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

31 May – Alarm calls and eavesdropping in wild bird populations

Professor Robert Magrath

Robert, will discuss how many birds give alarm calls to warn members of their own species about danger, but other species often listen in on these calls. The talk will provide an overview of work focusing on common birds living in the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

7 June – Robert Brown in Australia

Dr Ann Moyal

Ann, an historian, will talk on Robert Brown who spent nearly four years in ‘New Holland’ from 1801-04. He gathered an immense collection of plants that laid the foundation of Australian botanical knowledge, and revitalized botanical science internationally.

14 June –– Kipos or paradeisos?

Max Bourke

Max will illustrate how dry gardens of Greek Islands have given us a legacy of valuable foods but also some invasive species

21 June –– Dispersal and disturbance shape global patterns of biodiversity

Dr Ceridwen (Crid) Fraser

Crid will give an overview of how dispersal and disturbance interact to structure spatial patterns of biodiversity and will focus on research on diverse Southern Hemisphere systems including shallow water marine communities in the sub-Antarctic.

28 June –– The art of community engagement in our parks

Brett McNamara

Join Brett, Manager of Namadgi National Park, in looking at more than ten years of artists and craft practitioners immersing themselves in the heart of the Park, drawing inspiration from their surroundings. The talk will focus on their professional and personal journeys.

12 July –– Relationships between the endangered Mountain Pygmy-possum, snow, moths and changing climate

Dr Linda Broome

Linda has been monitoring populations and undertaking research on the Mountain Pygmy-possum for over 30 years and will discuss interactions between the possums, snow, moths and projected impacts of climate change on this iconic alpine species.

19 July –– Canberra going tropical?

Peter Byron

Peter, General Manager of the ANBG, will talk about the new conservatory for the Gardens which will establish it as the leading conservator of Australian native tropical flora from areas such as Christmas Island, Kakadu and northern Queensland.

26 July –– From the ashes

Scott Saddler

Scott, Executive Manager of the National Arboretum, will focus on the Arboretum which was born from the 2003 bush fire. The government decided to replace the pine plantations with a new national Arboretum. Today the Arboretum provides a rich tapestry of patterns formed by the forest plantings in this world class facility.

2 August –– Australia’s changing climate from the perspective of the past millennium

Dr Nerilie Abram

Nerilie will discuss ways in which evidence can be unlocked from natural archives, such as corals and ice cores, to understand how different climate factors that impact Australian rainfall have evolved and interacted over the past millennium.

9 August –– Goannas in the Australian Capital Territory

Dr Don Fletcher

Since retiring from various roles as a land manager with the ACT Government, Don has investigated the ACT’s two goanna species. This talk will reveal what a research team funded and run by local volunteers, with in-kind support from the ACT Government, has been attempting to learn about the goannas of Namadgi National Park.

16 August –– Dust, dust everywhere! Implications for your health, that of the environment and climate change

Professor Emeritus Patrick de Deckker

Patrick is from the Australian National University, and will talk about ubiquitous airborne dust. Where does it come from and where does it go, and have dust concentrations changed through time? The talk will try to answer these questions by taking you on a fascinating dust collecting trip to many parts of Australia.

23 August –– The Apothecary’s garden – a gem in London’s heart

Doug Laing

Doug, chair of the Thursday Talks Committee, will trace the history of the Chelsea Physic Garden in London – this tiny garden that has left an indelible mark on modern pharmacology and medicine.

30 August –– Nature as muse: the interaction between art and botany

Julie Ryder

Julie, a Canberra textile designer and artist, will talk on the profound influences botany has had on her work. She uses natural dyeing, mordant printing, screen-printing and embroidery as a language on cloth to tell narratives about place and people


12.30 pm on Thursdays from 1 Feb to 29 Nov 2018




Entry by donation