Site Index
Meetings Page

2021 Meetings

BotSoc meetings are usually held at 7.30 pm on the third Monday of each month at Victoria University, Wellington, Lecturer Theatre M101, ground floor Murphy Building, west side of Kelburn Parade.   Enter building off Kelburn Parade about 20m below pedestrian overbridge.

Non-members are welcome to come to our evening meetings.

Click here to find out how to get there by public transport

To Help raise funds for BotSoc’s Jubilee Award Fund members are encouraged to bring named seedlings/cuttings for sale at each evening meeting.

2021 Programme

Monday 15 February 2021:   Evening meeting – Orchid conservation in NZ - a long and winding road

Speaker:   Carlos Lehnebach, Curator, Te Papa.   More than 30% of our orchids are of conservation concern with some species reduced to only a few hundred plants in the wild and restricted to a single locality.   Some potentially new species are also facing the threat of extinction.   What can we do to save them?   In this talk I will present current research projects aiming at understanding orchid partnerships with fungal mycorrhizal partners and the development of methods to propagate terrestrial and epiphytic orchids from seed.

Monday 15 March 2021:   Evening meeting – Kotukutuku Ecological Restoration Project (KERP) – Impact of rodent control on forest regeneration

Speaker:   Winifred Long, Ecological Analyst.   KERP is based on a 32-hectare Kapiti Coast property with mature and regenerating coastal forest plus pasture and plantation forest.   The flora on the property has been inventoried: 42% of the species present are endemic with a further 21% indigenous but not endemic.   One of KERP’s objectives is to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the 17-ha coastal forest remnant on the property through intensive pest control.   In 2020 a vegetation survey was done including eight 20 m × 1 m survey plots originally surveyed in 2016 before pest control operations began.   This enabled a comparison of the 2020 survey results with the pre pest control results to identify whether the control of rodents has had an impact on vegetation as it is known that rats and mice eat seeds and seedlings.

Monday 19 April 2021:   Evening meeting – Name changes among New Zealand ferns: the good, the bad, and the ugly?

Please note that Dr Leon Perrie will be giving this talk instead of the previously programmed one by Dr Roger Uys which has been postponed to a later date.

Speaker:   Dr Leon Perrie, Curator of Botany, Te Papa.   Taxonomists often claim they receive insufficient support for their task of describing the world’s biodiversity.   But are they their own worst enemies?   Their taxonomic outputs often attract the ire of their intended users because of the changes they prescribe to scientific names.   We’ve still much to learn about the evolutionary history of life, so some taxonomic change is presumably allowable.   But how much change is appropriate, and who decides?   Fern and lycophyte taxonomy is currently in a particularly pronounced flux.   For instance, the scheme prescribed by the international Pteridophyte Phylogeny Group would have New Zealand with no species of Blechnum, Cyathea, Lycopodiella, Lycopodium, and Trichomanes (changes to c. 20% of the local fern and lycophyte flora!).   I’ll discuss my objections to this, given my personal opinion that it is important to minimise taxonomic changes while maintaining a taxonomy that still reflects evolutionary relationships (i.e., monophyly).   I’ll include examples of new and renamed species, and lumped and split fern and lycophyte genera.   You can decide what’s good, bad, or ugly.

Monday 17 May 2021:   Evening meeting – Members’ evening

Please share your botanical slides and photographs taken on BotSoc trips, your paintings, drawings and your favourite botanical readings.   Slides, on a USB stick, limited to 20 per person.   For a gold-coin koha, or even ‘folding money’, buy one or more books we put on display to help build up the Jubilee Award Fund which is used to support research on NZ plants.   Bring any spare botanical or other natural-history books you have and don’t want any more to have them auctioned - to be taken home again if they don’t sell.   Plant specimens to sell, or to discuss, would add to a memorable evening.

Postponed - Date to be confirmed:   Evening meeting – Wellington’s dunelands — a naturally uncommon ecosystem

Speaker:   Dr Roger Uys, Senior Terrestrial Ecologist, Greater Wellington Regional Council.   Dunelands used to be far more abundant, but their continued loss to stabilisation, farming and development has seen them become one of our rare ecosystems.   Like wetlands they are now Nationally Threatened.   In contrast, our naturally uncommon ecosystems have always had limited distributions.   However, like the rare ecosystems, most of our naturally uncommon ecosystems have also become threatened with extinction.

Wellington’s Regional Policy Statement requires the regional council to identify indigenous ecosystems and habitats with significant indigenous biodiversity values so that these ecosystems can be protected in district and regional plans.   This talk is about how we’ve been mapping the extent, surveying the biodiversity and monitoring the health of dunelands and naturally uncommon ecosystems in the Wellington Region.   I will let you in on some fantastic botanical discoveries and give you the inside scoop on what councils, DOC and community groups are doing to protect these ecosystems.


Please Email comments regarding this web page to webmaster (at)