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Inspiring the next generation of botanists TODAY!

Dr M attended the UK PlantSci 2014 meeting in York, 31st March 2014.

Botany is dead, long-live eXtreme botany!

Last year Dr M was struck by an article entitled“The Death of Botany” in the “Rant and Reason” section of the June 2013 edition of the magazine of the British Ecological Society.  In this rant, Dr Markus Eichhorn, botanist at the University of Nottingham, bemoaned the loss of botany degree programmes from UK Universities.

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 9 Hypnales – (most of) the Pleurocarps

A very large order comprising most of the pleurocarpous mosses with perhaps 4400 species world-wide!

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 8 Orthotrichales

An order of epiphytic acrocarps, about 100 species world-wide and forming cushions on trees or rocks. The leaves are lanceolate and recurved at the margin, and are either overlapping when dry (e.g. Orthotrichum) or twisted when dry (e.g. Ulota).

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 7 Booby-licious Bryales

Bryales is a large order of acrocarpous mosses containing about 500 species world-wide, and found growing on soil, rocks and walls.

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 6 Funariales

A small order in Britain (but about 135 species world-wide), including a very common and characteristic species, Funaria hygrometrica, growing on old bonfire sites, disturbed ground and garden and other horticultural habitats.

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 5 Grimmiales

Dr M loves Grimmiales, well it’s such a wonderful bryological name!  And a great big order of epiphytic acrocarpous mosses of walls and rocks and boulders and related habitats.

Dr M’s liking fruticose lichens

Dr M has been investigating lichen diversity with his MSc students and has recently posted on liking lichen growth forms, crustose lichens and foliose lichens. Dr M continues this series with a look at some of the fruticose lichens that students examined in the lab under the expert guidance of botanical colleague Fay Newbery. The thallus (the main body of the lichen) is branched the branches may be rounded or
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Dr M’s Spring term ID test: bryophytes

Recently, Dr M ran a Spring term plant ID test for his MSc students at University of Reading and has posted the results of Part 1 (vascular plants). Here Dr M posts Part 2 of the test: the bryophytes – the group of lower plants which includes the mosses and liverworts. There were ten species in total: three species to be identified without books
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Dr M’s Spring term plant ID test: vascular plants

Dr M’s students have returned from the vacation and spent the first week of the new term on the New Year Plant Hunt in which they and Dr M found 38 species in flower on the University of Reading campus! This week Dr M set his students a plant ID test of vascular plants and bryophytes. This was a formative test which is a
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