Natural History

More public science: appearing on the ZDF series, Infestation!

  I doubted that much could top discovering that my 2013 Skype chat about plant defences got me a movie credit in a science fiction feature film! But, you never can tell where science outreach and engagement will take you. Just a few weeks after hearing about my Botanical Consultant film credit, some of my other Public Science led to just as unexpected an […]

How doing public science led to a credit in the "Flora" movie

These days, science communication, outreach, and engagement are all the rage. But when I joined York University's Biology Department as an assistant professor in 1990, the notion, that part of our responsibility, as taxpayer-funded professors, might include spending valuable time away from research, talking with non-academics, other than our students, was rather a minority opinion amongst many YorkU faculty. Since […]

Guest blogging about Advent Botany at the University of Reading

  The first piece of advice I give undergraduates is: "show up to all of your lectures and labs, even if you're barely conscious". Why? Because simply being present improves your learning. As Weingardt (1997) observed, "The world is run by those who show up". My second piece of advice is, "take handwritten notes with a pencil […]