Botanica Mathematica workshop

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
 
Workshop – Sunday 18 June – 2pm to 4.30pm
 
Come and make your own Binary Bonsai with Botanica Mathematica artist Madeleine Shepherd. Take it home or contribute it to the growing woolly herbarium that is on display in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum.  
 
Madeleine will give a short introduction to the project and the ideas behind its creation and then we’ll have fun with fibre generating trees and flowers by applying some simple rules.  
 
Yarn and some tools will be provided by Dundee’s own independent yarn store, Fluph. Please bring your own set of double-pointed needles so if you don’t finish your Binary Bonsai at the workshop you’ll be able to take it home.
 
Attendance at the workshop is free but places must be booked in advance here.

Botanica Mathematica

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
 
Botanica Mathematica
D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum
2nd – 30th June, Fridays 2 – 4.30pm
 
The D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum at the University of Dundee re-opens to the public for the summer season on 2 June and will be open every Friday 2-4.30pm until 1 September. Throughout June there will be a special addition to the displays – an exhibition of knitted artworks inspired by mathematical biology.
 
Botanica Mathematica is a textile taxonomy of mathematically inspired plant forms. Its creators, Julia Collins and Madeleine Shepherd, have combined ideas from D’Arcy Thompson’s On Growth and Form, computer science, fractals and hyperbolic geometry. The specimen collection consists mainly of crowd-sourced contributions of Binary Bonsai trees. 
 
Generative instructions and algorithmic knitting patterns are the genetic code of these creations; textile techniques are their metabolism. These patterns were released into the wild to evolve and change as makers around the world interpreted them. 
 
The elegant structures, rich textures and fascinating patterns that arise have been collected and classified, with the aid of taxonomist Jo Macrae, as if they were specimens in a botanical herbarium. 
 
The exhibition features Binary Bonsai, Fibonacci Flowers and Hyperbolic Chanterelles displayed throughout the museum. 
 
Madeleine Shepherd will be in the museum on 2 June to meet visitors and discuss her work. You can also find out more on her website here.

The University on Screen

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee (and, as part of the university’s 50th Anniversary celebrations) :
 
Sunday 21st May, 11am, Dundee Contemporary Arts
The University on Screen
 
We’re teaming up with DCA and the University Archives to present a one-off screening of some rarely seen films made about the University in decades past. 
 
From biology expeditions in the 1930s to Stephen Fry’s installation as Rector in the 1990s, we present a fascinating glimpse into the various activities that make up University life in Dundee. 
 
The centrepiece will be a unique 16mm promotional film from 1977 called Live and Learn in Tayside. Were you a student here at that time? You might just spot a groovier (or at least hairier) version of yourself!
 
This event is free. Tickets must be collected from DCA box office for the film screening.

Students take on historic team in Dundee’s University Challenge

As part of the University of Dundee’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, Dundee’s historic University Challenge champions from the 1980s will return to campus to take on the students set to represent the University in next years’ television series.
 
The 1983 side became the second only Scottish team to win the competition, a record that hasn’t been added to since. They will once again flex their mental muscles when they return to campus for the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations this Saturday, 20th May.
 
Three of the 1983 team, James A. Smith (Economics and Politics), Graeme Davidson (Law) and Peter Burt (Zoology) will be joined by Tom McGhee (English) a member of the Dundee team who finished runners up in 1978. See photo (left).  Donald Kennedy, the fourth member of the 1983 team now lives in Australia and is unable to join his old colleagues.
 
They will face the newly formed student team of 2017 – Ian Bertram (Medicine), Mason Mcilreavy (Medicine), Iain Brodie (Philosophy, Psychology and Film student) and Rory McDowell (History) and reserve Greg Armstrong (Medicine).
 
Rory said, “It will be wonderful to take on the team that are technically the reigning Scottish Champions! However, if you look at Dundee’s rankings in the University league tables since the 1980s, we have been on the up – so I say out with the old and in with the new.”
 
The showdown takes place between 3.45pm – 5pm in the Dalhousie Building and will be chaired by Fordyce Davidson, Academic Director of International College Dundee and Professor of Mathematics at the University.
 
