Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Recording of RSNSW Poggendorff Lecture 2020

Professor Angela MolesIn the event that you were unable to attend this fascinating lecture, "Are weeds becoming new native species?", delivered by the Professor Angela Moles FRSN of UNSW Sydney, and the RSNSW Poggendorff Lecturer for 2020, that was jointly presented by the Royal Society of NSW and UNSW Sydney in the Palm House of the Royal Botanic Garden on Wednesday 11 May 2022, the video of the talk is now available on our YouTube channel.

In this talk, Angela Moles argues that the introduction of species to a new environment creates excellent conditions for evolution, as the species are released from their old enemies and subjected to new conditions. Our work has shown that 70% of the plant species introduced to Australia have changed the way they grow since arriving here. If Australia cannot eradicate introduced species (and it seldom can), then it seems inevitable that many more species will eventually evolve to become unique new taxa. At this point, we will have to decide whether to accept them as new native species or continue trying to control them. While most people do not like the idea yet, I think acceptance of introduced species is just a matter of time. I have been called a witch for these ideas before — bring on the arguments!

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