Botany Collection Store: Te Papa has 300 000 botany specimens. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2015.

Today is World Science Day for Peace and Development, but science is happening at Te Papa every day . In addition to research being conducted within Te Papa, each year we also loan hundreds of science collection specimens to researchers all around the world. Researchers study our specimens to improve our collectiveRead more

Tim Park, Wellington City Council Biodiversity Officer. Standing next to some well established wharangi (Melicope ternata) plantings on Mount Victoria. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa.

I recently tagged along with Wellington City Council’s Environment Partnership Leader, Tim Park to visit some native re-vegetation sites in Wellington’s town belt. Why is Wellington City planting native plants? Wellington City Council has a policy of replacing pine forest with native plantings in the town belt as pine treesRead more

A moss piglet specimen: Macrobiotus snaresensis Horning, Schuster and Grigarick, 1978, collected 10 Oct 1972, North Promontory, Snares Island., New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (AT.000010)

Today is World Habitat Day and this week is World Space Week. I’m observing both of these events by databasing bryophyte (moss and liverwort) botany specimens which are habitat for space travellers.Read more

Angiosperms, Samolus repens (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) Pers. collected 20 Feb 2012, Hue te Taka Peninsula (Moa Point). New Zealand. Field Collection, 2011. Te Papa. SP094157.

Some time ago now, the Te Papa Science team completed the process of collecting, identifying and storing terrestrial plants from a low-stature plant community on Wellington’s South Coast.  Over 100 species of seed plant, ferns, lichens, moss, liverwort and seaweed were collected.  This total comprised approximately 69 indigenous and 33 naturalised plantRead more

Notothlaspi rosulatum. New Zealand, Canterbury, Clarence River, Mount St Patrick. Image: Antony Kusabs, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

In late 2014, Te Papa Botany Staff embarked on a 11 day field trip from Otago to North Canterbury.  We collected specimens, images and DNA samples of native forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.) and New Zealand hebes (Veronica spp.). See the first blog in this series for the detailed itinerary. Along the way, other native (and naturalised) species wereRead more

Codium gracile (O.C.Schmidt) Dellow, collected 03 Sep 1937, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (A020496)

Introducing a significant part of Te Papa’s macro-algae (seaweed) collection – The complete Algae Nova-Zelandicae Exciccatae by Victor W Lindauer. Algae Nova-Zelandicae Exsiccatae – 14 Fascicles – Victor W Lindauer. Victor Willhelm Lindauer (1888-1964) was a school teacher who became fascinated with seaweeds after he met a team of North American phycologists (seaweed scientists) who visited the Bay of IslandsRead more

Clematis marmoraria Sneddon, collected Dec 1973, N.W Nelson, Arthur Range, Hoary Head., New Zealand. Gift of Victoria University of Wellington, 2011. CC BY-NC-ND licence. Te Papa (SP091616)

As the Science Collection Manager responsible for managing the botany collection, part of my job is to increase public access to the collection. One way to achieve this is through online narratives. This blog series will highlight some recent botany narratives. In this blog we introduce narrative topics of some recent, veryRead more

One of our research goals on the Snares Islands was to collect non-vascular plants.  Non-vascular plants include mosses, liverworts and hornworts (collectively known as bryophytes) and lichens. Mosses have two main life stages – the gametophyte stage and sporophyte stage.  Both stages are visible in images on this post. The gametophyteRead more

A Te Papa team recently visited the Snares Islands Nature Reserve, 105 km south-southwest of Stewart Island, where they completed a range of seabird and plant research projects. Here, Antony Kusabs (Collection Manager Sciences) describes his first impressions of the Snares Islands, his first trip to a New Zealand Sub-Antarctic island group. WatchRead more

Polystichum vestitum (prickly shield fern) new frond. Penguin Creek, North East Island. Image: Antony Kusabs, Te Papa

There are currently five recognised species of fern on the Snares Islands, the closest sub-antarctic island group to New Zealand. North East Island, the main island of the Snares group, slopes gently downhill from the tall, tussock covered western cliffs towards the forested east coast, creating four small catchments, which drain intoRead more