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Rhododendron Research Network


Virtual Connections Series 2021
Building Community Partnerships

The Rhododendron Research Network (R-RN) is pleased to present its Virtual Connections Series. This online series seeks to bring people together from all over the globe and from all walks of life to "Build Community Partnerships" in Rhododendron research. Whether you are currently a Rhododendron researcher, a scientist considering Rhododendron research, a community-based researcher, or a gardener who loves to learn all you can about your plants, we hope to expand your network, knowledge and your imagination.

Spring Meeting - Energizing Collaborative Working Groups - held March 25-26, 2021

Recordings of the March 26 meeting presentations can be viewed on the R-RN YouTube Channel.

Summer Meeting - Building Local and International Partnerships - August 19-20, 2021

MEETING DESCRIPTION: The meeting will focus on networking and collaborative project planning that includes scientists, conservationists, and community members.  The meeting will include a virtual convention space along with live zoom presentations and panel discussions.  Scientific content will be geared toward a general audience, with breakout groups and virtual convention space for discussing more technical content.

ELIGIBILITY: This meeting is free to attend and open to all, scientific background not required.


Register for the
Virtual Meeting


LIVE ZOOM MEETING SCHEDULE: Two sessions are planned to facilitate attendees in key Rhododendron regions around the world.  When you register, choose the live session that fits your schedule, or you may attend both live sessions.  All live sessions will be archived for public viewing on the R-RN YouTube Channel following the meeting.

 Session 1:  August 19/20, 2021
 1pm-4pm PST, Thursday August 19 - Western North American attendees
 4pm-7pm EST, Thursday August 19 - Eastern North American attendees
 9pm-12am BST, Thursday August 19 - United Kingdom attendees
 10pm Thursday August 19 to 1am CET, Friday August 20 - Central European attendees
 4am-7am CST, Friday August 20 - East Asian Sikkim attendees

 Session 2:  August 20, 2021
 4am-7am PST, Friday August 20 - Western North American attendees
 7am-10am EST, Friday August 20 - Eastern North American attendees
 2pm-5pm BST, Friday August 20 - United Kingdom attendees
 3pm-6pm CET, Friday August 20 - Central European attendees
 7pm-10pm CST, Friday August 20 - East Asian attendees


Plenary Lectures:
Session 1 - August 19: Dr. Jean Burns: Rhododendron pests and diseases in a changing climate.
Session 2 - August 20: Dr. Matthias Ullrich: A systematic approach to phytochemically evaluate the antimicrobial
                                    activities of a large subset of Rhododendron species.

Collaborative Research Panel Discussions:
Session 1 - August 19: An R-RN National Science Foundation proposal submission is planned for late 2021. We will discuss ideas so far and invite feedback for collaboration across disciplines, across sites, and including community-based researchers and conservation aspects in the work.  The project description will be uploaded to the Make: Projects website for commentary by August 6.  Panelists will include North American researchers, horticulturalists and conservationists to discuss ideas for the NSF collaborative research proposal.

Session 2 - August 20: Creative solutions are needed to increase student, postdoctoral and early career researcher support across the global community of Rhododendron researchers.  We will hear from students and seek feedback for how student/early career support should be included in our upcoming National Science Foundation proposal.  Panelists will include an international group of students and post-docs.

Breakout Group Presentations - August 19 and 20
Posters submitted by August 5 will be considered for a Breakout Group Presentation.  These are 15-minute live presentations, followed by 5-minute Q&A, with up to three talks per Breakout Group, and up to 15 posters chosen for each of the live zoom sessions.  Talks are grouped by subject, with more technical scientific content appropriate for the subject area.  Breakout Group Presenters will be notified on August 6th if they have been chosen for a talk.  Each attendee chooses their top three choices for Breakout Group, but the final group assignments will depend on the number of registered attendees and the types of presentations submitted.  Final Breakout Group Presentation Schedule will be announced on August 6th.  Subject area selections during registration include:

• Genetics and evolution
• Ecology and environment
• Ethnobotany and medicine
• Horticulture and conservation
• Pests and diseases

Virtual Lab Tour Highlights - August 19 and 20
Discover fun and interesting things going on in the Rhododendron world as we highlight Virtual Lab Tours uploaded to the Make: Projects platform website.

R-RN VIRTUAL CONVENTION SPACE:  (Opens August 6, 2021)

Virtual Poster Session: Submit your poster presentation at the registration link above by August 5.  We welcome posters describing projects relating to any aspect of Rhododendron research, horticulture, education, or outreach.  Poster presentations will be hosted on the public Make: Projects website.  The R-RN Virtual Poster Session will open for viewing at 9am EST on August 6 to facilitate pre-viewing prior to the live Zoom sessions.

Virtual Lab Visits: The Virtual Lab Tour provides an opportunity for you to share and discuss technical information about your overall research program and the projects being conducted in your lab.  What are you excited about?  What major discoveries have you made?  What kinds of facilities do you have?  What collaborations are you seeking?  You are invited to use the public Make: Projects website to share posters, presentation slide decks, publications, or video tours of your laboratory, field sites or project descriptions.  Once your content is loaded into Make: Projects, simply send us the URL by August 5 and we will feature your Virtual Lab Tour in the pre-conference programming, where attendees will have a chance to ask and answer questions about your postings on Make: Projects.  Virtual Lab Tours submitted by August 5 will also be featured in the Highlights section of the live Zoom meeting.

Poster and Virtual Lab Tour Submissions: Submit your poster and/or URL for your Make: Projects page to chewins@holdenfg.org before midnight EST on August 5 to be included in the poster session and virtual lab tours.


Fall Meeting - Empowering Community Participation
November 4-5, 2021   (save the date)

MEETING DESCRIPTION: This meeting will focus on sharing the latest research findings and empowering community-based science projects, including virtual plant collections tours, short 15-minute talks giving an overview of research areas in Rhododendron, and Roundtable Q&A where we will discuss the future of R-RN community-based research initiatives. The meeting will wrap up with a Plenary Lecture and Roundtables that speak to our theme of "Empowering Community Participation".

ATTENDEES: Scientists and members of the public are encouraged to attend, and the meeting will be open to all those interested in Rhododendron. Research talks will be geared toward a general audience, assuming no scientific background.

MEETING DATE: This meeting will be offered in two sessions to accommodate live attendance in key regions around the globe. Both sessions will include the same content. Recordings of the event will also be available on the R-RN YouTube Channel.

Session 1: Thursday, November 4, 2021
Session 2: Friday, November 5, 2021


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