Ray Collett Rare and Extraordinary Plant Lecture Series for 2017

California's Flora Under Threat:
Incorporating Climate Change into Natural Resource Planning
Monday, February 20, 7:00pm
Arboretum Horticulture II Building
Free Event and Free parking
Donations welcome.

erin riordanA presentation by Erin Riordan, Ph.D.

Dr. Riordan studies climate change impacts on California’s native flora, and how these will affect conservation. Her work evaluates the future role of the NRS under changing conditions. Riordan received her PhD from UCLA, studying projected climate change impacts and land use change on California sage scrub, a highly threatened plant community in southern California and northwestern Baja California. She also worked with the UC Natural Reserve System and professors David Ackerly at UC Berkeley and Phil Rundel at UCLA. She is continuing her work modeling climate impacts on species in rare natural communities from coastal and montane regions in California.
Click to download event flyer
 (pdf).  For more information please call 831-502-2998
Directions to the Arboretum.



John Thompson
Relentless Evolution: Of Plants and Their Partners
Thursday, November 10, 7:00pm
Arboretum Horticulture II Building
Free Event and Free parking

A presentation by John Thompson, UCSC Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. 
Abstract from Dr. Thompson: We now know that plant species continually evolve, sometimes at astonishingly fast rates and sometimes at slower rates, but they are always evolving. That affects how we think about the conservation of species, the management of invasive species, and the ever-changing web of life. This presentation will cover what we are learning about the relentless co-evolution of plants and their pollinators and enemies across the landscapes of California and far western North America. 

Jewels of the Garden:
A Darwinian Natural History of Hummingbirds
Tuesday, August 23, 7:00pm
Arboretum Horticulture II Building
Free Event and Free parking
Donations welcome.

bruce lyonFeaturing Bruce Lyon, UCSC Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

This presentation will explore hummingbird natural history from the perspective of a scientist who studies bird ecology and evolution, answering questions such as:
  • What are the different ways that hummingbird species make a living?
  • How do plant features shape the evolution of hummingbird adaptations?
  • Is there a limit to the number of hummingbird species that can be packed into one location?

Abstract from Dr. Lyon: I will explore hummingbird natural history from the perspective of a scientist who studies bird ecology and evolution. I will start with a brief overview of the discovery of hummingbirds, some of their unique features and their evolutionary diversification. I will then consider an amazing feature of Arboretum—its extraordinary number of hummingbirds. A survey of the different nectar-feeding birds from around the world, and the flowers they feed on, makes us realize that we have a biogeographic mismatch: New World nectar-eating birds feeding on Australian plants that evolved with a completely different cast of nectar-eating characters. More generally, all hummingbirds have very close relationships with flowers so we will explore some of the most interesting ecological and evolutionary relationships between hummingbirds and the flowers they visit and pollinate. What are the different ways that hummingbird species make a living? How do plant features shape the evolution of hummingbird adaptations? Is there a limit to the number of hummingbird species that can be packed into one location? Hummingbirds also make wonderful subjects for scientific studies, particularly for investigating how animals see the world and make foraging decisions (what to eat, where to eat it and when to it). Hummingbirds are easily trained to visit artificial feeders, which can then be altered to offer different food rewards or the cues the birds use to find their food plants. I will end the talk with a summary of a couple of these intriguing studies. 

Click to read/download event flyer (pdf).


Botanizing the Pacific Islands of Baja California, Mexico
Tuesday, January 19, 6:00pm
Arboretum Horticulture II Building
Free Event and Free parking
Donations welcome.

Featuring Vince Scheidt, San Diego Biologist Vince Scheidt San Diego Biologist
Vince Scheidt is a consulting environmental biologist based in San Diego, California. He specializes in botany and herpetology, but enjoys all aspects of natural history. Vince has owned his own biological consulting practice since 1980, providing biological surveys for to the local community on a full-time basis.