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Here you will find a calendar of Friends’ activities in the Gardens including lunchtime talks, social events, exhibitions and the ever-popular spring and autumn plant sales. In addition to events arranged by the Friends, we include some events arranged by the Gardens and by other organisations. A full list of events arranged by the Gardens is in their What's On webpage.

Lunchtime talks are held at 12.30pm every Thursday from February to November in the Gardens’ Theatrette. Talks last for 1 hour. Admission is by gold coin donation. There is no need to book. Some other events do require booking – please see individual items.

The ANBG Theatrette has a capacity of 90 seats. To avoid a breach of fire regulations, event organisers will monitor numbers and decline entry once all seats have been filled. We recommend that audience members arrive early to secure a seat.

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Event title Date Details
Dr Brian Hawkins ‘Birds and plants in subtropical NSW’ Thursday, 1 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Brian, now a scientist with Bush Blitz in Canberra, describes his earlier work as an ecologist in Northern NSW studying the relationship between birds and their food plants in the forests of the Dorrigo-Bellingen-Coffs Harbour area.

Dr Brett Howland ‘Recent results of the effects of fire on grassland plants and animals’ Thursday, 8 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Brett will describe his work on natural resource management programs. Over the last seven years he has been involved in the implementation of a kangaroo monitoring program using pellet counts; the creation of an ACT vegetation map; and the establishment of a research monitoring program looking at the effects of kangaroo grazing on reptiles and grass.

Ben Walcott ‘A walk through some great gardens’ Thursday, 15 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Ben will walk us through some gardens in Britain, Europe and other countries, with differing styles and plant choices.

Dr Rolf Oberprieler and Dr Thomas Wallenius ‘A necessary weevil: the pollination biology and evolution of cycads’ Thursday, 22 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Of the seven groups of weevils associated with cycads in the world, four have evolved exclusive pollination mutualisms with their hosts, depending on cycad cones for breeding while the cycads depend on them for pollination. The physiology of the cycad cones is tightly correlated with the behaviour of the weevils, in that the cones release specific odours and heat up in the evening to both attract and repel the weevils.

Rolf will talk to the broad evolutionary relationship between weevils and cycads, and Thomas will place this in the Australian context.

Professor Margo Neale ‘Alive with the songlines! Following in the footsteps of the Seven Sisters’ Thursday, 29 June 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Margo, Senior Indigenous Curator, National Museum of Australia, will background the next major exhibition of NMA on the Seven Sisters’ rock art, opening in September. This presentation will give you a behind-the-scenes look at how this exhibition was put together by the curatorial team in collaboration with Aboriginal communities, and why it is considered a pioneering model where communities work with Museums rather than how Museums work with communities.

Professor Neale is an internationally renowned curator of major exhibitions, and the author, co-author or editor of 12 books, including the Oxford Companion to Aboriginal art and culture, and a co-recipient of 12 Australia Research Council Grants.

Dr Sue Serjeantson AO ‘Charles Darwin in Galapagos and Australia’ Thursday, 6 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Sue, Chair of the Thursday Talks committee, explores Darwin’s diaries from the ‘Voyage of the Beagle’ that revealed Nature’s Grand Plan.

Dr Janet Gardner ‘How are Australian birds affected by climate change?’ Thursday, 13 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Janet, Research Fellow at ANU, has made novel use of time-series available through museum collections and bird-banding, to explore the dynamics of natural bird populations. This talk will focus on how Australian birds are affected by our changing climate and will provide insights into the mechanisms that are driving change.

Dr Philip Spradbery ‘To breed or not to breed? How the European wasp queen suppresses her daughters’ reproduction' Thursday, 20 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Philip, a research entomologist, has been asking himself this question for twenty years.

Dr John Turnbull ‘Australian trees and their botanists’ Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

John, retired CSIRO scientist and volunteer guide at ANBG, will discuss the association of Australian trees with overseas botanists and relate their amazing stories encompassing adventure, mystery, sex and even murder.

Angus Stewart ‘History of Australian Plant Breeding’ Thursday, 3 August 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Angus, an expert in Australian native plants and media personality, will talk about the history of Australian plant breeding and share his personal experience in breeding iconic kangaroo paws.