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Online resources

Dr M welcomes a new MSc student cohort to the joys of botany!

Dr M says: It’s that time of year again! Last year’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity students (class of 2016 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 2017 are soon to be on their way to Reading for a new exciting
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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 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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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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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 Goes Wild about plants at the Association of Science Education 2015

What’s the botanical buzz of 2015? Well, Dr M is taking eXtreme botany and #iamabotanist to the Annual Conference of the Association of Science Education (ASE) at University of Reading 7-10 January 2015.


Dr M to test botanical Apps at BSBI Annual Exhibition Meeting, Leicester

It seems only a moment ago Dr M was deleting his talk at the last Annual Exhibition Meeting of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland (Natural History Museum, London 2013 – and if you missed it, he retrieved it and you can revisit it here and here). But now it’s all botanical stations go once more, and Saturday will see the 2014 BSBI AEM, this
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Niki Simpson on botanical illustration for the 21st century…

Dr M first discovered Niki Simpson’s work while admiring the colour illustrations in the Vegetative Key. The clarity and accuracy of the illustrations seemed to reach a new level and it was only a shame that there were not more in that volume!   Meeting her unexpectedly at a botanical illustration event in London recently, Dr M was determined to learn more about her approach
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Dr M’s Autumn Term botany class #1: Of apps and keys and trees and shrubs

Dr M’s first lesson with MSc Plant Diversity students and MSc SISS included a tour round the woodland known as the Wilderness on the University of Reading award-winning green campus.