Date: Monday, January 11th, 2016 Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Location: Mennonite Church of Normal (map and directions)
Perhaps no other group of plants inspires more interest and enthusiasm than the orchid family (Orchidaceae). What is an orchid, what makes them recognizable, and where do orchids fit into the global biodiversity picture? How many orchids once occurred in Illinois, which ones remain, and which don?t? When and where can orchids be seen in Illinois and what are some of the challenges in conserving viable populations? Please join us as we explore these questions during a brief respite from winter dormancy.
Dr. John Taft has a BS, MS in Botany from Souther Illinois University at Carbondale and a PhD in Plant Ecology at University of Illinois. He has served as a botanist and plant ecologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey from 1984 to 2015. During this time, Dr. Taft conducted botanical surveys in nearly every Illinois county and written countless technical reports concerning Illinois botanical resources. In addition, about 32 research papers have been published, ranging from topics such as the developmental anatomy of the horned oak gall to composition and species diversity of grasslands in the central Tien Shan Mountains. Additionally, he served on the Endangered Species Protection Board from 2008 to 2014 and taught Native Plant ID and Floristics at the University of Illinois since 2009 along with mentoring numerous undergraduate and graduate students.