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Pollination of South West Western Australia Flora
3 September, 7:30 pm-9:30 pm
The plants of South West Western Australia have evolved many different features to attract pollinators and ensure that they are successfully pollinated. Each species has their own unique solution to this problem, with even those in the same genus sometimes using very different pollination strategies. Plants use insects, birds, mammals or a combination of those in order to transfer pollen from one flower to the next. The shape, colour and odour of flowers affect which pollinators they attract and when. Some have moving parts to directly attach the pollen to their visitors and some flower immediately after fire to take advantage of the reduced competition for pollinators. Most offer rewards of nectar while others mimic the flowers of other species to confuse pollinators. Many orchids even mimic the look and odour of female insects to attract the males. At our September meeting we’ll be learning about examples of local plants that use all of these pollination strategies and many more from Professor Byron Lamont, an expert on the adaptations of flora from Mediterranean climates, especially those in southwest Australia.
Professor Byron Lamont graduated in agricultural science at the University of WA in 1966 before becoming the first person in Australia to submit his PhD as published papers, and the only botanist to receive a Doctor of Science from UWA over the past 70 years. He is particularly interested in the evolution of the Banksia family both in Australia, South Africa and elsewhere. His work since retirement in 2010 has concentrated on the role of fire in the evolution of plants and, together with Dr Tianhua He, they are recognized as the world leaders in this field. Byron was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to teaching and research in botany. He received the Clarke Medal for distinguished research in the natural sciences in 2012.
Doors open from 7.15pm for a 7.30 start. Parking is available at the Gordon St or Clifton St entrances to the campus. All are welcome to attend, with a cash or EFTPOS donation ($3 for members, $5 for non-members) giving you a chance to win the door prize. The main presentation will be followed by a short “focus” talk, after which you are welcome to join us for tea/coffee and conversation.