A List of Available Presentations

Please scroll down to see a list of in-development presentations as well.


Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz was an eccentric naturalist who generated thousands of new names for plant species and genera. His overenthusiasm for seeing novelty in nature resulted in him being shunned by most of the scientific establishment. This presentation interweaves some fundamentals of plant naming with stories about Rafinesque's accomplishments and relationships with other scientists.

Length: 60 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups interested in plant names, botanical history, botanists, nature

 

Native Plants for Lower Mainland Gardens

Why should gardeners consider using native plants? Depending on time available, this talk or set of talks begins by discussing what is meant by a native plant, why native plants should be considered, whether native plant cultivars should be used, and general availability. The presentation then shifts to highlighting native plants for Lower Mainland gardens, with details on wild habitats and usage for gardening situations.

Length: 60-180 minutes (see presentation page for details).

Intended Audiences: groups interested in gardening in southwest mainland British Columbia, native plants

 

Plant Adaptations (Temperate Rainforest)

Most popular literature and textbooks on plant adaptations highlight those plants that live in extreme environments such as deserts or alpine-tundra environments. This presentation examines the plant adaptations found in species associated with temperate rainforests, such as adaptations to rain, year-round shade, and generally moderate temperature extremes. Several comparisons are made within a few plant groups to illustrate differences. This presentation has a focus on the species of western North America, particularly British Columbia.

Length: 45 minutes, 60 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups interested in western North American native plants, botany, understanding the diversity of plants

 

Plants and the Colour Red (aka Red Reverie)

Red in plants is readily associated with a suite of phenomena, such as ripe fruit, autumn colours and bird pollination. This presentation explores those topics and more in detail. An illustrated overview of the types of pigments that cause red in plants is also shared. This is part of planned series of three presentations about different colours in plants.

Length: 60 minutes.

Intended Audiences: groups interested in botany, understanding the diversity of plants


Founded in 1931, Montreal Botanical Garden was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008. A notable component of the Garden is the extensive set of glasshouses which can be enjoyed year-round. This presentation briefly explores the history of Montreal Botanical Garden then gives a tour of the glasshouse complex with its indoor plant collections and exhibition space.

Length: 45 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups interested in indoor plants, tropical plants, travelogues, garden travel, plant diversity

 

Public Gardens of California

California has an extensive set of public gardens across the entire state. This presentation presents a summary overview of the collections and landscapes of nearly a dozen of these public gardens, primarily in the Bay Area and Los Angeles metro regions. For each garden, a few example plants are highlighted to illustrate the range of gardening possibilities in this diverse state.

Length: 60 minutes, 75 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups interested in garden travel, plant diversity


The Orobanchaceae, or the broomrape family, consists entirely of root-parasitic species. Some rely wholly on what they can steal from other plants, while others are partly parasitic and partly photosynthesizing. Despite being colourful herbaceous plants, few species are grown in cultivation purposefully. The family includes Castilleja, a genus with a centre of diversity in western North America. This presentation has a focus on Castilleja and other genera within western North America.

Length: 45 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in native plants, diversity within plant families, western North American botanical diversity

 

Ranunculaceae of Western North America

The Ranunculaceae, or the buttercup family, intrigues because of its many contrasts. Common garden ornamentals abound, yet some species are pernicious weeds. Some species are broadly distributed, while others can only be found in a few select places. And the list goes on: showy flowers vs. dullards, bird-pollinated vs. fly-pollinated, etc. This presentation has a focus on the species of western North America, particularly British Columbia.

Length: 45 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in native plants, diversity within plant families, western North American botanical diversity

 


Photography Series

Impressions of the Rockies

Organized into three central themes, this presentation shares the grand and intimate landscapes of the Canadian Rockies through encounters with plants, water bodies and rocks. Most photographs were taken in the autumn.

Length: 60 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups interested in landscape photography, visual design, travel

 

 

Ten Minutes of Photography Tips

A rapid-fire presentation of over a dozen tips to improve one's photography. Examples given use plants and gardens.

Length: 10 minutes
Rates: This add-on presentation has reduced rates.

