This month in Espores magazine we talk to botanist Mónica Boscaiu. Her early passion for nature motivated her to study biology, to later become a researcher, teacher and professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia (PUV). With a great academic career and a deep connection with the plant world since her childhood, Mónica brings us closer to her work and her contributions to botany.
Victoria Encinas once again immerses us in the world of Ikebana, the ancient Japanese floral art which, through the careful combination of different plant species, manages to transmit the essence of the living to those who contemplate its creations. On this occasion she invites us to explore a new perspective on the relationship of this discipline with nature and the seasons of the year.
Josep Enric Oltra, our botanist of the month, tells us how, since his childhood in a rural environment, nature and plants have been an essential part of his life, marking his path towards botany. After graduating in Biological Sciences, he began a professional career in which the management of micro-reserves and the study and conservation of protected flora have played a leading role. In addition, his commitment to scientific outreach has led him to publish books and articles on Valencian flora, ethnobiology and ethnonature.
Our collaborator Baladre Crafting Creativity is back with a new creative and sustainable proposal: making recycled paper from seeds. If you've ever wondered how to go one step further towards sustainability and reuse, this article is just what you need. Learn step by step this method to turn waste paper into sheets full of life and possibilities.
I'm sure you know the Spanish saying "en Abril, aguas mil" (meaning that in April it rains a lot), which is very popular and which this year does not represent the very dry month we are suffering. As you know, at the Jardí Botànic we work hard to meet the specific requirements of each species, and in return, they reward us with their majesty. In particular, just a few days before the end of April, we would like to highlight the Mahón boxwood (Buxus balearica Lam.), a very vigorous shrub that does not need a very showy flowering to show its beauty.
As a child she already had a passion for plants and was able to observe them closely from her home, the lighthouse in Canet de Berenguer, and this love was soon strengthened by her work in the Botany Department of the Faculty of Pharmacy and her choice of the speciality of plant ecology. During her long career she was a Natural Parks Technician for the Regional Ministry of the Environment, a lecturer at the Faculty of Biological Sciences, a Natura 2000 Network Technician and even discovered a new species for Valencian botany. Amparo Olivares, the first woman botanist who worked on the project for the Creation of the Flora Micro-reserves, is our Botanist of the month.
We are in the middle of winter and many trees have completely lost their leaves, however, the Jardí is always evolving and we find a special charm in each of its corners. For this reason, in February we would like to highlight one of our succulent species, the Elephant's ear (Kalanchoe beharensis Drake), which in this season of the year flowers to give an added attraction to the Jardí Botànic.
In a serious and professional description, we should say that Irene Ballester Buigues is a PhD in History of Art, but as in our interviews we go much further, we must say that she is an art lover, traveller, curious, enthusiastic, communicator, firm defender of rescuing the history of women artists, and possessor of an extraordinary sensitivity. So we should not be surprised by her career with exhibitions such as the recent Matria, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Valencia, books such as “El cuerpo abierto”, her participation in the successful television programme “Tesoros con historia”, or the section on ápunto radio “El hilo de Irene”. For her, land and family is the same thing, which is why her green answers will leave us with a tender and close aftertaste.
On this occasion, Baladre Crafting-creativity proposes to introduce us to hydroculture or water-based plant propagation, a simple vegetable technique within the reach of anyone and that will make life easier for all those who want to fill their homes with green. If you want to know more about all the steps to grow plants using only water and the benefits it will bring you, keep reading!
<em>This week we offer an in-depth interview with Montserrat Martínez, researcher and professor at the University of Salamanca, an institution which hosts the researching group on Biodiversity, systematics and vascular plants and fungi preservation which Montserrat leads. Scientist and technical director of the Herbarium and vegetal DNA Biobank Service, her professional career is marked by commitment, teamwork and persistence. Today she will share her career path, travels and other stories with us. Meet our botanist of the month. </em>
This July we are going with a young botanist full of enthusiasm to continue learning and making her way among plants. Anna is a good example of how a positive contact with botany during her studies and subsequent enriching experiences in different centres can turn curiosity and interest into dedication and a professional path. She focuses her work on the satisfaction of collaborating in the conservation of species, but also on the good fortune of being able to be in the midst of nature while working. We went out into the field with her and talked a bit about challenges, illusions and a lot of patience.
<p>Exploring nearby caves, searching for new populations and assessing its reproductive capacity and genetic diversity are the main topics of the latest research project conducted by the Botanical Garden of the University of València in order to save this endangered rupicolous species. This Mediterranean endemism only grows in a specific area in the Sierra de Gádor. What are their main threats and what can be done to prevent its extinction? Jaime Güemes, director of the Botanical Garden, and Anna Nebot, botanists, will tell us everything about it in this article.</p>
<em>As a starting point for a new series of articles on the wetlands of the Valencian Community, Evarist Caselles, our environmental blogger, talks to Enric Amer to reflect on these wetlands and, as one of the main activists at the forefront of the conservation of the Almenara Marsh, on the construction of a dam to improve its river dynamics.</em>
Fire ecology in Mediterranean ecosystems is Susana Gómez’s field of work, our botanist of the month. This researcher and university professor from Cadiz studies fire as an evolutionary force in plants, but also the imbalances in the natural regime of fires. Her antidote to it? To promote the biodiversity of the territory in order to increase the sustainability and resilience of our ecosystems, especially in the climate change context we are living in. For this reason, we invite her to participate along with other specialists in the talk called <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMage7I57kE">Incendis forestals, comuns, però ¿evitables?</a> from the UV Jardí Botànic cycle Botànica des del sofà<em>,</em> highly recommended and available online. But today, February 11, the day of the science’s woman and girl, we in-depth interview this restless scientist, a travel lover who discovered her goal to become a botanist in Chile, Quillota Valley. We hope she will inspire our future women scientists.
<em>The Cañada de Trilles in Godella, popularly known as the Torre del Pirata, is a place of great environmental value for its characteristic Mediterranean landscape, its flora and fauna, and a regular place for the inhabitants of Godella to enjoy and connect with nature. It is another key element in the green belt surrounding the city of Valencia, which is now in the spotlight due to the possible urbanisation of the enclave, which has sparked <a href="https://www.change.org/p/paremos-la-modificaci%C3%B3n-del-pgou-preservemos-la-calidad-ambiental-de-nuestro-pueblo">numerous mobilisations</a> and projects to enhance its ecological value.</em>