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Dr Maria Vorontsova: “Does the modern world need herbarium collections?” Free, online talk

Thursday, 7th September 2023, 19:15 - 20:00

Dr Maria Vorontsova: “Does the modern world need herbarium collections?” Free, online talk

Join our online event with Dr Maria Vorontsova (informally known as bat), Research Leader at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and SLBI President, who will be discussing herbaria and their role in contemporary society.

This talk will take place on Zoom and here are the details:


Meeting ID: 845 3868 8191
Passcode: 104880

More information from bat about this talk
Collecting plants, pressing specimens, and looking after buildings full of samples was popular in the Victorian era. In the twenty-first century we now sequence genomes and talk to ChatGPT. Have specimen collections not become redundant by now?

I have been working with herbarium collections at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Natural History Museum, National Museums of Kenya, Tsimbazaza Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Madagascar and others for twenty years.

In this talk, I will present a series of research stories from my work to illustrate the uses of herbaria in the modern world, to understand the past, and to prepare us for the future.

Dr Maria (bat) Vorontsova is a practicing taxonomist with twenty years of experience in classifying tropical plants, an author of 36 plant names, 83 papers and three books.

After a PhD studying spurge relatives and postdoctoral research on wild spiny aubergines, Bat started working on the classification system for grasses in 2010. The current focus of Bat’s work are the grasses of Madagascar. In order to make plant classification more accurate and useful Bat combines multidisciplinary sources of evidence including evolutionary history, landscape genomics, functional ecology and ethnobotany to make decisions on the placement of grasses into genera and species, alongside more traditional components of taxonomic work: field collecting, morphological study, dissection and drawing of grass spikelets and their component parts, bibliographic research, botanical nomenclature and typification.

The grass genus Batochloa was named after bat to recognise their contribution to the classification of African and Malagasy grasses.

SLBI’s online Annual General Meeting

Bat’s talk will take place after the SLBI’s online Annual General Meeting. If you would like to attend our AGM as well you can book your place here.

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Thursday, 7th September 2023
19:15 - 20:00
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How to Book

The South London Botanical Institute
View How to Book Website