Research Lecture Series

Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures & BRIT Research Seminars

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Program Information

Brown Bag Lectures
Dates: First Tuesday of each month
Time: 12 - 1pm
Location: BRIT Commons
Cost: Free, Open to the Public

BRIT Research Seminars
Date: Various dates throughout year
Time: 12 - 1pm 
Location: BRIT Commons
Cost: Free, Open to the Public
Visit the event page for specific date and time information.

Point of Contact

Alyssa B. Young

Research Manager and Special Collections Librarian

Related Programs

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Upcoming Events

'Medicinal' Mushrooms - Hope or hype?

Dr. Denis Benjamin, BRIT Resident Research Associate

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This presentation explores some of the folklore and science behind the burgeoning use of selected mushrooms for health purposes. It also examines the controversies surrounding various preparations and their marketing, as well as possible side effects. It reviews the few human clinical studies and how to critically evaluate medical and nutritional information.
 

Denis R Benjamin MD - Brief Biography 

Denis R Benjamin grew up in South Africa, emigrating to the Pacific Northwest in 1970. He practiced pediatric pathology at the children's hospitals in Seattle, Washington and Fort Worth, Texas. He became an amateur mycologist soon after his arrival in the USA. He is a Research Associate at the Botanic Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth. He was a consultant to the regional poison control center, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Puget Sound Mycological Society and a past Chairman of the Toxicology Committee of the North American Mycological Association. He is frequent speaker at mushrooms clubs and societies. In addition to nearly 100 professional publications, he has contributed to the lay literature and mushroom magazines. He was chosen to be a community Op/Ed writer for the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He is author of the landmark book on the health effects of mushrooms (Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas) and published a collection of mushroom foraging essays (Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging). He is also a watercolorist focusing on fungi and botanical art.

What makes a biodiversity hotspot so hot? Exploring plant species diversity in Madagascar.

Dr. Morgan Gostel, BRIT Research Botanist

More Info >

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Leveraging lip ferns (Myriopteris) to explore genome dynamics in seed free plants

Dr. Amanda Grusz, University of Minnesota Duluth

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Lip ferns (Myriopteris) are xeric-adapted, rupestral components of the New World desert flora. Distributed primarily throughout the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Andean South America, the clade comprises roughly 50 species and is notable for exhibiting widespread hybridization, polyploidy, and apomixis. In recent years, improved phylogenetic inferences have helped to elucidate an array of reticulate relationships across the genus. Here, I present these phylogenetic insights, along with new data exploring genome and life history evolution in Myriopteris. I provide a detailed discussion of how museum collections, cytogenetics, and deep sequencing have been used to expose the evolutionary history of this clade, beginning in deep time—when Myriopteris first radiated within the Pteridaceae—through to present day species complexes.

Lichens: 20K Symbioses Wanting Your Attention

Dr. Manuela Dal Forno, BRIT Resident Research Associate

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Lichens were long thought to be symbiotic associations of two (or rarely three) organisms, the fungal partner (mycobiont) and the photosynthesizing partner (photobiont), a green algae and/or cyanobacteria. Recent research has shown, however, that lichens harbor diverse communities beyond the main partners. This presentation will provide an introduction to these complex associations, modern views and techniques in lichenology, how diverse they are and how to translate these concepts into research projects. From the field to the laboratory, I will give examples of my own studies in lichen systematics, microbiome and genomics to illustrate the importance of integrative approaches in understanding these symbioses.

Systematics of the Earless Lizards (Holbrookia)

Dr. Matt Fujita, University of Texas Arlington

More Info >

The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Meet the Researchers

BRIT Research Staff

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What makes the BRIT Researchers tick? How did they develop an interest in botany, and how did they end up here? Find out at this very special presentation! Members of the BRIT Research staff will give a series of five-minute "lightning talks" about how they got started in science and what their current job entails. There will be time for questions and answers after.

Past Events