University of Dundee

Engagement by Plant Sciences

We are passionate about engaging the public about our science and the critical importance of plants in all of our lives. Plants are the basis of our food supply – did you know that plants provide more calories to the human diet than any other source?  We also use plants for fuel, clothing and shelter. By studying the biology of these fascinating organisms, plant scientists learn about plant growth survival and productivity, which will help improve both food security and other uses of plant products.

Throughout the year, Plant Sciences run events aimed at reaching a wide audience, from school children to adults, and we are extremely proud of our high levels of participation from both our students and staff. Much of what we do is in close association with the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and James Hutton Institute. Here are some of the events that we are currently involved with:

Fascination in Plants Day/Plant Power

Our annual flagship event held annually at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden, Plant Power (also known as Fascination in Plants Day) is a joint venture between the Botanic Garden, the Division of Plant Sciences in the School of Life Sciences and the James Hutton Institute (JHI). Researchers from Plant Sciences and JHI run a plant science strand which involves a number of interactive hands-on activities that showcase the exciting plant research taking place in Dundee. This takes place alongside the other events organised by the Botanic Garden.

Gatsby Lectures

The Gatsby Lecture series delivered by researchers from the division highlight the role of Plant Sciences in addressing issues facing scientists in the 21st century. It is aimed at S5 and S6 pupils and teachers of Biology. Each lecture is followed by a discussion and Q&A session plus hands-on activities.

‘Thank you so much for organising the Gatsby Lectures. The talks have inspired me to study Biological Sciences after school. I really enjoyed the subjects spoken about, especially the Biotechnology to combat climate change talk. If you happen to organise any again please send me an email. Thanks again.’ Pupil who attended the lecture series.

Street Food

Researchers from the Schools of Life Sciences and Medicine pair up with local food and drink makers to share exciting discoveries and tasty treats. This annual event is part of Dundee Science Festival and University of Dundee Festival of the Future.

Animating Science Project

Animating Science uses stop motion animation to create animated films about Life Science concepts and processes. This film was produced by members of the public in collaboration with the Bulgarelli group and and animator Andrew Low as part of our annual Plant Power Day 2019 at the University of Dundee Botanic Garden. This project was funded by BBSRC.

Plant Microbiome to the Rescue is a short animation examining the interaction between soil microbes and plants in our very own plant microbiome. It shows the good, the bad and the ugly of the soil microbe world and how they can contribute to the health of many plants.

Events Achive

Here, we share some of our favourite main events: