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Monthly Meetings

Monthly Public Meetings of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

The Hamilton Naturalist’s Club meets monthly, September through May, usually on the second Monday of each month. Meetings are held at 7:00 PM, at the Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd West, Burlington. Parking is free. We begin with socializing. The formal part of the meeting begins at around 7:30 pm.

monthlymeetings

HNC Monthly Meeting at RBG headquarters (Photo: Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato)

Monthly meetings can also been seen on our calendar along with other HNC events.

 

Date: Monday, September 11, 2017

Speaker: Dr. Larry Peterson

Topic: Life underground – Interaction between plants and beneficial fungi

Have you ever wondered what goes on underground? Find out as Dr. Larry Peterson reveals how the majority of plants in all ecosystems have co-evolved with beneficial soil fungi forming complex symbiotic relationships. He will discuss how these symbioses are established and how both plant and fungal partners benefit. Examples will include forest species, crop species, and members of the largest family of flowering plants, the Orchidaceae.

Dr. Larry Peterson grew up in Alberta and attended the University of Alberta where he received B.Ed and M.Sc degrees. He earned a PhD from the University of California and spent his career at the University of Guelph where he is currently a University Professor Emeritus. He has published over 200 papers in refereed journals, 20 book chapters, and has co-authored 3 books. The book “Teaching Plant Anatomy Through Creative Laboratory Exercises”, co-authored with Dr. Carol Peterson and Lewis Melville, received the George Lawson Medal from the Canadian Botanical Association (CBA) for an exceptional contribution to Botany. His current book “When is a ‘Flower’ not a Flower and other Intriguing Questions about Plants” is co-authored with Dr. Carol Peterson. Dr. Peterson received a second George Lawson Medal from CBA for outstanding career contributions to Botany. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has received two Teaching Awards from the University of Guelph.

 

Date: Monday, October 16, 2017

Speaker: Bridget Stutchbury

Topic: Panda porn, crane cross-dressing and dirty devils….. time for conservation triage?

How much is the giant panda worth as a species? More, or less, than a whooping crane or Tasmanian devil? Why should we spend millions of dollars a year on each of these species while hundreds of lesser-known species are neglected and underfunded? The practice of ‘conservation triage’ means that some species must go extinct to save many others. This has triggered much debate about exactly how to place a value on a given species and who gets to make this decision. Should we favour species that are important ecologically or culturally or, instead, species that are evolutionarily unique? Maybe species with high medicinal or economic value to humans, like sea sponges and bumblebees, should get top priority. Bridget Stutchbury discusses the conservation triage controversy and which species are destined to be the winners and losers.

Bridget Stutchbury is a professor in the Department of Biology at York University, Toronto. She completed her M.Sc. at Queen’s University and her Ph.D. at Yale, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Since the 1980s, she has studied migratory songbirds to understand their behaviour, ecology and conservation. Her current research studies the incredible migration journeys of songbirds to help halt the severe declines in many species. She serves on the board of Wildlife Preservation Canada and is the author of Silence of the Songbirds (2007) and The Bird Detective (2010).

 

Date: Monday, November 13, 2017

Speaker: Jen Baker

Topic: HNC Lands

More info forthcoming on this talk.

 

Date: Monday, December 11, 2017

Speaker: Carolina Thomson

Topic: Turtle Watch

I am an eleven year resident of Dundas. As an amateur photographer I set out six years ago to photograph the amazing wildlife around Dundas. I was amazed by what I found right here in our backyard. I have been actively sharing my photos, reminding people of the species living amongst us and joining the crusade to save their very special habitat. I joined Dundas Turtle Watch as a volunteer three years ago. I read about the plight of turtles province wide and thought it would be interesting to get involved with a species I knew little about. I have learned so much in my short time about these incredible reptiles and like to share what I’ve experienced with interested members of the public. Dundas turtle watch has shown that we can make a difference by helping to protect, save, rescue and educate folks about these incredible reptiles at risk. Come out and learn about the different species and the challenges they face as well as what we can do to help them and ensure a future for our turtles.