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North Shore District Group


Friday Night Virtual Meetings 2020

Meetings from June to November will be on line at 7:30 for 8.00 p.m. on the second Friday of the month.

Instructions of how to participate will be supplied with the monthly email.

Upcoming virtual meetings

9 October 2020 (Note there will be two speakers)

 Sue Fredrickson
 Topic Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show 

On the way to the ANPSA conference in Albany in 2019, the Fredricksons were very impressed with the hospitality shown by the locals of Ravensthorpe and learned a whole lot about this botanically fascinating little town by attending Wildflower Festival events.

 Wendy Grimm 
 Topic Wildflowers around Albany, WA 

The 2019 ANPSA conference in Albany was timed for peak flowering of the Southwest Australian Floristic Region’s wildflowers and a small selection of photos taken around Albany will be shown. 

13 November 2020

 Jackie Wilson
 Topic  Why some of our iconic plants and animals of the Snowy Mountains are under threat  

The delicate ecosystem of the Snowy Mountains and some of the iconic plants and animals of the Snowys are now under threat - essentially from human influences e.g. overgrazing, introduced species/pests, climate change, tourism etc. Jackie will approach this problem from the perspective of a geographer with an interest in ecology.

December: Christmas Party at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Past or missed meetings due to Covid-19 , 2020

 14 February 2020

  Simon Leake 
 Topic   " The soils and vegetation of Barangaroo Headland Park " 

Simon will describe how the soil and vegetation associations were developed matching soil type and landscape position to vegetation type resulting in the highly successful naturalistic landscape you now see at Barangaroo.

For this project, commonly available recycled inorganic resources (crushed sandstone and recycled sand from building excavation) were combined with composted wood mulch screened from green garden waste collections and used to recreate a three-tiered replacement soil landscape for Barangaroo. The mulch layer or “O” (for organic) horizon would be analogous to the forest litter layer; the topsoil or A horizon, a well-drained sandy soil containing nutrients, organic matter and biological life and the Subsoil or B horizon, a well-drained water holding layer for root anchorage and moisture reserve.

Soil fertility levels were established using the "ash bed" principle where the initial soil fertility was established based on what the soil nutrient levels would be after a fire occurs to result in a soil fertility level that allows the vegetation to develop properly.

Simon is a soil scientist extraordinaire who leads a team with extensive achievements in rehabilitation, reconstruction and renewal of diverse urban projects and mine sites.

13 March 2020

   Bruce Usher, APS member   
 Topic  "Angophora costata and friends - A Visual Journey"

I’m not a biologist and I flunked Latin at the end of 1963. But I took a phone call in September 2005 from a well know Sydney graphic designer (Ross Renwick the founder of the Billy blue group). It went something like this.

"Busher.” One of my nicknames.

“Do you want to do a book with me?”

Curious, I replied. ‘I’d love to Ross, what’s the subject?’

Renwick laconically replied, “The Angophora tree.” Paused momentarily and added.

“You will have 200 hours of photography and I will have 20 hours of writing.”

It’s 2020 and Ross passed away in late 2012 but I have a very interesting body of work on the Angophora costata (and its friends).

12 June 2020

Speaker  Daniel Clarke, Conservation Officer, APS NSW
 Topic  "Conservation in APS, NSW" 

Dan will talk about 4 years of population assessment and monitoring of the threatened flora species Prostanthera densa (Villous Mint Bush). Assessment and monitoring has taken place at its five known sites, on the NSW Coast, as part of the NSW Saving our Species program. This work has involved crucial help and support from APS Sutherland members. Dan will canvass the SOS Program, and will outline recent changes to NSW Biodiversity legislation. Dan will also briefly cover other species and ecological communities that he has worked on for the Saving our Species Program and showcase other projects that other APS groups are involved in. Dan’s image is of APS Sutherland Member John Arney, measuring and tagging a plant of Prostanthera densa (Marley, Royal NP, 2016).

Dan is currently a botanical consultant undertaking vegetation surveys, threatened plant assessments and botanical advice in many parts of NSW. Dan also works weekly for TAFE NSW as a Conservation and Land Management teacher, teaching plant identification and bushland regeneration.

20 July 2020

 Judy Harrington
 Topic  "Glossy Black-cockatoo "

Distribution maps of the rather elusive Glossy Black-cockatoo overlap with much of the east coast forests that have been devastated by wildfire this spring and summer. Our guest speaker will discuss the current concern felt by the birding and conservation communities about the plight of Glossy Black-cockatoos in the aftermath of widespread fires and in particular, the loss of Allocasuarina (She-oak) stands that support breeding families of Glossy blacks.

Judy Harrington is the president of Birdlife Southern NSW and has an extensive history of public education and participation in wildlife monitoring in her previous roles at SOPA, in her involvement with the highly-popular Sea-EagleCAM and the Birdlife Discovery Centre at Sydney Olympic Park and with the Frog & Tadpole Study Group. 

14 August 2020

 Michael Batley, virtual presentation via Zoom 
 Topic   " Looking for bees" 

While looking for native bees over the last twenty years, Michael has seen many lovely species in lots of interesting places. Although bees are formally identified using shape and colour, often with the aid of a microscope, he has come to realise that, in the field, behaviour frequently provides useful additional clues.

There have been 250 species collected from within 40 km of Hornsby and it is estimated that there may be 50 additional species in the area, so there is a lot to look out for on a walk through local bushland. The talk will include suggestions about where to look for bees, when to look and what to look for.

Photo: A tree stump containing nests of Lasioglossum peraustrale in a small park in North Ryde 

11 September 2020

 Farhad Masoomi-Aladizgeh, APS NSG Scholarship Recipient
 Topic  " Australian ecotypes of Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass)" 

Farhad’s research is mainly on identifying stress tolerance genes in plants from distantly related crop relatives. The grant from the Valette Williams Scholarship has led the team to start a new project on a stress tolerant species in Australia, Themeda triandra (kangaroo grass). A diverse collection of its ecotypes provides high genetic diversity with which to find ‘molecular signatures’ for environmental traits. Plants respond to the changing environment too!

Farhad is a Doctor of Philosophy in Biology student under the supervision of Professor Brian Atwell within the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.

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