Plant Biology

Envirothon is a team-based environmental science high school contest

The Toronto Envirothon Workshop at #YorkUniversity on April 13, 2017. Envirothons are team-based #HighSchool science competitions that have been around for decades in Canada & the USA. Students form clubs supervised by dedicated teachers, and learn about #Forestry, #Wildlife, #AquaticBiology & #soilscience. A one day, intensive workshop runs ahead of the local, regional competition. The […]

From university professor to University Professor

At last week's York University convocation for the Faculty of Science and Lassonde Engineering School, I was made University Professor. That's me with the Dean of Science, Dr. Ray Jawawardhana. But, I'm already a university professor, so what does this mean? University Professor is an honorific title that exists at many North American universities, including University of Toronto […]

Science Fairs & Science on Ice at York University

The annual Science Fair is a right of passage for many aspiring, young scientists. I've been fortunate (if that's the right word), to experience them as both a judge, and a parent. Back in the 1990s, I was blown away by the creativity and enthusiasm of the young citizen scientists when I was a judge at the annual […]

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 […]

August 15 post: Biodiversity & Watershed Management Field Course

The 2016 Biodiversity and Watershed Management field course that ran in the first half of July was awesome! This exclusive course is tailored for YorkU students who can't get away from their weekend summer jobs to go on pricey field courses in distant locations. Read the student blog: Urban Watershed Management & Biodiversity I made the posters for […]

#WinterTerm2016 is a wrap: some of what went down

It's Friday of Week 13, and next Monday is the last day of classes, before final exams begin, next Wednesday. York University's Winter Term 2016 began earlier than any other Ontario university, so, we finish early, too. Here are some Plant Ecology students today, weary, yet still smiling (ok, I asked them to smile), from left […]

More evidence that using Social Media in Science isn't frivolous

Who can resist being entranced by the gorgeous Fall colours around us? I find them distracting, even as Canada's science and sustainability communities have been focussed on much more weighty issues of a general election and Ada Lovelace Day, a celebration of Women in STEM. In the midst of the latter socially important stuff, I couldn't help […]

Getting back to field work at #BioBlitz2015 in the Don River Watershed

I took up field work for the 2nd time this season at the Ontario Bioblitz flagship event on the Don Watershed. The Ontario Science Centre was the HQ. I was joined by Vithuja Vijayakanthan, one of my remaining 2 graduate students from my IRIS director days. Her research, looks at the inherent tensions between the Bioblitz as a research vehicle, and […]