From now until mid-March two brand new exhibitions will be running at the University of Dundee focusing on the wonder of plants and the roles they play in our lives!
In the Lamb Gallery, the exhibition “Botanical Conversations” features highlights from the University’s Herbarium collection as well as stunning botanical teaching charts and beautiful works of art and creative writing inspired by plants. Meanwhile, “Exploring our own Backyard” in the Tower Foyer Gallery has been put together by the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and highlights the current project to revamp the garden’s native plants area.
Botanical Conversations describes the history of botany teaching at Dundee whilst also showcasing some fascinating research projects being carried out both at the University and at the James Hutton Institute, including:
• Researchers in the School of Life Sciences aiming to improve the digestibility of crop wastes
• The citizen science GROW Laboratory at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
• Researchers in the School of Social Sciences studying the effects of El Nino and other climate shocks on tropical forests
• The Beauty of Roots – paintings by Jean Duncan, artist in residence with the Centre for Environmental Change & Human Resilience, created in collaboration with soil scientists
• Work by the James Hutton Institute to improve environmental sustainability by promoting legume-based food systems
Exploring our own Backyard celebrates the work of William Gardiner, a working man from Dundee who became a distinguished botanist in the first half of the nineteenth century and was the first to compile a flora of the local area.
Neil Paterson, Public Engagement Officer at Botanic Garden, said, “The native plants area is the jewel in the Garden’s crown. It is still unusual in botanic gardens, which traditionally showed little interest in their natives. Our garden is young, founded in 1971, and it was committed from the start to telling the story of Scottish plants and their ecology.”
Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University, said, “Plants form the basis of life on earth. They are vital to our health and well-being as well as being an amazing inspiration for creativity. Our first Professor of Botany, Patrick Geddes, coined the phrase ‘by leaves we live’, a recognition that every aspect of our lives – culture, healthcare, the economy and the environment – are all reliant on plants.”
Opening hours for both exhibitions are 9.30am-7pm on weekdays and 1-5pm each Saturday.