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Tag Archives: University of Reading

eXtreme botany goes to town!

Yes, Dr M headed into London Town for the Annual Exhibition Meeting of the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland on Saturday 23rd November at the Natural History Museum. Dr M was there with his eXtreme botany manifesto, and with some of his current students who prepared an eXtreme botanical challenge for the delegates!

A MOOC in plant identification and field botany…?

Dr M has a dream: The University of Reading has just launched a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in plant identification and field botany…

Dr M tells visiting scholars: “I never expected to be Blogging!”

Yes, just a few months ago Dr M thought blogging was an unfathomable absurdity, a waste of time, done only by those with little to say but too much time to waste, generating endless words floating around the ether, no shelf-life, nowhere to go, so much cyberspace white noise!

Tools of the eXtreme botanists trade 4: the RNG herbarium

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’s students create a living botanical glossary

Twenty-six botanists from Dr M’s Vegetation Survey and Assessment MSc class have produced the first ever living botanical glossary known to science (unless, of course, you know better?!).

Dr M talks British tree identification: show me the colour of your buds

As regular visitors will know, Dr M is currently teaching British tree identification in his Vegetation Survey and Assessment module on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills. Amongst the features which help in putting a name to a tree include the twigs, leaves and buds. Buds come in all shapes and sizes and colours, all can be helpful for ID.

Dr M talks British tree identification – Beech and Hornbeam

Dr M in full flow talking to the trees! (image courtesy of Waheed Arshad). Dr M is currently teaching British tree identification in his Vegetation Survey and Assessment module on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills. During a recent 2-hour walk in autumnal sunshine, the class collected twigs and leaves from no fewer than 27 genera.

Why be a botanist?

Love plants? Love botany? Want to make a career out of it? Well Dr M has, with his interest and love of plants dating back to age 11 and no doubt before, though currently Dr M’s memory banks don’t allow much recall prior to age 11!

Imagining Lichens

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!

Tools of the trade for the field botany student!

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.