Issue date: 25 October 2004

As part of the Bristol Festival of Nature, the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of the West of England is hosting a series of free talks and interactive workshops entitled ‘Explore the diversity of nature’ that will take you on a journey of discovery.

From the cold murky waters of the Severn Estuary to the hot and humid Indonesian rain forests, join an exploration of the diversity of nature at UWE’s Frenchay Campus on Wednesday 27 October from 2.00 to 5.30pm.

• Dr Mark Johnston will talk about ‘Bums, birds and biodiversity’ when he will titillate your taste buds with a rapid journey of natures’ diversity and consider how many species there are on the planet.

• Indonesian fish is the title of a talk by Dr Dave Bird who will relate his explorations in the rivers of Indonesia and discovery of new species.

• Dr Carolyn Morton, a forensic scientist, will introduce a ‘Wildlife on One Special’ entitled ‘African Assassin and Amazon Assassin’ in which scientists at UWE use the latest techniques to discover ‘who did it’.

• In a workshop, Dr Mark Johnston invites you to ‘Talk Plants’ when he will consider the words of the Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who said, “The most wonderful thing in the world is a banana.” Was he right? Where would we be without such a wonderful fruit? Join the journey and discover the importance of boring, dull and green plants.

• The huge diversity of weird and ugly fish from the depths of the Severn Estuary is the subject of a workshop by Dr Lyn Newton entitled ‘Living in the Severn Estuary’.

• Finally Dr Mark Johnston will lead a workshop on ‘Plants people and culture’ that will highlight how our lives are surrounded by plants, how they shape our lives, our culture and our future. Consider a life without coffee, tea, chocolate, hemp, rice, tobacco or sugar. Explore, discover and taste the history of some of the most important plants in the world.

Speaking about the event Dr Mark Johnston says, “UWE is delighted to take part in Bristol Festival of Nature. This is a great opportunity for people to find out more about the natural world from experts who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their subjects."

Attendance at all events is free but please register your interest with Andrew Carter tel: 0117 32 82304 e-mail: Andrew.Carter@uwe.ac.uk. Details about the festival at http://www.festivalofnature.org.


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