Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

 RSNSW Poggendorff Lecture 2020

RSNSW UNSW Poggendorff Lecture banner


Date: Wednesday, 11 May 2022, Time 5.00 pm – 7.00 pm AEST 
Venue: Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Palm House, Mrs Macquarie's Road, Sydney
Video presentation: YouTube video.

The Poggendorff Lecture: The Royal Society of NSW and UNSW (Sydney) are pleased to present the Society’s Poggendorff Lecture. The Poggendorff Lecture, which is awarded periodically by the Royal Society of NSW for research in plant biology and more broadly agriculture, is named after the distinguished biologist and plant breeder, Walter Poggendorff.  For 2020, the Poggendorff Lecture was awarded to Professor Angela Moles of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, although the delivery of the lecture has been delayed until now due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

About the event: The lecture will take place in the oldest greenhouse in NSW, Palm House, built in 1876 and situated in the picturesque Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Refreshments will be provided from 5.00 pm. The one-hour lecture with audience Q&A follows at 6.00 pm, hosted by Denise Ora, Chief Executive Royal Botanic Garden and Domain Trust and Chair, UNSW Science Advisory Council.

Prior to the lecture, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is offering an optional but exclusive, 90 minute Weed Tour throughout the gardens from 3:30 pm.

About the presentation: Introducing 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!

Professor Angela MolesAbout the speaker: Professor Angela Moles FRSN, of the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences of UNSW (Sydney), is an international leader in the field of large-scale evolutionary ecology. She studies the processes that shape global patterns, and the way plants grow reproduce and interact with animals. She has a highly cited publication record, and the innovation and quality of her work has been recognised by numerous awards.

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