Dawn's Blog and General News Items

Researching women botanists in 19th century Ontario brought footnotes back into my life

Investigator-driven research is often highly serendipitous. In high school, I liked history as much as biology, but I'm a fidget, and biology, which is much more action-oriented, allowed me to move more. Also, references were much easier to type for science lab reports and essays, than those fussy footnotes required in history and philosophy. Nearly 40 […]

What Trees Talk About features the excellent research of Canadian ecologists

I'm always thrilled when one of my colleagues contacts me, to alert me to their research hitting the mainstream media. On November 26th, 2017, CBC's Nature of Things, which is  introduced by Dr. David Suzuki, broadcast an absolutely fabulous documentary on the ecology of Canada's boreal forest: What Trees Talk About. I loved the programme […]

Growing International Ada Lovelace Day in Canada

In October 2017, professional communicator, and designer of #ThatOtherShirt, Elly Zupko, came to Toronto with her family, to give the 3rd International Ada Lovelace Day Lecture (see her great talk above). International Ada Lovelace Day is one of several initiatives, such as Soapbox Science, founded by women in the last 10 years, with the aim […]

Biology Graduate Students Bring the Bioblitz to YorkU

My friend and colleague, Guelph professor, Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs (left, with her new son) invited me to give a guest talk in her first year Biology course: Discovering Biodiversity. I introduced the bioblitz concept in my talk, and encouraged students to join in with one, or to even organize a bioblitz of their own. The general […]

Must-read books for scientists: 2. The Invention of Nature

When I launched my lab website in 2013, I had a vague idea that I would write one to two posts a year where I urged fellow scientists to read a book that I had found particularly inspiring or educational. That first post was about Stephen Clarkson and Stepan Wood's A Perilous Imbalance. Sadly, Stephen Clarkson has, […]

Science, Art, Policy and Politics at the United Nations Climate Change Meetings

I'll be posting 12 blogs between December 1st and 24th to reach my goal of 24 posts for 2017. I'm behind because my sabbatical has kept me too busy to maintain my blogging schedule! Back in 2009, when I was director of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS), I applied for York […]

New Indigenous People & Plants Trail at Royal Botanic Gardens, Hamilton

The new Indigenous People and Plants Trail at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, Ontario, opens to the public on Monday 18th September 2017. The trail, located in Cootes Paradise, teaches us about how plants were used by the Anishinaabe people. I found a great journal article about Anishnaabe ethnobotany in NW Ontario, by Davidson-Hunt, Jack, Mandamin & […]