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Field botany

Dr M’s weekend mini-quiz from the ramparts of Maiden Castle in Dorset!

Dr M was in Dorset recently and took the opportunity to visit one of the largest and most complex of Iron Age hillforts in Europe, Maiden Castle, whose huge multiple ramparts once protected several hundred residents. It’s an old, old site and excavations famously carried out in the 1930s and 1980s revealed the site’s 4,000-year history, from a Neolithic causewayed enclosure to a small Roman
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Dr M’s botanical selfies head north to a Swedish Sphagnum fancier…

Dr M is always delighted when his students move on from University of Reading to push botanical boundaries forward in their careers, and Charlie Campbell is one such, one of Dr M’s recent MSc Plant Diversity students and now a PhD student and deep Sphagnophile to boot! Charlie is already known to DrMGoesWild, previously seen discussing, you guessed it, Sphagnum (check his previous Sphagnum post here). But now
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Dr M says “hello and goodbye” to MSc Plant Diversity students…

Dr M says: It’s that time of year again! Last year’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity students (class of 2014 pictured above) are just about finishing their dissertations and ready to move on to botanical pastures new, while the class of 2015 are soon to be on their way to Reading for a new exciting and, if Dr M has anything to do with
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Dr M’s weekend mini-quiz #5: come into my parlour…

…said the spider to the … spider! And so to celebrate national insect week (ye\h Dr M knows spiders are Arachnids not Insects but…!) Dr M offers these images of a female spider and her husband (aka lunch) on their web abode outside Dr M’s parlour (aka kitchen!) recently. Dr M is particularly fond of spiders, but, however lovely they might be, Arachnida hardly
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Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #4: and the eXtreme botanical hitchhikers were…

For the love of seeds how did you do?! Well, there were three obvious families clinging to Dr M’s eXtreme botany boots, and one less obvious and no doubt others lurking in nooks, crannies and crevices as they do!


Dr M’s weekend mini-quiz #4: eXtreme botany boots!

One of the mysteries of plant ecology is exactly how plants disperse and colonise new areas of land. Now, thanks to Dr M, we can consider this puzzle solved, it’s obvious, they hitch a ride on Dr M’s fieldwork boots! Dr M is particularly fond of seeds, such beautiful, extraordinary and powerful botanical objects. Dr M has posted about seeds before (e.g. here) but
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Dr M’s mini-quiz answer #3: the mystery wet weekend plant!

OK, the soggy Bank Holiday Monday is over and now we are into a soggy week at work! You’ve had plenty of sodden hours to contemplate this plant so here’s the low down: The mystery plant is in the family Amaranthaceae which includes three genera. (1) Chenopodium which is a genus of annual herbs with grooved, often striped stems and leaves which are often mealy
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Dr M’s botanical mini-quiz #3: something for a wet Bank Holiday Monday!

OK it’s a wet soggy Bank Holiday Monday (as usual!) so why not dry yourself off and warm yourself up with Dr M’s mystery plant mini-quiz #3! This is a plant doing rather well in Dr M’s Mum’s garden in the Wye Valley near Chepstow at the moment. Can you get family? genus? species? Close-up image coming a bit later!


Botanical selfies: eXtreme botany at 3600 m with Alan Elliott

The latest in Dr M’s series of botanical selfies ascends 3600 m and finds PhD student Alan Elliott giving up on computer games and going wild about Mecanopsis… I am… Alan Elliott, a final year PhD researcher at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh working on a project looking the dynamics of speciation in the Himalaya. I got into botany… by accident.
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eXtreme botany on tour: Day 1 – Wizzing from Reading to Brno and beyond

2014 marks the first anniversary of eXtreme botany and Dr M is celebrating by embarking on a European tour which tracks a botanical transect from the Czech Republic, through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and from thence to Finland – an eXtreme botanical transect indeed! Day 1 Tuesday was a long day! A very early morning start from Reading, travelling to Luton airport (Lorraine Chase comes to
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