Home   Articles posted by DrM


Posts byDrM

Botanical University Contest – watch it here!

Follow the link to watch the entire contest on our private YouTube channel, come back here later for a blog post all about the day!

#YourDesertIslandDiscs – a miracle of moss and music

Dr M’s twin loves are plants and music and although his posts here focus on plants here is a  musical contribution. This month Lauren Laverne launches #YourDesertIslandDiscs BBC Radio 4’s invitation for the general public to tell about a piece of music they have turned to in the recent lockdown weeks, and the story behind the choice.  Dr M submitted his choice:  Beethoven’s sonata
Learn more »


Dr M says “Botany is all around us, everywhere and always!” And perhaps in this lockdown world it’s even more evident and certainly even more important. Just as the birds seem to be singing louder than ever nowadays, and there are more butterflies and other insects and the flowers are more abundant and more beautiful than ever!  Of course it is just that the
Learn more »

Botanical University Challenge 2020!

Botanical University Challenge was the brainchild of John Warren and Jonathan Mitchley (aka Dr M) and the first event took place at Kew Gardens in March 2016 and was chaired by James Wong.  The second challenge was held at University of Reading last year (March 2019) and was chaired by Chris Preston. The event has proved very popular and is a fun way to
Learn more »

Botanical Selfies: Joshua Ajowele

Dr M says: It’s always a pleasure to introduce a young botanist to these pages and it is a total delight to introduce Joshua Ajowele who joined the MSc Plant Diversity at the University of Reading in September 2019.  Joshua is one of those special people who walks into the room and immediately makes an impact, he is a gifted scientist and botanist and
Learn more »


If you love plants and especially house plants then the @mygreenstudy project is for you as it’s all about houseplants! My Green Study is a student-led initiative for those who share an appreciation and interest in houseplants. It has recently launched Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages aiming to create a community of fellow houseplant enthusiasts! The @MyGreenStudy team is led by Dr Alastair Culham and includes a team of
Learn more »

O Christmas Tree!

Christmas is coming and in his final appearance in this years botanical extravaganza celebrating 50 years of Reading Botany Dr M is presenting the University of Reading Christmas lecture on the festive botanical topic of Christmas trees! The event is fully booked now, with standing and dangling room only (fire regs permitting!). For those of you who can’t make it, and even those of you
Learn more »

#AdventBotany 2019!

In 2014 Alastair Culham, botanist and curator of the RNG herbarium at University of Reading, hatched the idea developed of posting a Tweet, blog and Facebook entry for one plant related to Christmas for each day of advent.  At the end of that year it seemed there were far too many plants to cover in just 25 days.  So, in 2015, 2016, 2017 and
Learn more »

Dr M’s autumn term extreme botany quiz – the solutions

If you didn’t see Dr M extreme botany quiz check it out here before reading on… If you did see it, and had a go, then check out the solutions below: #1 the botany hat – this is an intriguing one to be sure!   Dr M obtained this hat from a much-traveled colleague when he previously worked at Wye College. Dr M himself was uncertain
Learn more »

Dr M’s autumn term extreme botany quiz!

Dr M has been busy enjoying imparting botanical wisdom to his latest cohort of MSc students on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc SISS at University of Reading with his signature module Vegetation Survey and Assessment which started early October. The module spans 20 week through autumn and spring terms sand by week 4 of the autumn term Dr M’s students have been introduced
Learn more »