SAAB Webinar Programme 2021

Please Note: Recordings of the webinars can be found here

20 January:   Dr. Blair Cowie (saab Bronze medal winner 2021):

Famine Weed: Understanding the invasion and controls

27 January:  Prof. Timm HofFman (SAAB silver medal winner 2021):

Rethinking catastrophe. Historical trajectories and modelled future vegetation change in southern Africa.

17 February:  Zaynab Shaik (SAAb best young scientist awardee 2020):

Unravelling the evolution of the Cape flora’s endless forms most beautiful: a next-gen approach.

21 April:  Prof. Bob Scholes:

Taking an ecosystems view.

26 MAY: Prof. Serban Proches

Global plant geography: Diversity patterns, kingdoms and biomes

23 June 16h00:  Prof. Dr. Jake Alexander:  

Plant range expansions in mountains

18 AUGUST: DR. KELSEY GLENNON (UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND)

Drakensberg confetti: what drives flower colour variation in a mountain endemic?

Environmental variables may enable to the evolution of flower colour polymorphisms within plant populations or species. Across the Hypoxidaceae (Star Grass family), both flower color and species diversity are centered within southern Africa. Biochemical analyses paired with petal peels indicates the presence of anthocyanins and carotenoids, as well as chlorophyll and structural color in some species. A Drakensberg near-endemic species, Rhodohypoxis baurii (Baker) Nel. var. confecta comprises variable flower colors (pink/white) that appear to shift in frequency across the flowering season. Given the seeming absence of pollinators in the population, we sought to test the effect of soil moisture and solar radiation in a controlled growth chamber environment (using UV lights as a proxy) to investigate whether solar radiation and soil moisture underpin emergence of white or pink flowers. We also tested for fitness differences between color morphs in the field. Results of three years of count data and controlled experiments are presented here.

15 SEPTEMBER: PROF. JANNICE FRIEDMAN FROM QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY, ONTARIO, CANADA

Title to be confirmed.

20 OCTOBER: DR. FLORIAN P. SCHIESTL (UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH) (17H00-FROM VANCOUVER)

Plant – pollinator interactions… Title to be confirmed

17 NOVEMBER: PROF STEPHEN KELLER (UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT)

Can genomics predict population vulnerability to maladaptation under environmental change? Concepts, case studies, and cautions