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Botanical education

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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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Dr M’s Ten Plants project to inspire young botanists!

The CBBC classical music initiative “Ten Pieces“ started in the autumn term of 2014 and aims to inspire a generation of primary children to get creative with classical music. With a week of free cinema screenings for primary schools across the country, the project culminates in two Ten Pieces Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in July 2015. So successful has “Ten Pieces” been in the
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Fascination of Plants Day with Dr M and friends at the University of Reading!

Monday 18th May 2015 was the 3rd International Fascination of Plants Day established to provide a global focus for celebrating the wonders of the plant world. At the University of Reading Dr M together with palaeoecologist Dr Macarena Cardenas celebrated FoPD with colleagues and students from the School of Biological Sciences and School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science as well as a special guest Professor John
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Dr M sings “cheerio” not “goodbye” to his VSA students for another year…

Dr M’s University of Reading signature module the legendary Vegetation Survey and Assessment (VSA) module has come to an end for another year (“shame!” I hear you cry!). But, as Dr M was keen to point out, in his end of module address to the assembled students from MSc Plant Diversity and MSc SISS, this is not an end but a beginning of their eXtreme
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