Thursday
Oct042018

Stefan Weber - Adventures in Seed Conservation

October 29, 2018 Meeting

Meetings are held at the Bonar-Parkdale Presbyterian Church, 250 Dunn Avenue, just south of Queen Street West. Arrive after 6:30pm and enjoy coffee and cookies while you check out the Hort library, chat, and ask questions! The meeting starts at 7:30pm.

AGM before the speaker at the November 26 Meeting

There will be a short AGM meeting before the speaker at the November meeting. The AGM will start at 7pm.

At our October 29 meeting, Stefan Weber will share his passion for collecting wild seed and studying the re-assembly of prairie grasslands. A restoration biologist, he is Cofounder and Director at Ontario Plant Restoration and St. Williams Nursery & Ecological Centre.

Gardening and horticulture might experience new highs with the legalisation of marijuana, but this month’s speaker got hooked through a different gateway plant: an orchid—” a magenta coloured Dendrobium”. A young Stefan Weber was drawn in by it at a Home Depot while shopping with his parents and promptly fell in love! The plant produced a craving for knowledge about plants and he joined his local Norfolk County Horticulture Society at the tender age of 14.

This love of horticulture led to the beginning of Horticulture studies at the University of Guelph. But when he found the plant most commonly discussed there, corn, wasn’t stimulating enough, Stefan switched his focus to a double major in Ecology and Geography, and later completed a Masters Degree in Evolutionary Biology!

He is currently working on a PhD at McMaster. His research is three-pronged, relating to using seed to recreate native meadows along “civic infrastructure corridors”, tailoring seed mixes to fight back against alien invasive species, and studying genetic diversity of native species vis-a-vis their ability to adapt locally. Whewh! But that’s not all!! He’s also still working at the St. Williams Nursery and is a co-founder of Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance (OPRA). 

Stefan has found time in his busy life to give us what I’m sure will be an inspirational talk on how to ensure the longevity of the native species we’ve come to love, and what the best way is to propagate them.

There will be non-mind altering cookies although the meeting is after October 17th

- Maria Nunes

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