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

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.

2 May  – 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?

9 May – Classifying people and plants: the extraordinary works of Theophrastus

Dr Sonia Pertsinidis

Sonia, a lecturer at the ANU, will introduce Theophrastus, the successor to Aristotle and a pioneering botanist of the fourth century BC.

She will discuss some fascinating similarities between Theophrastus’s classification of plants in his botanic works and his classification of human types in the Characters.

16 May – Unique weevil fauna preserved in 100-million-year-old Burmese amber

Dr Rolf Oberpieiler 

Rolf, a weevil taxonomist at the CSIRO’s Australian National Insect Collection, will speak about this fascinating phenomenon, which dates back to early Upper Cretaceous deposits.

Like the plants, the weevil fauna in Burmese amber also exhibits distinct affinities to modern-day Gondwana taxa that are relictual in Australia.

23 May  – The physiology of leaf photosynthesis

Dr John Evans 

John, a chief investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Transitional Photosynthesis, will describe how it has been possible to link photosynthetic properties to underlying biochemical and structural elements, resulting in the application of increasing photosynthesis by crop plants to assist in raising yield potential.

30 May – Camp and colonies: bats in the Australian Capital Territory

Ingrid Singh 

Ingrid, a volunteer wildlife carer, has been helping to rescue, rehabilitate and release bats around Canberra with ACT Wildlife since it was established.

She will talk about the hidden creatures around us so you can decide whether they are pollinators, pest-controllers or terrifying ‘children of the night’.

6 June – Connecting Indigenous and scientific plant names

Dr Linda Broadhurst 

Linda from CSIRO will discuss a proposal to co-develop processes and practices with Indigenous communities that will connect Indigenous and scientific plant names to improve the conservation and management of our Australian flora.

13 June – Conservation of the pink-tailed worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella) at Googong

Robert Spiers 

Robert, Capital Ecology’s principal ecologist, will talk about this lizard that lives in ant galleries under small surface volcanic rocks in our region. Much of the lizard’s habitat is being destroyed or modified by agriculture and urban development, leading to its decline and its listing as ‘vulnerable’.

20 June – National and international focus on conserving camellia collections

Dr Stephen Utick 

Stephen is a recognized world expert on camellias. While not endemic to Australia, the genus Camellia is of immense horticultural and cultural significance internationally. This presentation will examine initiatives in Australia and around the world to conserve rare and endangered cultivars, with a special emphasis on the work of Camellia Ark Australia.


12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2019




Entry by donation