A focus for my research in 2014 has been preparing an account on the Gleicheniaceae fern family for the online Flora of New Zealand. More on the revolutionary online Flora of New Zealand. The Gleicheniaceae in New Zealand comprises nine species in the genera Dicranopteris (one species, restricted to centralRead more

This blog was written by Caroline Bost, Te Papa Intern on the  little penguin project, with help from volunteers Blandine Jurie and Yukiko Shimada for text and images: Here is a bit of news about our first fieldwork week on Motuara Island. Motuara Island is an island located in the QueenRead more

I spent yesterday afternoon in the fernery of Otari-Wilton’s Bush, examining two tree fern species from New Zealand’s subtropical Kermadec Islands. More details below, including ‘why?’. But first, a challenge… Each of these Kermadec tree ferns is closely related to a (different) mainland New Zealand species. Can you tell whichRead more

I’m a co-author of a just-published scientific paper examining the evolution and classification of the Arthropteris climbing ferns. The paper was a real international collaboration, involving authors from China, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. It is unclear how many species there are of Arthropteris – probably somewhere betweenRead more

Te Papa and Auckland Museum scientists discuss how to proceed with the sunfish dissection. Photographer: Ruth Hendry © Te Papa

What have we learnt from our day of sunfish science? Sunfish are very hard to sex! The best we can say is that it’s a boy. We think. We’ll have to wait for the test results to determine conclusively whether it’s male or female. Jellyfish are delicious Although we can’tRead more

That’s not a joke, honest (although if you have a punchline for it, leave us a comment!). Judy Hinchliffe, a forensic odontologist (dentist) for the Wellington region, visited Te Papa’s lab today to take a closer look at the sunfish’s teeth. It’s a little unusual for Judy as her dayRead more

Weight a sunfish. Photographer: Michael Hall © Te Papa

There’s a fishy theme to the blog this week, with excitement building about the sunfish science that Te Papa’s scientists are conducting next week. It’s a good time to ask: Why do we care about sunfishes? Why does Te Papa keep specimens at all? As a non-ichthyologist (fish scientist) IRead more

Orchids are one of the top five plant groups with conservation issues in New Zealand. Unlike many other endangered or uncommon plants, propagation of native orchids from seed for conservation has not been attempted in New Zealand before. With the help of funding from the Otari Wilton’s Bush Trust, theRead more

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 workRead more

This is a recent photo of me (Heidi Meudt) taken here in Oldenburg. I will sign off in German by saying: Auf wiedersehen, bis bald! Photo by Mauricio Lopez.

Back in July, I attended the 2012 Botany Conference, which was held in Columbus, OH, USA, and later this month, I will attend the “Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology” meeting of the German Botanical Society (DBG) in Mainz, Germany.  Why so much international travel, you may ask, and why is itRead more