Bite-size science in the Talking Plants tent

Stand up science, with a range of talks on collections and research. No need to book, just bring your sandwiches and settle in to some bite-size science sessions.
10.30-11.30 Bamboo Workshop
Drop-in bamboo construction workshop for all ages.

12.25pm Matheus Nunes: Using technology to map deforestation
Explaining how we can predict the carbon content and leaf nutrients of large forest areas such as those in Borneo; how this information can be used to investigate how human deforestation activities will change not only these areas but forests all over the world.

12.45pm Dr Mina Gorji: John Clare: ‘The Ragwort’: Weeds and wild flowers
An insight into the English poet’s wild plant poetry. John Clare is famously known for his celebratory poems of the English countryside.

1.10pm Stephanie Swarbreck: Exploring Roots
Below the surface of the Botanic Garden, roots are busily searching for water and nutrients. Explore the fascinating growth patterns of roots, and follow their subterranean journey.

1.30pm Henrik Jonsson: Can you grow a plant in a computer?
Mathematical symmetries in plant structures have inspired scientists and artists for centuries. Learn how computers are used today to understand the mechanisms regulating the life of the plant, how it is growing and why plant cells are among the most stable in the universe.

1.50pm Dr Penny Maplestone: Plant Breeding Matters
Beer, cake, chips, football, gardening, whisky, Wimbledon, pants, the economy, fillet steak, green energy – what on earth has plant breeding got to do with any of this? Come along and find out.

2.10pm Dr Amanda Talhat: Sweet Science of Chocolate
Made from beans of the cacao tree, cocoa butter is the ingredient that gives chocolate its smooth melting texture. Explore the journey from bean to bar and the sweet science along the way.

2.30pm Phil Gould: Orchids of Thailand
Following a recent visit to Thailand, Phil explores the diversity and beauty of native Thai orchids.

2.50pm Dr Ruth Reef: Impacts of Global Change on Coastal Vegetation
Coastal vegetation (mangroves, saltmarshes) are vulnerable to global change, being affected by changing climates, rising seas and human population explosion. Climate change affects coastal vegetation - from leaf level changes in plant photosynthesis and water relations to the migration of entire ecosystems. Learn about incredible resilience to sea level rise and what this means for our coastlines.

3.10pm Dr Sam Brockington: The Whole World is a Garden

3.30pm Benoit Landrein: How do Plants Make their Organs?
From the smallest weed to the largest tree, plants generate their leaves and flowers in a similar manner. Benoit explains the general mechanisms of organ emergence in meristems (buds) and how tiny differences in the function of these buds explain the huge diversity in plants and how this relates to the crops we choose.

All talks are ‘drop-in’, no booking required, and last approximately 15 minutes.

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