Meet the Botany Society Executive Committee 2021

Iris Hickman (President)
Bachelor of Biological Science (Ecology Major) 3rd Year

Initially, I started my degree thinking I would go into Zoology, but after joining the Botany Society and completing the BOT2PDE subject I experienced the wonderful world of plants and have not looked back. For me, one of the highlights of attending La Trobe University has been the Botany Society and the people involved. This botanical community has members from all walks of life who have helped develop my understanding of ecology and botany, as well as my future career path. I aim to try to provide this same support and opportunities to Botany Society members through our events, field trips and workshops. I am currently finishing my undergraduate degree and working as an Ecologist, but I aim to continue my studies. 


Rebecca Rees (Vice President)
Bachelor of Science (Botany & Environmental Geoscience Major) 3rd Year

I have always had a fascination for plants in the garden but decided I wanted to study Botany so I could dig a little deeper and learn more about the scientific side of our floral friends and how they live. I also enjoy learning about soil science and its relation to plant health. I joined the Botany & Plant Ecology Society in my second year and have loved every moment of it. I have made friends, connected with industry experts, and gained valuable volunteer experience. Through the Bot Soc, I have been given great opportunities such as practising key field skills such as plant identification, touring the Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium and attending the Victorian Biodiversity Conference. This society has really fuelled my passion for Botany and made my time at university very enjoyable.

Ualani Miller (Secretary)
Bachelor of Science (Botany Major) 3rd Year

Initially, I chose a botany major because it sounded way cooler than the other major options. Honestly, I don’t really know where I will end up, but I know it will be involving plants and I’m very happy with that outcome. On that note, the one thing I love about the Botany Society is that there are opportunities to try all sorts of plant-related things, from field trips to herbarium work, this has given me an opportunity to narrow down my interests. I even got a casual conservation job through Botany Society connections, where I spend a lot of time killing plants (the invasive weed species), turns out I like that too… I help to organise events to connect people to plants and to other plant people

Allison Menzies (Treasurer)
Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology Major) 3rd Year

Before starting my conservation biology course, I didn't understand how obsessive plant ecology people could be. But I have wholeheartedly joined their ranks and now I can usually be found in the bushland near my house, taking four hours to photograph a single native plant and its pollinators. The Botany Society has been one of the best things so far during my time at university and I've made many fantastic friendships and valuable industry connections from it. Spending time with plant-obsessed people is actually not as terrible as you'd think; in fact, it's rather wonderful. If you want to talk about plants and invert pollinators, I'm your human.


General Committee Members

Jenn Longo
Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology Major) 3rd Year

I've always had a keen interest in the natural world, especially animals. I drove my mum crazy as a kid making terrariums for invertebrates with her tupperware. Over the course of my degree, my interests have shifted strongly towards botany, due in part to the incredibly knowledgeable members of the BotSoc and enthusiastic academics. Microscopy is my jam, I'm happiest when staring down the lenses of a dissecting microscope. I have a keen interest in floral morphology, especially from bud to fully open flower, and you'll often find me spamming our Facebook page with flower dissections. 

Nina Kerr
Bachelor of Biological Science (Ecology Major)

Before I joined the La Trobe Botany Society, I was a reasonably fast bushwalker. Now, I can't venture into any bushland without stopping every 50 m to crouch down and look at the plants.
I joined the society when I was in my 2nd year at La Trobe. The Society opened up so many opportunities to me as an undergrad like volunteering on flora surveys, ID workshops and field trips and many of these experiences helped me to get a job in the industry after I graduated. I now help out with organising events and field trips.