Dr M’s recent lichen post drew a number of appreciative comments, there are plenty of lichen enthusiasts out there it seems, maybe lichenology is not such a threatened species as Dr surmised! Anyway while Dr M draws up his next magnum lichen post, here’s a stunning image of lichens from Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel
“Lichens are not plants!” I hear you say! So what are lichens doing here on this botanical website?! Well, says Dr M, they are at least half plants! Lichens are a kind of symbiotic union between two very different groups of organisms (different Kingdoms even!) a fungus (Fungi Kingdom) and an algae (Plant Kingdom).
Dr M is particularly fond of mosses and was delighted to find on the British Bryological Society Facebook page a link to this Moss in Nature Competition from Digital Photography Review.
Dr M is very fond of taking his students into the University of Reading Herbarium to demonstrate the role of the modern herbarium in teaching, research and consultancy.
Dr M spent a long weekend in the English Lake District by Wastwater, the deepest lake on the Lake District and just down the road from Scafell Pike which reaches around 1000 m and is shown here hidden in cloud.
Dr M has previously posted here about “Imagining Science” a living Science-art collaboration. The next collaborative project for Reading Science Week 2014 is entitled “Symbiosis” and is about art-science relationships and uses lichens – the weird wonderful complex plant-fungus dual organisms – as a source of inspiration!
The new University term is nearly upon us and students enrolling for the University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills will be taking Dr M’s module on Vegetation Survey and Assessment on Thursdays in the Autumn Term.
Dr M would like to share some news from the science-art interface: Imagining Science is a living Science-art collaboration which all started in 2013 as a collaborative art exhibition for Reading Science Week and National Science and Engineering Week. The first project comprised the work of three science-artists addressing the way art and science investigate the world around us, and how imaginative thinking contributes to science and art in
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“Lichens? They are just wannabe plants!” as one of my past botany students put it – she didn’t like them very much! Well I suppose there is some truth in this. Lichens are a curious combination of an alga (a group of plants which includes the seaweeds) and a fungus (not a plant – in fact fungi (e.g.mushrooms and toadstools) are closer, in evolutionary
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