Australian National Botanic Gardens

12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2018 — 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

21 February – Australian plant biodiversity: past, present and future

Dr Marcel Cardillo 

Marcel will discuss how extracting DNA from plant tissues helps us reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Australian biota over tens of millions of years. He will explain why south-west Australia is a biodiversity hotspot and the increasingly important role that molecular phylogenetics plays, with examples from research on Australian Proteaceae.

28 February – How do plants ‘do’ heat stress? Further lessons from the Australian desert

Associate Professor Andy Leigh 

Andy, from the University of Technology Sydney, will explore what factors determine whether high temperatures become stressful to plants. Does water stress make a difference? Is thermal tolerance static or fluctuating and over what time scale?

7 March – The declined, the gifted and the desired: four Canberra rivers

Matthew Higgins 

Matthew is a Canberra historian. He will present natural and historical information about four rivers near Canberra and detail some of his experiences on them.

14 March – Phylogenetic diversity and ‘hot spots’ for conservation

Dr Alexander Schmidt-Lebuhn 

Alexander is from the Centre for Australian Plant Biodiversity Research. He will explain how phylogenetic diversity works, its logic, and how it can identify areas of conservation priority and patterns of biogeographic interest.

21 March – Callitris: an evolutionary chronicle of extinction, survival and rediversification

Emeritus Professor Mike Crisp 

Mike is from the Australian National University. He will discuss how the cypress family of conifers has been an important model for studying how organisms came to be distributed and how ancient changes in the Earth’s environment influenced their distribution.

28 March – ACT Healthy Waterways: an update

Justin Foley 

Justin is program manager of the ACT Healthy Waterways project, a joint initiative of the ACT and Federal governments to improve the quality of water entering our lakes and waterways. It includes the construction of infrastructure – like wetlands, ponds and rain gardens – and involves research trials.

4 April – Artwork delights from the gardens’ library and archives collection

Jane Black

Jane Black, our librarian and archivist, will share some of the diverse artworks from the gardens’ library and archives collection, which have been inspired by Australia’s native plants.

11 April  – Manipulation of host plants by herbivorous insects

Dr James Nicholls 

James currently works at the Australian National Insect Collection at CSIRO. He will talk about how parasitic oak gall wasps manipulate their host plants to produce unusual structures and compounds to gain higher quality nutrition and increased protection from predatory wasps.

18 April  – Detecting photosynthetic stress in temperate Australian seagrasses

Dr Sue Fyfe

Sue from the Australian National Botanic Gardens will discuss the evolution of temperate Australian genera to their marine environment, photosynthesis in seagrasses, their physiological response to light stress, and the potential for monitoring meadow health with remote sensing.

25 April – Selected Gallipoli cemeteries

Dr Michael McKernan

Michael, a social and military historian, will speak on some of the better-known cemeteries, their locations, the unique nature of each, and the stories of the men who lie buried there.


12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2018




Entry by donation