DISCOVERING TASMANIA’S EUCALYPTS presented by
Professor Brad Potts
School of Biological Sciences,
University of Tasmania
March 4 2014 in The Royal Society Room at 8.00 pm following the AGM at 7.30 pm
While representing only 30 of the more than 700 eucalypt species, the Tasmanian eucalypts have a unique place in the history and science of this iconic Australian genus. They include species of global significance such as the tallest flowering plant and the widely grown Tasmanian blue gum. The University of Tasmania has a long history of internationally recognized research in eucalypt genetics. The first major study of eucalypt chromosomes was undertaken in the 1930s, the first DNA study in the early 1990s and scientists are now exploiting whole genome sequences. This talk overviews the scientific discovery of the Tasmanian eucalypts from the early explorers to the unprecedented insights now being provided by modern genetics.
Brad Potts is the Professor of Forest Genetics in the School of Biological Sciences (Plant Science) at the University of Tasmania. He specializes in eucalypt genetics, with his research spanning diverse fields from tree breeding, evolutionary biology to community genetics. The Tasmanian eucalypts have been a focus of his research and with students and colleagues he has published over 200 scientific papers, exploring the genetics and the evolutionary processes that have shaped the island’s eucalypt flora.