Author Archives: russell.hall

UK Plant Evolution meeting. September 15-16 2016

Registration is now open for the second UK Plant Evolution meeting, to be held at Cambridge University Botanic Garden on 15 and 16 September 2016.

The line-up of invited speakers includes Doug Soltis, Sandy Knapp, Chiara Airoldi, Robert Scotland, Vincent Savolainen, Minsung Kim, Kirsten Bomblies, and Dmitry Filatov.

Registration is only £40 (student) or £60 (standard), including lunches and all tea/coffee breaks, and the opportunity to tour the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and/or herbarium.

To register or submit an abstract see

or email with any questions.

Plant Evolutionary Biology Meeting: 15/16th September 2016

Following a highly successful inaugural meeting at RBG Edinburgh in September 2014, we have decided to host a follow-on biennial meeting at the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens in conjunction with the new Sainsbury Lab. The second meeting will follow a similar format as in 2014, with a two-day event, notable plenary speakers, and a range of invited speakers touching on many areas of Plant Evolution research in the UK. There will of course be ample opportunity for submitted talks and a poster session, as well as a chance to tour the beautiful gardens, and visit Darwin’s herbarium.

We are in the final stages of coordinating a list of invited speakers, as well as settling on the final costs, but will be in a position to send these details out soon.

In the meantime please note these dates in your calendar, and do circulate to any interested colleagues who did not make it to the first meeting,

with best wishes,

Sam Brockington, Curator, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens
Beverley Glover, Director, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens

Worm/Trojan Alert for Darkroom PC Users

The combined worm and trojan “Worm:Win32/Rimecud.A” was found on the darkroom gel station PC in B75 and has now been cleared. If you have used a USB stick on this PC then that USB stick may well have been infected and the worm will transfer to any computer the USB stick is then inserted into.

Worm:Win32/Rimecud.A spreads by copying itself to removable drives, messenger and peer-to-peer file sharing networks. It also contains backdoor functionality that allows unauthorized access and control of an affected machine.

Collecting Grasses in Madagascar

I recently returned from an expedition to Madgascar to collect grasses. Dr Maria Vorontsova from Kew has blogged a brief account of the expedition on the eMonocot project website.

The grasses targeted for collection are in the Forest Shade Clade – a group of around 150 species that comprises both C3 and C4 species. The main purpose was to collect fresh material for DNA extraction as part of the effort to construct a densely sampled phylogeny of the Forest Shade Clade of grasses. The phylogeny will be used to explore the history and causes of photosynthesis evolution in this clade using comparative methods. Madagascar was targeted for collection as a third of the species in the clade grow in Madagascar and a fifth of the species are endemic to Madagascar.