Intended Audiences: any non-photographic group with an interest in improving their photography with simple tips


PLANTS AND PLACES Series

Biodiversity of the North

Following the Alaskan and Stewart-Cassiar Highways (and some time on the ocean), this travelogue highlights the biodiversity of northern British Columbia, southern Yukon and southeastern Alaska. Flora and fauna are both featured.

Length: 60, 75 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, biodiversity, travel, northern biodiversity

 

 

Plants from the Four Corners of Oregon

A presentation highlighting the plants and landforms of the four disparate corners of Oregon: the temperate rainforest of the northwest, the unglaciated serpentine mountains of the southwest, the volcanic and desert-like southeast, and the canyons and rolling hills of the northeast.

Length: 45, 60, 75 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, biodiversity, travel, plant communities, bioregional native plants

 

 

Plants of Southeastern British Columbia

Southeastern British Columbia is in many ways a floristic crossroads. For example, the extreme western edge of the Canadian Prairies flora can be found within kilometers of high-elevation alpine flora. Similarly, while the west side of the Rockies supports parts of the world's largest inland temperate rainforest, this is not too far from areas where rain is restricted and some of the driest forests of the province can be found. This presentation explores some plant diversity from each of the zones.

Length: 45, 60, 75 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, travel, British Columbia native plants

 

Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia

The southern (central) interior of British Columbia includes some of the driest and hottest parts of the province. This presentation highlights the plants of the many habitats here: semi-deserts, interior Douglas-fir forests, rolling grasslands and the subalpine. Ethnobotanical or historic uses of some plants are discussed, as well as some scientific questions.

Length: 60, 75 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, travel, British Columbia native plants

 

Plants of the Siskiyous

The Siskiyous (and adjacent areas) of southwest Oregon and northwest California contain perhaps more species than all of British Columbia with an estimate of perhaps 3500 taxa. Of these 3500, about 8% are endemic--found nowhere else in the world. This presentation includes photographs of a number of these endemic species, gathered from over a half-dozen trips to the area over several years.

Length: 45, 60, 75 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, biodiversity, travel, bioregional native plants, serpentine plants

 


A List of Presentations in Development

The following additional presentations are under development.

Please feel free to request any of these and I may be able to accommodate depending on whether I have sufficient photo material and lead time.

Alpine Plant Adaptations

Alpine conditions are harsh: short growing seasons, cold and frequent winds, elevated UV radiation, and extreme day-night temperature ranges are but a few of the environmental factors affecting alpine plants. This presentation reveals plants adaptations to these and other ecological factors.

Length: 45 minutes

Alpine Plants of Western North America

A showcase of high elevation western North-American species, this presentation discusses distribution, habitats, etymology and observations.

Length: 60 minutes

Be Thankful for Plants

Plants provide the necessities and luxuries of life, but it is sometimes easy to forget this. This presentation highlights why we should be grateful for all that plants provide.

Length: 45 minutes

Beauty and the Botanist

Available in early winter 2016, this presentation explores the notion of beauty through visual images of plants. Is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?

**This presentation works best as one of a paired set of presentations.

Length: 45 minutes.

Intended Audiences: groups interested in plant photography, visual design and beauty

Endemic Plants of the Pacific Northwest

Nearly a decade in the making due to the timing and travel required to accumulate enough imagery, this presentation features species that one will find nowhere else in the world other than this small part of the North American continent.

Length: 45, 60 minutes

Ephemeral Beauties - Botanical Annuals

Highlighting plants of vernal pools and deserts, this presentation photographically features the magnificent post-precipitation displays of annuals while discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the annual life-cycle.

Length: 45, 60 minutes

Ericaceae of Western North America

Rhododendrons, blueberries, heathers and more; due to abundant precipitation and associated acidic soils, western North America has a diverse group of species from this family.

Length: 45 minutes

Flowerscapes of Western North America

From alpine meadows to the fleeting floral displays of deserts, this presentation compares and contrasts the ecological conditions associated with floral abundance.

Length: 45 minutes

Gymnosperms of Western North America

A photographic presentation detailing many of the gymnosperms of western North America.

Length: 45 minutes

Haida Gwaii

This presentation explores the natural landscapes and biodiversity of Haida Gwaii.

