Bio­geog­ra­pher talks

Whanganui Midweek - - NEWS -

Whanganui Sci­ence Fo­rum’s next talk is on Tues­day, No­vem­ber 27, with Dr Shane Wright speak­ing on the flora of New Cale­do­nia.

Ti­tled Win­dow On Gond­wana, he cov­ers such top­ics as:

■ Why is New Cale­do­nia so much richer in plant life and species di­ver­sity than New Zea­land when it is only 1/15th the size?

■ How has New Cale­do­nia acted as a refuge for the plants of Gond­wana?

■ Why does New Cale­do­nia have the high­est conifer di­ver­sity on earth? ■ Why is New Cale­do­nia the only lo­cale for Am­borella, the old­est flow­er­ing plant on earth?

Dr Shane Wright is a bio­geog­ra­pher, teach­ing at the Uni­ver­sity of Auck­land, who has worked in Ocea­nia for many decades. He has a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in the flo­ras of the more an­cient land masses such as New Cale­do­nia. Dur­ing the early 1990s he spent sev­eral months in that coun­try work­ing as part of an ef­fort by Con­ser­va­tion In­ter­na­tional and the Na­tive For­est Ac­tion Coun­cil to se­cure ar­eas of pro­tected land in that very im­pacted land­scape. A sub­stan­tial com­po­nent of his teach­ing now in­cludes study of New Cale­do­nia and its an­cient Gond­wana biota. He has also trav­elled and worked ex­ten­sively in South Amer­ica.

■ Time: Tues­day, No­vem­ber 27, 7.30pm

Venue: Whanganui Re­gional Mu­seum’s Davis Lec­ture Theatre, ac­cess from Watt St

Cost: Mem­bers $4, non-mem­bers $5 Sup­per pro­vided.


Am­borella is en­demic to New Cale­do­nia.

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