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Arachnoid choreography live and kicking in Dr M’s garden!

Dr M went all entomological this weekend filming this dramatic real time choreography from a garden arachnid. This beautiful Crab Spider has recently made its home in Dr M’s wild betony patch, a surprising choice of home since the vivid purple blooms contrast dramatically with the yellow of the spider! Normally, so Dr M understands, this spider selects more concealing blooms, however it seems quite
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Come into the garden!

As the UK heatwave continues Dr M says why not let botany cool you down, come in the garden, your garden, any garden! Dr M’s own garden is very much enjoying the sunny weather on the whole and his sunflower certainly appreciates the currently abundant morning noon and evening sunshine! Dr M says: The English summer is well known for its transience and so enjoy it
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From Arthur Tansley to John Rodwell: Dr M on the NVC

Dr M is teaching his MSc students at University of Reading about Phase 2 surveys and The National Vegetation Classification (NVC). The NVC was developed at Lancaster University in the 1980s when Dr M was a post-doc researcher there working with Andrew Malloch and John Rodwell (the editor of the NVC) during the writing of the NVC and so it is all rather close
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The Twelve Days of Botany!

On the twittersphere and globally it is no secret that Dr M has been planning something a bit special for this Christmas.


Botany trending on Twitter: #iamabotanist!

At last Twitter is alive with the sound of botany! Or at least the dulcet tones of a podcast from Dr Chris Martine of Bucknell University in the USA and a host of hashtags proclaiming #iamabotanist and #reclaimthename.


National Trust’s 50 things to do outside with the kids – let’s have more eXtreme botany?!

The National Trust has gone crazy wild about getting the nation’s kids outside at the weekend so they’ve put together a list of 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ along with the 50 place finder to locate great places to do them, woods, fields, hills, caves, ponds and streams! They want to encourage kids to get mucky, discover their wild side and get closer to
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eXtreme botany on the edge: roadside orchids!

Dr M asks: What’s not to love about orchids?  I mean it’s a botanical given, orchids – everyone loves them! OK, Dr M might prefer Poaceae but that’s Dr M for you!


eXtreme botany at the edge – saltmarsh vegetation

Dr M was surveying coastal vegetation recently on the Isle of Grain in Kent and he came across a small semi-circular beach and this set him thinking about (and photographing) saltmarsh vegetation. Most plants on earth are terrestrial and cannot tolerate seawater which has a devastating effect on the osmotic potential and water relations of most land plants, literally sucking the water and life out
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Botany banned from the biosphere!

You thought it could never happen here? Some will stop at nothing to have their way with our botanical freedoms. The shocking facts here:   You heard, saw and felt it here first! So now: Write to your MP! Petition the Queen! Do whatever it takes! The world must see botanical reason. Dr M says: Botany is our birthright, there are no exceptions! And…   APRIL FOOL!
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Voyages round my lichen twigs #3 – Gloria to Xanthoria!

You know it by now, Dr M is particularly fond of lichens!  And especially excited that the resident exhibition at Reading Science Week was the Symbiosis project which takes lichens as a metaphor for the creative symbiosis between artists and scientists. In celebration of this union, Dr M has embarked on a series of music videos collectively entitled “a voyage round my lichen twigs” and all inspired by
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