Botany Lecture Examines Changes in Ireland’s Habitat

Posted on: 24 May 2011

Director of the National Botanic Gardens, Dr Matthew Jebb, recently gave the 2011 Tweedy Lecture entitled ‘Shoots and Leaves: changes in the plants, vegetation and natural habitat of Ireland’ at Trinity College Dublin.  The lecture, which formed part of Botany’s tercentenary celebrations, highlighted how the study of plants is of vital importance for the understanding of the process of global climate change and used the changing landscape of Ireland as an example.

Dr Matthew Jebb has been Keeper of the Herbarium and Taxonomist (Ainmneoir Plandai) at the National Botanic Gardens since 1998, and took up the role of Director in 2010.  His current research interests are varied and include the origin and conservation of Irish flora, the flora of Clare island and other small island floras, as well as taxonomic revisions of the genus Barringtonia, Hydnophytum and Pandanus, along with studies on the phylogeny and biogeography of Nepenthes.

Head of Botany at TCD, Professor Fraser Mitchell, Dr Jean Walker and Dr Matthew Jebb, Director of the National Botanic Gardens.

The Hilda and Robert Tweedy Lecture Series was set up in their memory by their daughter, Dr Jean M Tweedy Walker, a Trinity alumna and former Trinity lecturer in microbiology.  It consists of biennial lectures alternatively addressing peace, gender and human rights, and environmental issues.  These topics reflect long-time interests of Hilda and Robert Tweedy.  This year’s lecture marks the centenary of Hilda Tweedy’s birth.  In 1990 Hilda received an Honorary Degree from Trinity College in recognition of more than 50 year’s work on women’s and social issues.