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Plant ID and Science Courses 2018

Plant ID and Science Courses 2018

Winter tree ID

Winter tree ID

£65.00

Description

Tutor: Pete Michna
Date: Friday 2nd February 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: £65

Can you recognise a deciduous tree after the leaves fall in the autumn? Do you know your ash from your alder? This practical course with Pete Michna, from our expert Horticulture team, will help you to develop skills and confidence in observing and identifying our common trees in winter through recognition of twig and bud characteristics and other useful features. The course includes a walk observing trees in the Botanic Garden.
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Introduction to Tropical Ecology

Introduction to Tropical Ecology

£65.00

Description

Tutors: Edmund Tanner & Alex Summers
Date: Friday 2nd March 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: £65

The tropics are by far the world’s most diverse regions, both for plants and animals. In this one-day course, led by Dr Ed Tanner, we will consider where this diversity came from and why it is there.

There are fundamental questions that are still incompletely answered. For example, why in the most diverse places - rainforests, that have been around for millions of years - hasn’t natural selection resulted in just a few species superbly adapted to their environment? And what stops species becoming superabundant or going to local extinction?

We will start with a discussion of what we do and do not know and then tour the Glasshouse Range with Supervisor, Alex Summers, looking at living examples of this plant diversity. The day will finish with a discussion on the future of tropical diversity including conservation and the role of botanic gardens.
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Colour, smell and taste: the beautiful world of plants and chemistry

Colour, smell and taste: the beautiful world of plants and chemistry

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Alison Foster
Date: Friday 9th March 2018
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: £35

Come on a chemical journey through the lifecycle of plants. How does the chemistry of colour, smell and taste impact on pollinator attraction and seed dispersal? How do plants protect themselves from predators? We will look at the chemical basis for the colours, smell and taste of the plant world. Be ready to experience chemistry yourself, using your sense of sight, smell and taste.
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Scientific research at CUBG: past, present and future

Scientific research at CUBG: Past, present and future

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Beverley Glover
Date: Friday 23rd March 2018
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: £35

Cambridge University Botanic Garden was founded on its current site in 1846 to provide the opportunity to grow an extensive living collection of plants for scientific research. The Garden has played an important role in scientific discovery for over 170 years, and this course will introduce you to some of the Garden's most significant contributions.

The course starts with an overview of the Garden's role in the history of science, focusing on our founder, John Stevens Henslow, and what he taught a young Charles Darwin; going on to consider William Bateson and the early history of Genetics.

We will tour the Garden from a scientific perspective, exploring this scientific legacy in the landscape today, and taking a behind-the-scenes look at some of the modern science facilities. The course concludes with an introduction to some of the current research happening using the Garden's living collection.
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The study of Heterostyly in Primula

The study of Heterostyly in Primula

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Professor Philip Gilmartin
Date: Wednesday 28th March 2018
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: £35

Spring is Primrose season, the pale yellow flowers will be familiar to everyone, but their sexual secret may not. Primroses produce two types of flower known as ‘pin’ and ‘thrum’. Any one individual primrose plant produces only one of these two flower types. The thrum type, has a short style and high anthers; the other, the pin, has a long style and low anthers. This phenomenon is known as heterostyly. In 1862, Charles Darwin observed these two forms of flower and realised for the first time that the two forms of flower are adapted to promote cross-pollination, but these two distinct flower forms have been recognised since the late 16th century.

This half-day course led by Professor Philip Gilmartin, from The University of East Anglia, will start with a talk on the historical observations that led to recognition of heterostyly as a mechanism to facilitate cross-pollination by insects. The talk will include an introduction for non-experts to relevant genetic and developmental biology information, and will draw on art and botanical drawings from the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries to illustrate the two forms of flower. There will be a guided tour of the Garden to discover the various different species of Primula under cultivation, observe the variation in flower morphology of different species, and see pin and thrum flowers in ‘the wild’. You will then return to the classroom to dissect pin and thrum flowers for more detailed observations using hand lenses and discuss the science that underpins the observations that we have made.
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The Role of Plants in Medicines

The Role of Plants in Medicines

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Alison Foster
Date: Friday 27th April 2018
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: £35

The relationship between plants and medicine will be explored in this illustrated session with Dr Alison Foster. Many plant-derived compounds have been used as drugs, either in their original or semi-synthetic form, but plants also have an unexpected role to play in drug development. Despite the recent interest in drug discovery by molecular modelling, combinatorial chemistry, and other synthetic chemistry methods, natural product-derived compounds are still proving to be an invaluable source of medicines for humans.

