Edinburgh Lecture: The Orchid Hunter: from a gap year adventure to conservation genetics

Location

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Leaders

Leif Bersweden, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew

Date

Thursday, 13 September, 2018 - 18:00

On one of the strangest pre-university gap years you’ve ever heard of, Leif Bersweden spent the summer of 2013 hunting down all 52 species of wild orchid native to Britain and Ireland. He introduces his book, The Orchid Hunter, which tells the personal tale of this summer long quest. As he travels all over the country, from the shores of the Channel Islands to the grassy pastures of the Brecon Beacons, from the Holy Island of Lindisfarne to the wind-swept coasts of the Outer Hebrides, Leif teaches us about some of our most extraordinary native plants, the history of orchid hunting in Britain as well as sharing stories of his childhood growing up to love plants.

Leif Bersweden has had a lifelong interest in nature, focusing on plants from the age of seven. He grew up in rural Wiltshire where he taught himself how to identify the local flora and now regularly leads plant identification training courses for The Species Recovery Trust. Leif graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in Biology and is now a PhD student at Kew Gardens, where his research focuses on orchid genetics. In a world where an interest in botany is becoming increasingly rare, he wants to help put plants back on the map and is endeavouring to do this through his teaching, research and publications.

Lectures are held jointly with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in their Lecture Theatre. Doors open at 17:30, lecture commences at 18:00


Location

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