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Stopover in 'Frisco 8/30/09

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  • Peter Bernhardt
    Dear Claire and Gordon: Would you mind sharing this message with other Berkeley naturalists and local NAPPC people? Dr. Retha Meier, her husband, Larry, and I
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 10, 2009
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      Dear Claire and Gordon:

      Would you mind sharing this message with other Berkeley naturalists and local NAPPC people?  Dr. Retha Meier, her husband, Larry, and I will be prisoners of the San Francisco airport for an 8-9 hour stopover on August 30.  We will be on our way for two months of fieldwork in Western Australia as National Geographic funded our application to study pollination and hybridization in the sun orchids (Thelymitra).  Dr. Kingsley Dixon of the Kings Park and Botanical Garden has graciously offered us lab space from September 1 - October 31.  

      As August 30 falls on a Sunday we are not asking for anyone in the area to give up their day to entertain us. Would graduate students or any natural history group be interested in either of our presentations? Retha and I are scheduled to give two talks in Australia so we must bring two Power Points with us anyway.  We have a technical presentation on our work on the pollination of North American and Chinese Cypripedium spp.  It incorporates our Missouri and Oregon studies with joint research with Professor Luo Yi-bo at his field sites in Huang Lung (Sichuan).  We also have a very general talk on "Darwin and his Orchids" as so many institutions continue to celebrate the Darwin bicentennial this year.  We've given this talk at the Morton Arboretum outside Chicago and it has been scheduled for Perth and for my old alma mater at SUNY Oswego upon my return to America.    

      Some people may want to learn about our fieldwork on the endangered Missouri bladderpod (Physaria filiforme, Brassicaceae).  It turned out to be a real "bee magnet" of limestone glade and dry prairie insects that included a new Lasioglossum sp.  Retha's taken some nice photos and I must take some pollen micrographs of samples removed from insect bodies.  We've also completed a pilot study on the endangered, Asclepias meadii as the Missouri Department of Conservation funded our work on the species from 2010 - 2013.  

      I have not been in San Francisco proper since 1981.  At that time I was a brief guest of Herbert and Irene Baker.  My Australian boss, Bruce Know, sent me to their lab to learn Irene's nectar analyses techniques and protocols.  In the long run, the Melbourne Plant Cell Biology Research Center never adopted any of them as a loack of funding pushed research in a completely different direction.


      Peter Bernhardt
      Department of Biology
      3507 Laclede Avenue
      Saint Louis University
      Saint Louis, MO 63103
      Telephone (work): 314-977-7152   

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