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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.

See all current events | See all the recent events

Event title Date Details
Dr Prame Chopra 'Dangerous Eruptions: Volcanoes Past, Present and Future’ Thursday, 7 February 2019 - 12:30pm

Prame, previously a Reader in Geophysics at the ANU, will talk about his longstanding interest in the earth's internal heat, the processes that are driven by it and the green energy opportunities it presents - volcanic eruptions are some of the most impressive manifestations of this astonishing heat.

Boronia Halstead 'South Western Australia Flora: What a Hotspot’ Thursday, 14 February 2019 - 12:30pm

Boronia would like to spark our curiosity with the extraordinary diversity of plants growing in south-west Western Australia, and the area being the first Global Biodiversity Hotspot to be recognised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.


Dr Marcel Cardillo 'Australian Plant Biodiversity: Past, Present and Future’ Thursday, 21 February 2019 - 12:30pm

Marcel, from the ANU, will discuss how extracting DNA from plant tissues helps us reconstruct the evolutionary history of the Australian biota over tens of millions of years. He will explain why south- west Australia is a 'biodiversity hotspot’ and the increasingly important role that molecular phylogenetics plays with examples from research on Australian Proteaceae.

Associate Professor Andy Leigh 'How do Plants 'do ' Heat Stress? Further Lessons from the Australian Desert’ Thursday, 28 February 2019 - 12:30pm

Andy, from the University of Technology Sydney, will explore what factors determine whether high temperatures become stressful to plants.  Does water stress make a difference; is thermal tolerance static or fluctuates; and over what time scale?

Matthew Higgins 'The Declined, the Gifted and the Desired: Four Canberra Rivers' Thursday, 7 March 2019 - 12:30pm

Matthew Higgins is an historian, writer, speaker, photographer and citizen scientist, who has worked for many of our national cultural institutions.  He will present natural and historical information about four rivers near Canberra, and detail some of his experiences on them.

Dr Alexander Schmidt-Lebuhn 'Phylogenetic Diversity and 'hot spots' for Conservation’ Thursday, 14 March 2019 - 12:30pm

Alexander, is from the CSIRO, and will explain how phylogenetic diversity works and its logic, and how it can identify areas of conservation priority and patterns of biogeographic interest.

Emeritus Professor Mike Crisp ‘Callitris: an Evolutionary Chronicle of Extinction, Survival and Re-diversification ' Thursday, 21 March 2019 - 12:30pm

Mike, from the ANU, will discuss how the cypress family of conifers has been an important model for studying the way organisms came to be distributed, where they are found today, and how ancient changes in the earth's environment influenced their distribution

Justin Foley 'ACT Healthy Waterways - an Update’ Thursday, 28 March 2019 - 12:30pm

Justin is Program Manager,  ACT Healthy Waterways Project, a joint initiative of the ACT and the Australian governments to improve the quality of water entering our lakes and waterways. It includes the construction of infrastructure - like wetlands, ponds and rain gardens, and involves research trials.

Jane Black 'Artwork Delights from the ANBG Library and Archives Collection’ Thursday, 4 April 2019 - 12:30pm

Jane, ANBG Librarian and Archivist, will share some of the delightful and diverse artworks from the ANBG Library and Archives collection which have been inspired by Australia's native plants

Dr James Nicholls 'Manipulation of Host Plants by Herbivorous Insects’ Thursday, 11 April 2019 - 12:30pm

James, currently works at the Australian National Insect Collection at CSIRO, and will talk about how parasitic oak gallwasps manipulate their host plants to produce unusual structures and compounds to gain higher quality nutrition and increased protection from predatory wasps.