Dr Lara Shepherd, who’s been working with us on genetics research since January 2012 has just been awarded a prestigious Rutherford Fellowship. Only 10 fellowships are awarded each year, with a total of $8 m granted. The fellowships are awarded on the basis of the excellence of the candidates work
Below are photos of some of the botanical/landscape highlights from the recent expedition to New Caledonia that I participated in. But first, a bit of background: New Zealand and New Caledonia both sit on the (largely) submerged continent Zealandia, which separated from Australia and the rest of Gondwana some 60-80
USA fern taxonomists have created a minor stir after re-classifying a group of central American ferns into a new genus named Gaga, after the singer Lady Gaga. Abstract of the article formally naming the new genus Gaga. Youtube video of the taxonomists discussing their research. The researchers say the naming
Te Papa’s collection of pressed, dried plant specimens includes samples of native and exotic species collected in New Zealand and other parts of the world. Many of the foreign specimens currently in the collection were brought into New Zealand in the late 1870s to be used as reference material and to
Here are just a few of the many highlights from the two international botany conferences I recently attended: Botany 2012 (Columbus, OH, USA) and Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology 2012 (German Botanical Society 21st International Symposium, Mainz, Germany). Plant identification goes visual, interactive and mobile Plant identification keys are useful when
This year I went on several field trips to collect native forget-me-nots (genus Myosotis). With my research on native plantains now finished, my current research focus is now to figure out how many native species of forget-me-nots we have in New Zealand, revise their taxonomy, understand their evolutionary history, and
Which vegetables do you think have charisma? In Tuesday night’s television programme Radar Across The Pacific, comedian Te Radar was given “fiddle fern” to eat. He seemed to be impressed by it, describing it as having charisma. Te Radar was eating the young, unfurling fronds of a fern. These still-coiled
Victoria University Emeritus Professor Phil Garnock-Jones and I have just described a new species of native plantain, Plantago udicola. The name udicola means “dwelling or living in damp places” and is in reference to the types of sites the new species is usually found in. Of the 200 or so
Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey and I have just described a new species of fern, Lastreopsis kermadecensis. It only occurs on Raoul Island, which is the largest island in the Kermadec Islands group. Hence, the second part of the new species name! The Kermadec Islands are the most northern
Te Papa Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey was recently contacted about a population near Levin of the very rare Ophioglossum petiolatum. Ophioglossum are odd looking ferns, as befits a common name of “adder’s tongue ferns”. We don’t have a picture of O. petiolatum (stalked adder’s tongue fern), but the related O.
Titi Island is a 32 hectare slab of schistose tuff and sandstone tilted upwards towards the north, with a moderately steep forested slope opening up to a breathtaking façade of high cliffs overlooking Cook Strait. Shearwater surveys on the island in January provided an opportunity to record local plant communities.
Te Papa’s botanists made several significant finds during their explorations accompanying the recent Bryophyte and Lichen Workshop. Led by Research Associate Peter Beveridge and Research Fellow Patrick Brownsey, the moss Dicranoweisia spenceri was found in some abundance at the site we investigated within Tongariro National Park. This is great news
Te Papa’s Botany team recently ventured to a Wellington City Council Reserve called Hue tē Taka Peninsula/Moa Point located on the south coast of Miramar Peninsula. See a map of the area. Our aim is to compile a species list of the plant community, supported by vouchered specimens that will