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The Fascinating Biology of Orchids
September 23, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pmfree
How has the family, Orchidaceae, become the most successful and largest family of flowering plants? Larry will discuss features of orchid biology that have led to a family that includes over 25, 000 species. Topics include pollination mechanisms, associations with beneficial fungi, adaptations to a wide range of terrestrial habitats, and how numerous orchid species have taken to the trees as epiphytes. The amazing diversity in floral forms has resulted in a multi-million dollar horticultural industry. As a result of their popularity, many orchid species have been and continue to be, poached from the wild. Because of this, and destruction of habitats, over 300 species are listed as endangered or threatened.
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, Davis 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. 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 several awards for his research including the George Lawson Medal from the Canadian Botanical Association 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.
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