Discover the fascinating world of plants and enhance your botanical skills: This workshop will provide hands-on training in natural observations, ecological experiments and data analysis to the motivated students who are interested in plants but have no prior formal background or training.
Botany, the fascinating branch of biology, not only unlocks the secrets of the plant world around us but also plays a pivotal role in agriculture, forestry and horticulture. With the growing concerns of climate change and urbanisation, there is a critical need for people with botanical expertise to be involved in policy making and addressing the detrimental impacts on natural habitats and ecosystems. The lack of fundamental botany courses at the institutes of national importance has limited the learning opportunities for Indian students. The prevalence of pandemic-led distant learning has further widened this knowledge gap, putting the development of field-based botanical skills among young students at risk. Here, we propose a plant-focussed workshop, which is divided into two modules: fieldwork and data analysis.
The first module will focus on techniques in the field, where the participants will learn how to identify plants using taxonomic keys, collect, press and preserve specimens for later studies. It will comprise of:
Documenting and monitoring plant traits: Usage of taxonomic key to identify plants, followed by phenology (vegetative, budding, flowering, and fruiting phenophase) survey. We will also demonstrate how to dissect flowers and basic photography skills to capture good floral dissection.
Plant reproductive and ecology: Pollination ecology observation/identification, hand-pollination, and bagging, etc.
Collection of plant specimens: Herbarium and molecular grade leaf tissues samples.
The second part of the workshop will focus on data analysis and interpretation using R software tool on the data collected earlier, where participants will learn:
Data entry and calculation of basic descriptive stats.
Introduction to basic statistical tests and identifying which tests to use.
Hands-on training of comparing datasets and interpreting the significant difference.
Building of plant-pollinator interaction networks.
Coding morphological traits onto a phylogenetic tree.
Although this workshop is suitable for researchers and professionals in botany, ecology, environmental science, and agriculture, the workshop is intended for students who are interested in plants but have no prior formal background or training.
The workshop will be organised by the graduate students of IISER Bhopal running the Botanical Society of America (BSA) Student Chapter in India, who have extensive knowledge of botanical skills and fieldwork techniques.
Botanical Bootcamp: Essential skills from fieldwork to data analysis
6th July 2023. 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM (7)