Applications are not open for any courses at the moment. Contact training@biosphere.net.au to be put on our e-mailist list if you'd like to be notified when applications open for any of the following courses.

Wild Grasses of Victoria Courses

Biosphere Pty Ltd's Dr Graeme Lorimer has been running courses on the identification, ecology and management of wild grasses and their relatives for 36 years. The next will be in December 2024. It will teach anyone from novices to professional botanists about the identification, ecology and management of grasses and grassy vegetation. Rushes and sedges are covered in less detail.

Half to two-thirds of the course will be in grassy vegetation on the Victorian volcanic plain, highlands and Gippsland plain. The remainder will be either in a classroom or via online tutorials.

Here's what participants have said about this course in recent years:

"Extremely understandable, relevant and practical course for all kinds of environmental professionals and dabblers."  – Anonymous

"This course has changed the way I think about and ID grasses. Graeme is extremely knowledgeable and willing to share this knowledge. He has a real talent for teaching and I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learnt a lot."
 – Catriona, graduate ecologist

"Very informative course, can't wait to do more." > – Kahla, Council land manager

"This course is an excellent grass ID course for any level of grass ID skill. If you are completely new to grasses then Graeme will help you work out what different Grass families look like and if you have a bit more experience then he can give a lot of guidance and tips on IDing plants down to the species level. Highly recommend."
 – Rose, ecological consultant

" I really enjoyed the course. Graeme is enthusiastic and has so much knowledge to share. I feel more confident in identifying the different parts of a grass and how to use to keys for identification."  – Anonymous

Grass Idenfication workshops

Indoor grass identification workshops are planned for December 2024 at Blackburn, Victoria. Each participant will have a stereo microscope.

Here's what two people said about past workshops:

"Lots of exposure to the keys with assistance from leaders in the field. Revision of the structure of a grass and refinement of skills in identifying the different parts of the flower which are so integral to using the keys. The set up with the microscopes was fantastic, and the class size just right."

"The new identification keys that were provided, combined with a very well equipped set-up and experts on hand to assist participants. (As well as delicious afternoon teas!)"

Wetland Plants Course, January 2025

The early-2024 round of this popular course is over. The next will be in early 2025. Here is a description of what happened in 2024, for those interested:

The course, run by Dr Graeme Lorimer, helps anyone, from novice to botanist, to learn the identification, biology and ecology of plants in wetlands and stream channels.

Where: Templestowe, Victoria.

When: There are two equivalent groups, each meeting on 2 days, 8:30 am – 12:30 pm:

  • Group 1: Wednesdays, 18th & 25th January 2024;
  • Group 2: Monday 23rd & Tuesday 24th January 2024.

Cost: $390 plus GST = $429

The course covers:

  • How to quickly distinguish in the field between commonly-encountered wetland plant genera such as Juncus, Bolboschoenus, Carex, Cyperus, Isolepis, Persicaria and Azolla;
  • How to identify a wide range of species in the field, native and introduced;
  • How to use Lorimer's easy-to-use key for identification of Juncus species;
  • The importance and function of ecological wetland processes such as the cycle of wetting and drying and the specialised dispersal of propagules;
  • The ecology and management of wetland weeds; and
  • The basics of creating artificial wetlands and the roles they play.

Notes and an identification key to Juncus are provided.

Class size is 17.

Here's what participants have said about this course in recent years:

"Graeme's course is a fantastic introduction to wetland plants. He has fantastic resources that really help to learn about wetland plants. Throughout the course we went through steps for identifying plants that I know I will be able to use in the field."  – Rose, ecological consultant

"I cannot recommend Graeme's courses more highly. I will be taking what I learned and putting it into practice straightaway in relation to managing and rehabilitating dams and streams on private properties."
 – Jennifer, environmental consultant

"Thanks for a great couple of mornings! Not only do I feel that I'm getting a start at identification in wetlands, but I notice wetlands much more as I'm driving around!"  – Bill, biologist