Monday 18 May 2015

Speakers announced for BSBI Annual Summer Meeting

Coastline next to the Giant's Causeway: we visit
this site during the ASM
Image: J. Faulkner
We've already heard about some of the amazing locations for excursions we will be visiting during the four days of this year's Annual Summer Meeting, running 12th-16th June.

Now the speakers have been announced and - as always at BSBI's two big meetings of the year, the ASM and AEM - we have some really interesting talks to look forward to. 

Oysterplant Mertensia maritima: we should see
this plant during the ASM
Image: I. Denholm
The main session of talks will be on Saturday morning, 13th June. The session will be chaired by Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Botany at NUI Galway. 

You can find out more about Micheline here: note her impressive publications list and that she is also Director of the Plant and Ecology Research Unit at NUI Galway. 

She will be introducing four speakers:

1. John Faulkner, Chair of BSBI's Committee for Ireland, County Recorder for Armagh VC H37) and author of the Rare Plant Register and also former Director of Natural Heritage at the organisation now known as the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. He will be giving us an introduction to botany in Ulster. 

Giant's Causeway, an ASM site
Image: J. Faulkner
2. Patrick Casement will be offering a talk entitled 'Reflections on the North Coast'. Patrick has a long and impressive pedigree including being former Chair of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside, former Chair of the National Trust Regional Committee, and former Chair of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group in Northern Ireland.

Dactylorhiza cf purpurella: Ian
will be on hand for Orchid IDs
Image: J. Faulkner
3. Ian Enlander is the Head of Ornithology and Geology at the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and his talk is called 'The Geological Underground'. 

4. Paul Corbett is Head of the Habitat Survey Team at the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and will be talking to us about 'Vegetation and Habitats'. 

After these talks, we will have lunch and then pile into a coach hired for the purpose and head off for an afternoon in the field at some spectacular sites - details on these are here, here and there is more info to follow in the next few days. 

We should see Geranium pratense but it has a
restricted distribution in N. Ireland
Image: J. Faulkner
We return for the Conference dinner, after which we have more informal after-dinner talks by BSBI President Ian Denholm and also by Lynne Farrell, co-Chair of BSBI Meetings & Communications Committee, co-Editor of the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain (2005), former Hon Gen Sec of BSBI and County Recorder for Mid-Ebudes (VC 103) aka the Isle of Mull. 

Lynne is also an alumnus (alumna?) of the University of Ulster at Coleraine and will no doubt have some interesting observations on campus life then and now!

If you haven't booked yet for the ASM, head over here for more details, a flyer, a booking form and a secure payment facility. 

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