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Waikato Botanical Society evening talk
May 20 @ 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Monday 20th May starting at 6pm, all welcome to a talk by Waikato University’s Associate Professor Mike Clearwater:
“Mānuka: The plant behind the honey”
From reviled weed to treasured medicinal plant, our view of mānuka has always depended on its role in our lives. For many that view has been transformed by the discovery of the properties of its unusual honey. As the mānuka honey industry continues to expand rapidly, millions of seedlings are being planted, and landowners, bee keepers and exporters are competing fiercely for access to a limited resource.
What is it that makes this plant so different? Mike will examine the latest research on mānuka, from its genetics to the biology of nectar production. How does the plant make nectar, and why does the nectar contain its active ingredients? Is it really the same plant growing in Australia, and how does the nectar of its Australian cousins compare with the local varieties?
A plant biologist, Mike originally studied at the University of Auckland, before undertaking a PhD at the University of Edinburgh and post-doctoral work in the USA. Upon returning to New Zealand he joined Plant and Food Research in Te Puke as a research scientist, spending much of his time working on the biology of the Bay of Plenty’s kiwifruit and avocado crops. Transferring to the University of Waikato in 2009, he is now leading a research project examining the biology of flowering and nectar production by mānuka. His research expertise includes plant physiology, vascular biology and the development of flowers and fruit.