Vanessa is a passionate science communicator and produces science media stories and digital content to engage a global audience with the Australian Institute of Botanical Science's research. Vanessa also presents and produces the Garden's award-winning podcast Branch Out and hosts the new What the Flora!? video series.
Discover the surprising world of plants with science and stories from the Australian Institute of Botanical Science in the award-winning Branch Out podcast.
Subscribe on your Apple or Android podcast app or head to the Garden's webpage or Spotify to venture into the Australian bush, labs and the minds of passionate people protecting the future of plants.
Branch Out regularly features guest experts so if you have an idea for the podcast and you would like to collaborate, please email email@example.com
Check out the selection of science blog posts published in the 'articles' section further below.
If you would like to interview one of the Garden's scientists or request expert information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A northern Australian shrub with distinctive red fruit known as 'dogs balls' has finally be given a correct scientific name after almost 250 years.
Scientists across Botanic Gardens in Sydney are using the latest science and technology to protect our flora from the impacts of climate change.
Two tiny ferns presumed to be extinct for over half a century have been rediscovered by botanists on two remote mountaintops in north Queensland’s Daintree rainforest.
The botanical equivalent of mapping a Tyrannosaurus’ genome is underway with scientists from the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and Deakin University launching the first genome sequencing project to protect one of the world’s oldest tree lineages – the Wollemi Pine.
The first concept images for the new National Herbarium of NSW have been revealed as part of the NSW Government’s $60 million commitment to create a new world-class botanic science precinct in Western Sydney.
The largest herbarium imaging project in the southern hemisphere has started at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney where over 1.4 million plant specimens will become high-definition digitial images for the whole world to see.
An unlikely collaboration developed between a 5-year-old at a nature playgroup and a PhD student, resulting in a nice haul of Bunya Pine seeds to contribute to vital experiments at the Australian PlantBank.
Discover over 60,000 years of culture, plant uses and stories from Aboriginal people in Sydney in this special episode of our Branch Out podcast.
The National Herbarium of NSW’s priceless collection of preserved plants – dating back to Captain Cook’s voyage of 1770 – is going digital.
Dr Brett Summerell is the Director of Science and Conservation at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney and today he celebrates 30 years of performing vital scientific research at the Garden that has made global impacts.
Come see the Caper White Butterfly colony at the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan.
Go on an audio adventure with Sam Crosby on the Branch Out Podcast
A tiny new flower species has been discovered growing in three shallow swamps in northern NSW belonging to a genus used in a variety of medicines.
Mistletoe is in love potions, ancient medicines to ward off epilepsy and ulcers, and even a Justin Bieber Christmas song. But why are so many people throughout the ages fascinated by the mystery and magic of these paradoxical parasites?
As the tide goes out at Yurong Point, the edges of the platform appear to be covered in flowing locks of brunette hair.
Who do you think spends the least amount of time outdoors: Chickens, inmates or kids?
Bees predate the dinosaurs and they've been doing some crazy and complex things inside the hive. From using a 'waggle dance' to communicate where food is, to making their own bread. Pretty cute, right? Wait until you hear what the Queen bee does...
Performing over 30 years of vital scientific work to protect threatened plants has landed Dr Cathy Offord the 2018 NSW Premier’s Prize for Innovation in NSW Public Sector Science and Engineering.
Insects are lured with promises of sweet nectar, delightful smells and captivating colours by murderous munchers in the plant kingdom. But it’s always too good to be true for the unsuspecting prey as they find themselves trapped, stuck or slipping to their certain death.
The name might throw you off but no, it’s not just a collection of herbs and no, plants aren’t kept here like a stamp collection. Inside this 165-year-old building is a giant library of 1.43 million dried plant specimens. And just like a library – these plants are constantly being ‘checked out’ for research.
Some communities are less likely to have access to green spaces, depriving them of the physical, mental and social benefits that nature brings. But the Community Greening Program is changing that, one garden at a time.
Barbara is one of Australia’s leading botanists. She assisted police with a kidnapping-murder case, described and reclassified 80 species and performed ground-breaking research into botanical evolutionary relationships during her 59 years at the Garden.
Oldest land plant surprises botanists with accidental discovery of a new species in Far North Queensland.
'Seed banking' could be the answer to preserving precious rainforest plants under threat of extinction in the wild, according to new research published.
Since it was accidentally discovered in 1994, the ancient Wollemi Pine still captures the imagination of the world. Now scientists are researching ways to ensure this curious and critically endangered conifer can survive the threat of fire and disease.
A two-metre-tall dinosaur bird roams the rainforests of north-east Queensland looking for its next meal to swallow whole. A meal that keeps itself, rainforests, and us alive.
Scientists have used advanced genetic techniques to study a group of closely related eucalypts and their findings challenge not only our current understanding of how Eucalyptus species form – but all plants and animals.
Everything we eat either comes directly or indirectly from plants, and the spread of plant diseases and pests that damage our food crops can cost global agriculture $540 billion a year. Discover the strange and microscopic world of deadly plant diseases threatening our food supply and native flora.
From tea tree oil to morphine, over 28,000 different species of plants, as well as many species of fungi, are used for medicinal purposes.
Our Herbarium Collections Manager, Dr Shelley James, recently co-edited a special issue of Applications in Plant Sciences, which explores solutions to prepare vital plant data for the digital age.