Posts written by Heidi Meudt

Botanic gardens: our outdoor museums and why they matter

Hobbits enjoying the hobbit hole at the Oldenburg Botanic Garden. Sept 2016. Photo by Heidi Meudt.

My name is Heidi Meudt and I’m a Research Scientist in Botany at Te Papa, currently doing taxonomic research on New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots. As part of my job, I attend scientific conferences in New Zealand and overseas. Over the course of my botany travels during September, I’ve managed to visit five botanic gardens in three different… Read more »

Botany travels: representing New Zealand around the world

Group photo at the International Boraginales Conference, just outside the Nees Institute, University of Bonn, Germany, where it was held. Sept 2016.

My name is Heidi Meudt and I’m a Research Scientist in Botany at Te Papa, currently doing taxonomic research on New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots. As part of my job, I occasionally attend scientific conferences in New Zealand and overseas. I’ve blogged before about some of the reasons that international conferences are important for those of us doing… Read more »

Fascinating forget-me-not pollen

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Now that springtime is upon us in New Zealand, many plants are starting to flower, producing pollen. Many of us have a negative association with pollen due to its role in causing allergies [PDF, 172KB]. But not all pollen causes allergies, and pollen is of course extremely important to the biology and ecology of flowering plants. Some… Read more »

Unforgettable names for a new forget-me-not species

https://www.tepapa.govt.nz/visit/whats-on/exhibitions/you-called-me-what-150-years-scientific-discovery-te-papa

We asked you to suggest a species name for a newly discovered New Zealand forget-me not. In addition to some creative descriptive and geographic names, many of your suggestions were commemorative. The practice of naming species after famous people (real or fictional) dates back over 250 years. Are such names just a gimmick, or an effective means of promoting… Read more »

Being a botanist: Q&A with students from South Wellington Intermediate School

Drawing a plant

Last week I was invited to give a talk at my son’s class at South Wellington Intermediate School (SWIS) about what it is like to be a botanist at Te Papa. To help me prepare, the students wrote down questions they had about botany or being a botanist. Their questions got me thinking about how… Read more »

Te Papa botanical research at Otari-Wilton’s Bush

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For many years, Te Papa botanists have included Otari-Wilton’s Bush collections in their research. Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve is a special place in Wellington–“the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to native plants”. This makes it an important educational and research resource for the city’s inhabitants. Over two days… Read more »

Te Papa Botany researchers study genome size in hebes

Te Papa Botany researchers Heidi Meudt, Jessie Prebble and Phil Garnock-Jones have recently co-authored a new paper in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society on the genus Veronica, which includes northern speedwells and New Zealand and Australian hebes. This paper is the first major publication from Heidi’s research stay in Oldenburg, Germany as an Alexander von… Read more »

South Island Botany Field Trip – Te Papa Botanists in Action!

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  • Broken River Ski Field 4WD photo by Phil
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  • 21Amuri Notothlaspi 4 Phil

In December 2014, three Te Papa Science Staff embarked on an 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  Heidi Meudt – Botany Researcher, Phil Garnock-Jones – Botany Researcher and Antony Kusabs – Collection Manager Sciences collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica). 11 days, over 3000 km travelled and 114 specimens collected, including 19… Read more »

Photos of New Zealand’s threatened forget-me-nots now on Collections Online

Myosotis angustata

Did you know that 32 of New Zealand’s 44 native forget-me-not species are under some level of threat? That’s a whopping 75%! Sixteen of those species are in the “Threatened” category and another 16 are in the “At Risk” category of the New Zealand Threat Classification. Because such a high percentage of native forget-me-nots (genus:… Read more »

New research on New Zealand forget-me-nots published

A native cushion forget-me-not (Mysootis pulvinaris) from Central Otago, New Zealand, photo by Heidi Meudt © Te Papa. http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/Object/1467719

Te Papa Botany researchers Heidi Meudt, Jessie Prebble and Carlos Lehnebach have recently published a new paper in the scientific journal Plant Systematics and Evolution on New Zealand forget-me-nots (genus Myosotis). There are approximately 100 species of forget-me-not species in the genus Myosotis, about half of which are only found in New Zealand. In the… Read more »