Widad Aljuhani has returned from her extensive field collecting trip in Saudi Arabia and reports back…
Dates: Food For Poor ……. Candy For Rich (Poem)
© FAO, 2011 http://faostat.fao.org/site/339/default.aspx accessed 23 Nov 2013
Date palm is one the most important crops in the Middle East, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the second largest producer, according to FAO statistics 2012. There are about 450 date cultivars in Saudi Arabia, with more than 23 million palm trees; each region is famous for certain varieties. Saudi dates are characterised by a quality unprecedented in other producer countries. For instance; ‘Khalas’ is the most famous cultivar in the eastern region of Al-Hasa, the largest date palm oasis in the world while ‘Sukkari’ is the best cultivar found in the Gassim region, the central region where the largest date palm farm in the world, Al-Rajhi’s farm, According to Guinness, 2008, the ’Ajwa’ cultivar, grown in the Al-Medina region, represents the most important date cultivar in the western region, and is one of the oldest varieties, found there from the 14th century or before. Continue reading
Chris Metherell examining part of the Peter Yeo Euphrasia collection at RNG
The University of Reading Herbarium has an important collection of British Euphrasia specimens collected by Peter Yeo, a long time botanist at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. This week we are host to a visit by Chris Metherell, the BSBI Vice County Recorder for North Northumberland (v-c 68). He is presently heading up an editorial team preparing a BSBI handbook on the genus Euphrasia - An uphill task!
As part of the background work for the handbook the team is intending to visit as many UK herbaria as possible which house Euphrasia collections. As an alumnus of Reading University Chris has volunteered to inspect the Euphrasia specimens deposited by Peter Yeo at RNG. We have just over three full cabinets of Peter’s specimens, so this is no small task! Continue reading
Ruth Harker selecting herbarium specimens at RNG
Ruth Harker visited RNG last week to study herbarium spcimens collected by Nigel Maxtead while he was working with Professor Frank Bisby. She writes:
I’m working on the Adapting Agriculture to Climate Change Project, which is based at Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank. The aim of the project is to collect seed from the wild plant relatives of 29 common crop plants whose genetic diversity can be used to breed new and useful traits into commercial crops so they can better adapt to future climates and other threats, such as pests and diseases. The crops we are focusing on include apple, banana, barley, butter bean, carrot, chickpea, aubergine (eggplant), lentil, oat, pea, potato, rice, rye, sunflower, sweet potato and bread wheat. Continue reading
‘Symbiosis’ is Imagining Science’s current collaborative project, about relationships between art and science, scientists and artists. We’re using the fungi-plant symbiosis that is lichen to parallel the relationships we have with each other and our scientific and art communities, and between people and their environment. Symbiosis is a collaboration between Immy Smith (UK) and Scott Mantooth (US), with guest artists including Sarah Hearn (US), Marcel Bakker (Netherlands), and Hector Pineda Garcia (Mexico). We’re also working with University of Reading Herbarium (RNG), and a host of photographers from around the world. Continue reading
Posted in Herbarium RNG, Public Engagement with Science
Tagged Art, Hector Pineda Garcia, Imagining Science, Immy Smith, Lichen, Marcel Bakker, Reading University Herbarium, RNG, Sarah Hearn, Scott Mantooth, Symbiosis
You have the oppotunity to take part in a paid project to develop a mapping app with students from Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Typography and Systems Engineering.
The placement is open to 1st and 2nd year students in SBS. Continue reading
The XIV OPTIMA (Organization for the Phyto-Taxonomic Investigation of the Mediterranean Area) Meeting in Palermo (9-15 September 2013) has been brought to conclusion. It was attended by 176 participants from 28 different countries and comprised 16 Symposia with 79 lectures as well as 68 poster presentations. This OPTIMA was led by Prof. Francesco Raimondo and Prof. Gianniantonio Domina.
OPTIMA XIV, Summer 2013.
I have met and talked to many new scientists from different countries.
It was a very interesting conference and I had the chance to discuss my work with people who have an interest in the Phyto-Taxonomic study of the Mediterranean Area and the future of Mediterranean floristic research. Continue reading
Yesterday on Taxacom a request for short sound files of scientists’ voices was made by Andy Mabbett, a Wikipedian from Birmingham. This request formed part of a project to add more sound files to Wikipedia. I happened to pick up the message in the evening after the children had been fed, organised and sent to bed, at a time when I tend to do the interesting but non-grant funded academic activities that keep me engaged with e-learning and botany. One of the conditions of the request was the need to be featured in a Wikipedia page. Continue reading