Australian National Botanic Gardens

12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2019 — Theatrette

Our Thursday lunchtime talks cover diverse aspects of the natural world in Australia and around the globe.

The talks are aimed at a well-informed general audience and everyone is welcome.

Please email Doug Laing with any questions about our Thursday talks.

Upcoming talks

26 September  – Alexander von Humboldt, scientific traveler

Jennifer Rowland 

Jennifer is a member of the Friends of the ANBG and Cactus and Succulent Societies. To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Alexander von Humboldt, Jennifer will discuss his life, plant discoveries, trip to Central America and legacies. Von Humboldt influenced many people and left scientific legacies which still impact on us today.

3 October  – Sustainability and the Environment

Professor Kate Auty  

Kate, the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, will talk about innovative new strategies for the ACT’s reporting on the State of the Environment which include:  providing accurate, timely, and accessible information; evaluation; and increased community and government understanding of environmental and sustainability trends and interaction

10 October – Life of a Rain Drop – Protecting the Cotter Catchment

Brett McNamara   

Brett, Manager, Namadgi National Park, will talk on the emergence of the threat on Canberra’s principal water supply from feral horses, along with deer and noxious weeds.  Brett will provide context to the contemporary challenges confronted by land conservation managers as they manage the high county of the bush capital.

17 October  – The Wonders of Pollen: A Truly Canberra Perspective

Professor Simon Haberle 

Simon, from the ANU, will focus on the remarkable part pollen is playing in the science of food, health and history.  He will explore its use in the science of honey, allergy studies and the deep-time history of our environment – each told using examples of research from the Canberra region.

24 October  – The Seedy Side of Alpine Bogs and Fens

Dr Lydia Guja 

Lydia, Seed Conservation Biologist and Manager of the National Seed Bank, will speak on the conservation of endangered alpine bogs and fens, and share new results on research into seed dormancy and germination of bog and fen plants, highlighting the important role seeds play in ensuring the persistence of these communities.

31 October  – Palaeobotany in the Commonwealth Palaeontological Collection

Steven Petkovski and Natalie Schroeder  

Steve and Natalie, both from Geoscience Australia, will talk about the Commonwealth Palaeontological Collection at Geoscience Australia which contains over 45,000 published fossil specimens.  The talk will provide: an overview of the collection; an introduction to palaeobotany and its importance; and information on the collection of Mary White.

7 November  – History of Australia in Seven Rocks

Dr Marita Bradshaw 

Maria, a leading petroleum geologist, will identify seven rocks that have had a wide-ranging and profound influence on Australian society, historical events and biology.  These include: the mineralization of Mount Isa; the Cretaceous shales of the former inland sea which gave us the Great Artesian Basin; and the Cenozoic limestones of the south coast.

14 November  – When Aliens Invade:  The Impact of Invasive Species on Norfolk Island’s Native Vegetation

Leah Dann 

Leah, a PhD Student at the University of Queensland will discuss Norfolk Island’s vegetation and some major threats to native plant establishment, particularly the impact of invasive species such as rats and feral chickens.  Strategies to mitigate key threats and secure native vegetation communities are vital.

15 August – Moths and Bushblitzes

Glenn Cocking

Glenn, a volunteer curator at the National Insect Collection, will discuss the moth fauna of Black Mountain in the context of some general observations about moths. He will explain how to understand the families present in the ACT and tell some stories about an eclectic selection of species from wider afield.

21 November – Night Parrot the Bird and the Politics

Dr Penny Olsen 

Penny, an Honorary Professor at the ANU, will talk about the Night Parrot.  The first museum specimen of the Night Parrot was collected in 1845 but lay unrecognized until well into the 20th century.  Since then the parrot has continued to elude seekers, revealing itself only intermittently.  The recent discoveries of small populations in south-east Queensland and Western Australia, have heightened interest in the bird. 

29 August – Frogwatch: successfully marrying citizen science and community engagement since 2002

Anke-Maria Hoefer

Anke Maria, from the ACT and regional Frogwatch program, will introduce you to the program that engages hundreds of volunteers each year. The data collected feeds into a wide range of frog projects, including frog censuses, climate change investigations and frog habitat studies.  

28 November  – Vegetation Types, Vegetation Dynamics and Fire Ecology on Black Mountain

Michael Doherty  

Michael, a plant ecologist, will focus on the long-term ecological monitoring which is an essential component of sound fire management practice on Black Mountain.  Given the proximity of Black Mountain to Canberra’s academic institutions and an engaged and interested community, the mountain remains a fertile ground for ongoing botanical and ecological research.



12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2019




Entry by donation