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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.


Reading Science week

Reading Science Week was well worth the wait! A feast of scientific delight was on offer, Dr M hopes you joined in and enjoyed the fun!


Reading Science Week – the Symbiosis project!

The resident exhibition for Reading Science Week was the Imagining Science Symbiosis Project about which Dr M has posted before and within which Dr M is deeply embedded!


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 liking foliose lichens

Dr M has been investigating lichen diversity with his MSc students and you can check out the other posts on liking lichen growth forms and crustose lichens and fruticose lichens. Here Dr M takes a look at some of the foliose lichens that students examined in the lab under the expert guidance of botanical colleague Fay Newbery.


Dr M’s liking crustose lichens

Dr M has been investigating lichen diversity with his MSc students and you can check out the other posts on liking lichen growth forms and foliose lichens, and fruticose lichens. Here Dr M takes a look at some of the crustose lichens that students examined in the lab under the expert guidance of botanical colleague Fay Newbery.


Dr M’s liking lichen growth forms

“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 needs to tidy his office!

Dr M had planned to put a day aside last term to tidy his office, it didn’t happen! A tidy desk is a great motivator allegedly, so what does that mean for Dr M who has always seen himself as a bit of a Dr M-otivator!? Albert Einstein and Roald Dahl had messy desks! That’s good surely?!


Dr M and student’s “New Year” Plant Hunt – The Results!

Dr M’s MSc New Year Plant Hunt (borrowed from the idea by BSBI) took place on Tuesday 14th January 2014. Three groups of MSc students walked the University of Reading Whiteknights campus for 1 hour each in the chilly sunshine collecting any plant in flower and these were taken back to the lab and identified