The Mary E. Humphreys Biology Lecture has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.
Jay F. Bolin, botanist and ecologist, will present “Hydnora from Fungus to Foul Flower: The Ecology and Evolution of the Strangest Plants in the World” for the 2020 Humphreys Biology Lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 in Francis Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The parasitic plant genus Hydnora includes some of the strangest plants in the world. Few encounter this bizarre and furtive parasite, because it spends most of its life underground stealing water and nutrients from the roots of host plants. When Hydnora emerges from the soil, the beautiful flowers defy expectation by looking and smelling of rotting meat.
Bolin, an associate professor and chair of the biology department at Catawba College, is an authority on parasitic plants and will describe the history, ecology, and evolution of this wonderful group of botanical oddities, recounting explorations and new species discoveries from the restricted diamond fields of Namibia to the margins of the Rub’ al Kali desert in the Sultanate of Oman.
The Mary E. Humphreys Biology Lecture Series is sponsored by generous MBU donors, friends, and former students. It was established in 1992 in honor of Humphreys, the late professor emerita of biology, who served on the biology faculty at Mary Baldwin for 25 years (1943–68). The series brings prominent scientists to campus to present public lectures, talk about their work, and interact with students, faculty, and staff.