Female birds can’t shake their colourful fathers, and other lessons from studying 6,000 species – See more at:

Why do leaves turn red in the fall?

The changing colour of leaves is an impressive annual spectacle, but it can make one wonder, why bother creating something so beautiful just before it withers away?

Well that wonder exists in the scientific community as well, says one McMaster University professor, who said there are two prevailing theories, with no clear cut answer, on why leaves turn from green to red. More here

Art Yeas 1955-2015

With great sadness we report the passing of Mr. Art Yeas, our greenhouse manager for 38 years. This year Art received the President’s Award for Outstanding Service, achieved regional and international attention for the Titan Arum blooms and the Panda meals. He has worked tirelessly for McMaster to promote interest in plant biology and biodiversity amongst students and the broader community, and will be sorely missed.

Art Yeas wins President’s Award

We’d like to congratulate Art Yeas, for winning the President’s Award for Outstanding Service , which was awarded following a colourful encomium from Marvin Gunderman. Art has distinguished himself- and the Biology Greenhouse through initiatives that have engaged the campus and local community in benefiting from and learning more about exotic plants. In addition to his contribution to FWI activities in increasing signage in the greenhouse, and building a social media presence, he is reposonsible for the well recevied bamboo donations to the Toronto Zoo Pandas, and two corpse flower blooms that have brought thousands of visitors to our Greenhouse.

Titan Arum growing at Biology Greenhouse

A titan arum, which produces the largest unbranched “flower” of any plant, is preparing to enter its full 3 metre bloom late May at the McMaster Greenhouse. Its growing more than 10 cm a day, and is already an impressive sight. Follow the growth of this fascinating plant at and twitterfeed @MACGreenhouse

Dr. Joanna Wilson wins Women of Distinction Award

On April 16, 2015, YWCA Hamilton hosted the 39th annual Women of Distinction Awards. Dr. Joanna Wilson of the Biology Department was awarded in the category of Sciences or Technology. Dr. Joanna Wilson’s talents in basic and applied research combined with an ability to lead diverse stakeholders (scientists, students, industry, government) has contributed to mitigating the effects of pharmaceutical contamination of our waterways. She is a valued member of the McMaster Department of Biology undergraduate curriculum team and a highly regarded student mentor. She is also a mother of two, who finds time to provide fun experiments for local kindergarten students to ignite their innate curiosity and inspire the next generation. Her ability to engage and excite 4-year olds, university students and industry officials about biology, is a unique skill that has contributed to her success and is one of many reasons why Dr. Wilson is a Woman of Distinction.