?

As part of the University of Reading British Science Week outreach activities Dr M and colleagues Oli Wilson, Alex Dean and Katie Cooper hosted an event for local families addressing this aromatic question!  As Dr M pointed out to the attendees, this event also forms part of Reading Botany 2019, a year-long series of events celebrating 50 years botany masters teaching at Reading and over
Learn more »


Why are plants smelly?

Ever trod on a plant, caught a whiff of its smell and wondered: why do plants smell? Well, wonder no more, Dr M has just the thing for you: the University of Reading “Why are plants smelly” outreach project – part of University of Reading’s (UoR) contribution to British Science Week (March 2019) and 5th International “Fascination of Plants Day” (May 2019). These events also
Learn more »


Botanical University Challenge: a precedent from Thailand!

Quite recently Dr M was fascinated to discover that the UK Botanical University Challenge, originally devised by Dr M and John Warren back in 2016, has a very esteemed tropical precedent. Dr M was chatting to new PhD student Mr. Nattanon Meeprom working with Alastair Culham in the School of Biological Sciences at University of Reading.  Very soon Dr M was amazed to learn
Learn more »


Dr M reaching out to the next generation with plants!

Following their successful visit to the University of Reading campus for Fascination of Plants day 2017, Oxford Road Community School and their teacher Mr Lyford invited Dr M to contribute to the school science club. The theme was classification and Dr M took in three bin bags of plants gathered from the University campus and invited the pupils to think about how we can group
Learn more »


That was FoPD (and #BotanyLive), that was!

After the success of our monkey puzzle Fascination of Plants Day two years ago (check the link here) Dr M and colleagues have done it again, they ran another Fascination of Plants Day event at the University of Reading in the beautiful Harris Garden and tropical glass house. Plus, a first for 2017, they took part in the first ever #BotanyLive event!  Organised by Anne
Learn more »


Gatsby Plant Sciences Summer School 2016

Dr M is the University of Reading mentor for Gatsby Plant Science (part of the Gatsby Plant Science Education Programme at the University of Cambridge) and each year he selects three undergraduate science students on a competitive basis to attend the inspirational and potentially life-changing Gatsby Plants Summer School. The summer school (established by the University of Leeds in 2005) is a unique opportunity for first year BSc
Learn more »


Dr M’s eXtreme botany quiz

So once again a new botanical term has dawned and Dr M’s eager new MSc students (pictured above) have arrived at the University of Reading to study on the twin MSc’s: Plant Diversity and SISS. And from the four corners of the globe they come, well to be precise from Britain, Ireland, Brazil, China, France and Saudi Arabia, not bad going though! They were
Learn more »


Hit me with your EFL plant tests!

Recently Dr M and colleague Alastair Culham gave a presentation on creative approaches to teaching plant ID to the BES/EFL workshop in Hyde Park – as Alastair Culham has said in his account of this event (here), “…the audience didn’t know what hit them – two plant ID tests in 30 minutes!” Regular visitors will already know this and you can see Dr M’s summary here.
Learn more »


Botanical hello’s and goodbye’s at the University of Reading!

Dr M says: It’s that time of year again! Last year’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity students (class of 2015 pictured above) are just about finishing their dissertations and we are already wishing them well as they get ready to move on to botanical pastures new, while the class of 2016 are soon to be on their way to Reading for a new exciting
Learn more »


Creative approaches to teaching field botany skills

STOP PRESS: Dr M and his colleague Alastair Culham  presented a workshop on teaching plant ID skills at the Enhancing Fieldwork Learning workshop in collaboration with the British Ecological Society, and supported by the Society for Experimental Biology, at the Isis Education Centre in Hyde Park, London 7-8 September 2015. Building on four previous Showcases, the event aimed to share ideas and practice for innovative
Learn more »