Botany Section Programs 

The evening programs of the Botany Section are held from January through April and September through November on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Centre, 949 49th Ave W (49th at Oak), Vancouver. For more information and suggestions for future programs please contact the Program Co-ordinator David Cook at 604-924-0147.

Thursday, January 18
Whistler/Blackcomb Botanical Themes and Variations
Teresa Gagné

A slideshow and talk by Teresa Gagné featuring NV member photos of plants and views.
Inspired by 'Singing Pass', the 'High Note' and other musical place names, Nature Vancouver members Teresa and her partner Denis Laplante led a series of three 2017 day hikes to explore summer trails in the Whistler/Blackcomb alpine area.  The goal was to observe a 'symphony' of alpine flowers as they developed through the season.
"Most hikers target their wildflower hikes to the expected peak-bloom time in a given location.  We thought it would be interesting to instead do several hikes in the same general area, so we could see how things change over one growing season."
The advent of the Peak to Peak gondola and trail building in the Blackcomb area have opened up some wonderful alpine hikes.  The trails are well marked and most are of moderate difficulty.  Come and whet your appetite for next summer by viewing beautiful photos taken by 2017 hike participants, plus a selection from previous years' visits.

Thursday, February 15
Estuary to Alpine, Squamish Area Botany
Judith Holm

Biodiversity Squamish is a citizen science project I recently initiated through iNaturalist to gradually document Squamish area flora and fauna. My own focus is plants and I also am entering my plant data in a spreadsheet that includes historical plant records. iNaturalist enables a way to share the photos and encourage participation ... and ... perhaps more.
Judith Holm combines a love of hiking and plants by exploring the natural surroundings of Squamish, where she has lived for six years. Her background is with the Alpine and Coastal Douglas Fir Zones. Documenting plants in the Squamish Estuary, Coastal Western Hemlock and Mountain Hemlock zones is a way to gain a deeper understanding of her new home and to become involved with the Squamish community.

Thursday, March 15
Snow Algae and Climate Change
Lynne Quarmby

This slide show and talk will explore the cell biology and natural history of snow algae while taking us on journeys to Svalbard and into our local mountains. Images of spectacular scenery and microscopic views of the algae will accompany Lynne's stories of scientific discovery and artistic collaborations. We'll hear how Lynne responds to the realities of climate change with grief and with hope.
Lynne Quarmby is a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University where she teaches and runs a research lab. Lynne has published over 50 scientific papers and received awards for both teaching and research. In 2015, she was recognized with the Sterling Prize for Controversy for her "work in sustainable energy and materials policy." Responding to a growing political disregard of science, particularly climate science, Lynne's engagement has ranged from civil disobedience to traditional politics, going so far as to run for a seat in Parliament in the 2015 Federal election. Lynne has initiated a new research project to study snow algae, a community of microorganisms that form one of many positive feedback loops for global warming.

Thursday, April 19
New alpine plant discoveries from northern BC
Ken Marr

Ken Marr presents an illustrated talk about the flora of northern BC including images of the landscapes, rare plants, common plants, a pseudoflower, a puzzling gap in the distribution of several species and what we are learning from DNA markers about the migration of several species. Lots of images of flowers!
Ken Marr has been Botany Curator with the Royal BC Museum (RBCM) since 2001.  He is interested in the classification, biogeography and conservation of terrestrial vascular plants, in particular the alpine flora of northern BC, where most of his fieldwork occurs.  One part of this effort is to use DNA markers to attempt to understand the migration pathway of alpine species into BC following the last ice age and to evaluate evidence for the existence of full glacial refugia within the borders of BC.  This research has taken him to Russia, Alaska, Yukon and more than 70 mountains in northern BC.
His PhD is from the University of British Columbia, MS from U of Hawaii and BA from U of Colorado.  He has taught courses in vascular plant taxonomy at the University of Victoria, UBC, U of Montana and U of Wyoming.  Prior to working at the Royal BC Museum lived in Yunnan Province, China for 2.5 years where he researched the ethnobotany and domestication of several Cucurbits.