In the first half of the session, we will look at how traditional herbal medicines have become subsumed into the world of conventional medicines. The second half of the session will focus on recent plant-based medicines that have been licensed for clinical use with a particular focus on anti-cancer drugs.
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Introduction to Bee Identification and Diversity

Introduction to Bee Identification and Diversity

£65.00

Description

Tutor: Jonathan Pattrick
Date: Thursday 10th May 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: £65

Worldwide, bees are a hugely diverse group. Many people are familiar with honey bees and bumblebees, but in the UK alone there are around 230 other bee species. This one-day course will provide an introduction to bee diversity, taxonomy and identification, teaching you the skills to use basic keys to identify UK bees to genus as well as covering background information on bee biology.

The course is aimed at participants who are interested in natural history but with no previous experience at identifying bees. Teaching will include work both outside in the Botanic Garden and in the classroom working with bee specimens.
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Flowering Plant Taxonomy & Systematics 5-day Course

Flowering Plant Taxonomy & Systematics 5-day Course

£360.00

Description

Tutor: Sam Brockington & Ros Bennett
Date: Monday 25th June - Friday 29th June 2018
Time: 9:30am - 5pm
Cost: £360

This 5-day intensive course introduces flowering plant families to undergraduates, graduates, professionals and committed amateur botanists. The aim is to develop an understanding of the evolution and systematics of the major plant families and the practical skills needed when approaching the identification of plant material.

Teaching is through a combination of practical sessions and lectures covering exemplars of major flowering plant families. The course makes extensive use of plant material and the living collections across the Botanic Garden and includes a visit to the University’s Herbarium, housed in the Sainsbury Laboratory.
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Botany Flowers for Beginners

Botany/Flowers for Beginners

£120.00

Description

Tutor: Ros Bennett
Date: Tuesday 17th July - Wednesday 18th July 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: £120

For those who are new to the study of flowers, the glorious yet seemingly infinite variety of colours and designs can seem overwhelming. This two-day course led by expert botanist and ecologist Ros Bennett, will help you understand the structure of flowers and the fascinating yet standard ways in which they differ in order to achieve their common purpose - the production of seeds and the perpetuation of the species.

It will also provide an insight into how floral design helps to group our plants into an internationally recognised classification system which in turn provides us with the means to identify and name them. The course is suitable for beginners as well as those who know many plants but would like to understand more about their botanical structure. Time will be spent in the classroom for introductory talks and some practical work but the aim is to spend as much time as possible out in the Garden amongst the plants.
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Introduction to the Science of Algae

Introduction to the Science of Algae

£35.00

Description

Tutor: Matt Davey
Date: Tuesday 2nd October 2018
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: £35

Hidden diversity at the garden - what are algae?

Pond scum, gunk, green slime in your fish tank...algae usually get a bad press as a nuisance species but many ecosystems would not be able to function without them. The diversity of algae is huge, not only taxonomically but in terms of size (from microns to giant kelp forests) and geographic distribution (hot deserts to cold Antarctic).

This session will begin with an introductory lecture on general algae taxonomy (freshwater and marine microalgae, macroalgae - seaweeds, identification, distribution and physiology) followed by hands-on microscope work to look at the morphology and structure of some of the key groups of British and non-native algae that are commonly used in research. We will then complete the session with a visit to the gardens Algal Innovation Centre where we will look at the equipment (bioreactors) required to grow such algae in the UK and discuss how we research algae at the University to for possible industrial uses.
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Identifying Conifers

Identifying Conifers

£120.00

Description

Tutor: Ros Bennett
Date: Wednesday 21st November - Thursday 22nd November 2018
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: £120

Here at the Botanic Garden, we are fortunate to have a fine collection of this magnificent group of trees, including native and introduced conifers.

During this two-day intensive course botanist and ecologist, Ros Bennett, will help you discover how to use the basic features of cones and foliage to distinguish between Spruces and Firs, Redwoods and Hemlocks, Larches and Cedars, before learning how to identify individual species.

Simple keys will be introduced and the course will be based in our classroom but with much time spent outside among the Garden’s Conifer collection. Beginners and improvers are all welcome.
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