Professor Davidson said, “As a Dundee graduate who turns 50 in the same year as the University, it will be a great honour to see the old boys pitched against the students – the majority of whom were not even born when the competitors won in 1983.
 
“It begs the question, are the young genuinely smarter than their predecessors?   We will find out on the 20th May. Perhaps beating the champions could set the new generation on their way to Paxman.”
 
To book your seat click here.

Garden Tigers, Gold Spangles and Burnished Brass

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :
 
Our next free talk in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum will be on Tuesday 16th May at 6pm, when Georgia Carr and David Lampard will be speaking on Garden Tigers, Gold Spangles and Burnished Brass: Digitising the Kenneth Tod Moth Collection. 
 
Did you know there are over 2 500 species of moths in the UK compared to 59 species of butterfly? Or that not all moths fly at night? Some moths have ears, some don’t have mouths!
 
Little is known about moths in Angus and Dundee yet there is a wealth of information hiding in our museum stores. The Kenneth Tod Collection at the University of Dundee holds rare, localised Alpine species which are of particular concern in times of changing climate. Learn how digitising museum collections across the county gives the global scientific community access to historical, geographic and taxonomic specimen data that can help answer our greatest ecological and conservation questions. Find out how Tod discovered new and unusual locations for the Small Dark Yellow Underwing and the Northern Dart, and how Tod’s fear of other collectors means these locations are a secret to this day.
 
The Angus Moth Project is an 18-month digitisation project funded by Museums Galleries Scotland. Over the course of the project three historical moth collections at the McManus, Montrose Museum and the University of Dundee have been digitised, photographed, conserved and rehoused. All data pertaining to specimens collected in Watsonian Vice County 90, the historic county of Forfarshire, has been sent to Butterfly Conservation for use in the 2018 National Moth Atlas. Data and specimens are now easily accessible to the scientific community and the wider public.
 
David Lampard is the Natural History Curator of Invertebrates and Geology at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum. He is the Butterfly Conservation moth recorder for the County of Angus.
 
Georgia Carr has a background in ecological and conservation management and is the Angus Moth Project officer based at the McManus.
 
Admission is free but it would be very helpful if you could book a place here.
 
Refreshments will be served after the talk. Please enter by the main front door of the Carnelley Building. Latecomers may not be admitted.

Way Back When – A Walk along the Hawkhill

From the Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee :
Way Back When – A Walk along the Hawkhill
 
Saturday 29 April 2017, 2.30pm
 
Meet in the exhibition, Tower Foyer Gallery, University of Dundee
 
Many of the photographs in Walter Simms’ exhibition were taken in the Hawkhill, parts of which were then changing beyond all recognition. 
 
In this special guided walk we will explore the changing face of this historic street, with the help of photographs, artworks, poetry and memories, to try to bring its rich and varied past back to life. 
 
The event will include a chance to see some of Duncan of Jordanstone tutor Joseph McKenzie’s acclaimed photographs of the Hawkhill, courtesy of our colleagues at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.
 
Free admission but please book here.

Zoology Museum talk – Conservation in the Quarry

From the Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee :
 
The next evening talk in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum will be on Tuesday 25th April at 6pm, when Jim Cook of the Dundee Naturalists’ Society will be speaking about Conservation in the Quarry: Care and Maintenance of a Small Nature Refuge.
 
Well over 150 members and friends of the Dundee Nats have been working at Carsegowniemuir Quarry over recent years carrying out a wide variety of conservation tasks, including planting some 1,400 trees of 23 native species. 
 
The site has developed and improved, with the full support of the owners, and is now starting to attract an increasing number of different species. Jim will tell us what’s involved in organising a small nature refuge such as this – what kind of tasks are needed? How can you find out what’s there to begin with and what can you do to encourage more wildlife in? 
 
Jim is a long-standing member of Dundee Nats and has lectured in biology for many years. He has been the sub-committee organiser for the quarry for the last 15 years.
 
Refreshments will be served after the talk. Please enter the Carnelley Building by the main front entrance. Latecomers may not be admitted.
 
Admission is free but please reserve a space here.