- Evolutionary ecology research
- Horticultural research
- Plant diversity research
- Plant pathology research
- Herbarium & resources
- Scientific publications
Plant Conservation Course
2012 marked the fifth year we have presented a lecture and practical series for students of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney. Senior undergraduates and Masters students attended the three day course based at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.
Lectures covered basic conservation concepts, threats to biodiversity and instruments for conserving biodiversity, as well as an overview of ex situ plant conservation techniques. Students were presented with case studies of ex situ collections utilising seedbanking, tissue culture, cryopreservation and living collections with an emphasis on decision making to choose an appropriate technique for each species and outcome.
Students experienced seed collecting, processing, germination testing and viability assessments during their practical classes. They completed an assignment to test germination and viability of three NSW native species stored at different temperatures in the NSW Seedbank, to determine which temperatures were most appropriate for maintaining seed longevity. The students were able to observe conservation in practice during site tours of the Australian Botanic Garden and a local revegetation project at Harrington Park.
This year’s students engaged in lively questioning during lectures and participated keenly in the practical sessions and excursions. Masters students already working overseas in the con-servation field added comments on their species of interest (cocoa, coconut, medicinal plants) and the importance of conserving species utilised in subsistence farming or cultivar development. Students very clearly appreciate the course, which extends their under-standing of biodiversity and conservation and gives them practical techniques to apply in their future studies or careers.