Global Biodiversity Hotspots- Defined by Plants

Sometimes, when I think about conservation, the world seems all kinds of bleak.

Ecosystems are being damaged, plants and animals are dying, and the indirect human impact of the climate crisis only serves to accelerate the effects of direct environmental destruction. There isn’t an easy solution to it all – or at least not one that we’ve yet decided as a global society to take. … Read more

Attempted burglary

Pathogenic bacteria are the burglars of the plant world. They break and enter and wreak havoc within a plant cell as they grab whatever they find useful – mostly delicious nutrients. Just like with real burglars, the key to stopping them is a proper door – unless the burglar have a way to pry it open.… Read more

Our plant science picks for 2019

Well here we are, at the end of the… tennies?

Here’s our list of Big Stuff that happened in the world of plant science in 2019. We’ve probably missed a few, so let us know in the comments what you think was big this year.… Read more

Advent Calendar Day 22 – The no BS rose for Christmas

Sometimes, adaption means avoiding trouble. Picking a favourable season to grow, a place with no herbivores or choosing a time when there is a surplus of eager pollinators. Sometimes, adaption means powering through all adversities while standing your ground. Today, we talk about the latter. 

Alpine plants don‘t have it easy. Growth periods are short as temperatures quickly drop after summer and take a long time to recover at the end of winter. Some plants adapt by growing, flowering, setting and dispersing seeds within a brief period of time, so that they get everything done before winter is back.… Read more

Advent Calendar Day 20 – Crestaceous Park

Friday is podcast day. This week, we talk about the mystery of the angiosperm explosion during the crestaceous period when flowering plants suddenly took over the ecosystems and when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

You can find the podcast here and in all common podcast players.

This post is part of our advent calendar. You can find a posts here.Read more

Advent Day 19 – Pine Cooler

Nothing induces memories quite like smells. Especially in winter, different smells trigger warm emotional responses: the smell of cotton candy, fried sausages and cheap mulled wine makes people reminiscence of Christmas markets. The smell of pine gives us that lovely feeling of sitting in front of a Christmas tree on a cold but exciting morning. Let‘s have a look at what makes that smell.… Read more

Advent Day 18-Brits and Brussel Sprouts

It began with a Christmas Card, which only caught my eye because of the Penguins.* But the penguins were holding a small placard – the protesting kind, and the placard read ‘down with sprouts’.

*Penguins are the greatest. It goes Plants, Cats, Penguins. Although some penguins are probably even better than some cats.

I didn’t understand, but I was hooked… and soon I started seeing sprouts everywhere in London. Not just small ‘sprout trees’ sold at the farmers’ market, but also sprouts on Christmas wrapping paper, and even a shiny sprout Christmas ornament, not unlike the infamous ‘German’ Pickle.Read more