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Ornamental to detrimental | Wellington

Mon 18 Feb
Leonard Cockayne Lecture
Professor Philip Hulme speaks on the current and future threats to New Zealand by non-native plants, and the policies and tools that are needed to control these plant invaders.

Ornamental to detrimental: The invasion of New Zealand by non-native plants

Aotearoa has more types of non-native plants than almost anywhere in the world. Our great botanist, Leonard Cockayne (1855-1934), believed that such non-natives would never pose a threat to our native flora. Yet today, many of these introduced species are causing significant economic and environmental costs, with all signs pointing to this problem growing in the future.

Professor Philip Hulme, recipient of the 2017 Leonard Cockayne Lecture Award, will explore the history of plant invasions in New Zealand and examine the underlying causes and potential future trends. Some of these invasive plants have been introduced as commercial crops such as pine and pasture grasses, while others have arrived as ornamentals from around the world. Cockayne himself introduced thousands of non-native plants to his property in Christchurch. 

Although new imports are screened at the border for signs of invasive behaviour, New Zealand faces a threat from the 30,000 or so varieties already grown here in our gardens, though sometimes it takes up to 100 years before these invaders jump the garden fence and become a problem.

So what are the tools available to control these current and future threats? Philip looks at the role of botanic gardens in both the spread and management of invasive weeds, and consider how both the government and public can be more effective in preventing and controlling the plant invaders.

About the speaker


Professor Philip Hulme FRSNZ is the Chair in Plant Biosecurity at Lincoln University, where he is based at the Bio-Protection Research Centre. He has been listed in the top 1% of all scientists worldwide in terms of his research impact in each of the past four years. His expertise lies in biological invasions and biosecurity and he is a member of the New Zealand Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee.

All welcome. Free admission.
No RSVP required.

Presented by Royal Society Te Apārangi, this event is supported by the Wellington Botanical Society.

Views that are expressed at this event may not reflect those of Royal Society Te Apārangi.


Professor Philip Hulme

Ornamental to detrimental: The invasion of New Zealand by non-native plants


Royal Society Te Apārangi


Victoria University of Wellington
M101 Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor Murphy Building,
Kelburn Parade, Wellington 6012

7:30pm Mon 18 February, 2019 - 8:30pm Mon 18 February, 2019