Thursday, 26 Mar 2020
9:30am – 12:30pm
Title: Food for free: sustainable foraging for edible wild plants in Ireland’s countryside
Dr Tom Curtis is a professional botanist and horticulturist with over 40 year’s experience. He studied at The National Botanic Gardens and University College Dublin and on graduating he attended Trinity College Dublin where he was awarded his doctorate in 1982 for research carried out on a group of Irish and European orchids. He subsequently worked at the National Parks and Wildlife Service within the Research Branch for over 20 years dealing with rare plant conservation, coastal and grassland ecology. He has been a freelance consultant since 2002.
He is co-author of the first Irish Red Data Book: 1 Vascular Plants published in 1988. Subsequently he has co-authored ‘The Orchids of Ireland’ with Robert Thompson published in 2009 and in 2012 with John Parnell ‘Webb’s An Irish flora’(8th Ed.). He is the author of several reports for the Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food principally on Crop Wild Relatives (2009), A Strategy Report for Plant Genetic Resources Conservation in Ireland (2014) and Irish Plant Landraces (2015). Most recently, in December 2019, he co-authored ‘The wild Food Plants of Ireland’ with Paul Whelan which is a comprehensive guide to their recognition, foraging, cooking, history and conservation.
Currently a Board member of the Irish Naturalists’ Journal, he is its Sectional Editor for Botany. He also an Editorial Advisory Board Member of Biology and Environment: Royal Irish Academy. Formerly he was Chairman and a Director of Genetic Heritage Ireland.
He has been a Board member of An Tairseach since 2017.
As a Research Associate in the Dept of Botany, in Trinity College, Dublin and in association with the Herbarium there, he has carried out research for the Flora of Thailand project and prepared some accounts for that publication. In 2010 he was appointed Adjunct Lecturer in Botany and Plant Science at the National University of Ireland, Galway and annually he lectures to the M.Sc. degree course in Conservation Ecology at TCD. He has also travelled extensively in South-East Asia and visited many plant areas and gardens there.
Being the author of many papers on the rare and threatened flora of Ireland as well as on Irish plant ecology, he has produced over 50 papers and books on habitats, plant species and conservation. A member of The Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland, the Alpine Garden Society and The Hardy Plant Society, he is a regular exhibitor at horticultural shows in County Wicklow. Since 2015 he has been a Nursery Pavilion Judge at Bloom in the Park.
Event LocationAn Tairseach
Wicklow, County Wicklow, A67 YX26