Length: 45, 60, 75 minutes

How to Improve Your Photography for (Almost) Free

Using equipment you already have (or is inexpensive to purchase), how can you improve your photography? This presentation gives tips on maximizing your photographic results while minimizing costs.

Length: 60 minutes

Landscapes of Southwest USA

A set of photographs from the southwestern USA are accompanied by stories of encounters, explorations and environment.

Length: 60 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups interested in landscape photography, visual design, travel

Montiaceae of Western North America

With species both common and rare in a range of habitats, the Montiaceae is an intriguing family.

Length: 45 minutes

Plant-Animal Communications

How plants communicate with each other and with animals is the subject of much recent scientific research.

Length: 60 minutes

Plants and Food

An amazing diversity of plants can be found in the foods humans consume. Explore plant families through what we ingest in this presentation.

Length: 45 minutes

Plants and Technology

The story of plants and their contributions to technologies old, new, and potential.

Length: 45 minutes

Plants and the Colour Blue

Part of a series of talks about Plants and Colour, this one focuses on the colour blue. Why is it relatively rare? What plant families are associated with blue flowers? Why the quest for a blue rose?

Length: 45 minutes

Plants and the Colour Green

A talk in the Plants and Colour series, this presentation touches on a number of topics related to green in plants: photosynthesis, chlorophyll deficiencies and how they affect growth, the biology of unripened fruits and so on.

Length: 45 minutes

Plants of Southwestern Mainland British Columbia

The areas surrounding the Fraser River Valley and Howe Sound are botanically-rich. This presentation investigates the plants of this region, both common and rare.

Length: 45, 60, 75 minutes

Plants of Southwest USA

The USA southwest contains a number of desert and shrub-steppe environments, varying in large part due to rainfall, substrate and elevation. This presentation features plants from Arizona, eastern California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.

Length: 60 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, biodiversity, travel, desert native plants

Plants of Vancouver Island

In addition to a number of plant species that are found nowhere else in the province, Vancouver Island also features some of the province's biggest remaining trees and some of the best botanically-intriguing displays.

Length: 45, 60 minutes

Public Gardens of Vancouver

Vancouver has challenged itself to be one of the world's Greenest Cities. Its public gardens contribute to that vision. This presentation features a number of these gardens and their landscaping in different seasons, along with a bit of history.

Length: 45, 60, 75 minutes

Red-Listed Vascular Plants of British Columbia

British Columbia is host to a number of rare and endangered species. This presentation features a number of these from across the province, highlighting why they are rare and how they are protected (or not).

Length: 60 minutes

Seeing

This is a non-technical talk on improving one's photographs through the practice of seeing.

Length: 60 minutes

Springtime Plant Physiology

What processes go on inside plants or seeds in the springtime that permit the (re)initiation of growth and development?

Length: 45 minutes

Steens Mountain and Environs

Steens Mountain is about as remote as one can get in Oregon. A fault-block mountain in the southeast corner of the state, its top ridge contains the highest point one can drive to in Oregon. A mile down from its peak, one finds dried lake beds and productive marshes. This presentation includes photographs of plants from several visits across this elevational gradient, as well as commentary about some quirks of the region.

Length: 45, 60 minutes

Intended Audiences: groups with interests in nature, biodiversity, travel, bioregional native plants, plant communities

The Sex Lives of Plants

From self-fertilization to cross-pollination, this presentation discusses the importance (or lack thereof) of sex for plants.

Length: 45 minutes

The Small and Seldom Seen

A general exploration of the world of mosses, fungi and other small things. Based off the previous "Bryophytes and Beauty" talk.

Length: 45 minutes

Visual Ode to Flowers

There is much of visual interest in plants, but flowers are often the most eye-catching. This talk highlights the flower, with particular emphasis on close-up images.

Length: 45 minutes

Visual Design in Photography

This presentation explores concepts of visual design and applies them to photography using plants, natural forms, landscapes and gardens as examples.

Length: 60, 75 minutes

What Happened to the Liliaceae?

Primarily using photographs of western North American species, this presentation explains the hows and whys of the taxonomic breakup for this traditionally large family.

Length: 60 minutes

What Happened to the Scrophulariaceae?

Primarily using photographs of western North American species, this presentation explains the how and why of the taxonomic breakup for this traditionally large family.

Length: 60 minutes