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FREE public talk NZ’s native forget-me-nots: research, field work, digital outreach, and more! – Dr Heidi Meudt
November 26 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Join us at the museum on Saturday 26th November for a free public talk by Dr Heidi Meudt, Curator Botany, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.
Dr Meudt’s talk ‘Title: New Zealand’s native forget-me-nots: Taxonomy, research, field work, digital outreach, and more!’ is part of the Colours Deluxe exhibition public programme.
Heidi Meudt is a Botany Curator at Te Papa. Prior to starting at Te Papa in 2006, Heidi completed her PhD in Botany in 2004 at the University of Texas at Austin. She was also an Alexander von Humboldt Experienced Research Fellow at the University of Oldenburg, Germany from 2012-2014. Her main research focus is on the taxonomy and systematics of southern hemisphere plants, and her collections-based research focuses on the evolution and classification of native New Zealand flowering plants, especially forget-me-nots (Myosotis).
New Zealand is a main centre of forget-me-not diversity, with about half of the c. 90 total species worldwide found only in New Zealand. Taxonomic revision is a high priority in New Zealand forget-me-nots (genus: Myosotis, family: Boraginaceae), as a high percentage of the species are considered to be threatened or at risk. The core focus of my research is to produce a taxonomic revision of all native southern hemisphere Myosotis species using analyses of morphological, pollen, genetic and field data. I aim to answer the following questions: How many native forget-me-not species are there? How can they be identified? Where are they found? What is their conservation status? In this talk, I will give a broad overview of the Myosotis research project results, discoveries, field work, and taxonomic implications to date. I will also highlight work-in-progress and future directions.