Plants and Their Friends: Exploring Partnerships Above and Below Ground
March 12, 2016, 9:45 am – 4:00 pm
Jepson Hall, University of Richmond
$50 members; $80 non-members (includes one year membership in VNPS); $15 full time student
Doors open at 9:15 am
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Speakers and Topics:
Gary Krupnick, Ph.D., Botanist and head of the Plant Conservation Unit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
A Natural History Approach to Protecting Pollinators
Pollinators are critical to our Nation’s economy, food security, and environmental health. But many pollinators are in serious decline. This presentation will provide insight into the National Strategy for Pollinator Health and the current efforts at reducing the continued loss of pollinators.
Kal Ivanov, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History
The Astonishing World of Ant-plantSymbioses
This presentation will offer an overview of the multi-faceted interactions between two of the most dominant and charismatic terrestrial groups – flowering plants and ants. Ant-plant interactions have evolved across the globe ranging from herbivory to highly sophisticated defensive and dispersal mutualisms. One such remarkable interaction, known as myrmecochory, occurs in the temperate forests of eastern North America and involves a number of familiar spring flowers such as trilliums and violets.
Paulette W. Royt, Ph.D., Microbiologist, retired from the Biology Department at George Mason University
Plant Roots and Their Fungal Partners
Mycorrhiza is the symbiotic relationship between some soil fungi and plant roots. This association will be described as will the diversity of the mycorrhizal fungi, and the contributions the mycorrhizae make to ecosystem diversity.
Dennis Whigham, Ph.D., Senior Botanist at the Smithsonian Ecological Research Center and Founding Director of the North American Orchid Conservation Center
Native Orchids: Interactions with Fungi and Challenges for Orchid Conservation
The study of interactions between orchids and fungi have led in new and exciting directions. This presentation will offer the results of recent research on orchid-fungus relationships and the effort to conserve the genetic diversity of native orchids using this information.
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