Please join us for the September meeting with Megan O’Connell, a Plant Biology student at UT Austin who will discuss plant phenology, how it is affected by climate, and how the timing of plant flowering/fruiting affects plants’ interactions with pollinators/dispersers and what this all means for plant reproduction.

meganoconnell_about
photo: http://moconnell-tropicalbio.tumblr.com/about

Many species of plants are dependent on their pollinators for successful reproduction. This delicate interaction depends on many factors that can be altered easily when ecosystems change due to human disturbances such as deforestation and urbanization. One impact that we don’t know much about is how these disturbances may affect plant and pollinator phenology, or the timing of when plants produce flowers and pollinators pollinate. Megan O’Connell will be discussing her research in this area and what it might mean for pollinator enthusiasts who would like to plant native species that provide resources for local pollinators.

Megan O’Connell is a PhD student in Dr. Shalene Jha’s lab in the UT Plant Biology Department. Her research focuses on the effects of deforestation on the genetic diversity of tropical trees in the Panama Canal Region. She is broadly interested in the impacts of human development and urbanization on plant-pollinator interactions and plant diversity. She is also very interested in science communication and media, and her some of her work can be viewed on her blogĀ http://moconnell-tropicalbio.tumblr.com/.

The meeting is at 7:00 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.