All-Ages Science Fun & Plant Biology Public Talk

A building with a cafe and plants and visitors at the Wildflower Center
Event starts on this day




Event starts at this time 11:30 am – 3:00 pm
In Person (view details)
The 2024 Jean Andrews talk and adjoining events connect the community with scientists and science enthusiasts eager to explore themes in plant biology and the natural world.


The 2024 Jean Andrews public talk in plant biology will be held in the Wildflower Center auditorium  from 1:45 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Colin Khoury, senior director of science and conservation at the San Diego Botanic Garden, and is titled: “If We Are What We Eat, Then Where Are We From?”

The talk will be preceded from 11:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. by an all-ages science-themed fair in the Great Hall, celebrating discovery and the natural world. Enjoy tables from a variety of science-themed outreach groups.

About the Fair

Meet with working scientists and students from The University of Texas at Austin and partner organizations in the community, including:

  • UT Jha Lab: Learn about bee diversity and pollen, and make lollipop flowers
  • UT SACNAS: Explore indigenous foods and agricultural  practices
  • Wildflower Center Conservation & Science Department: Explore seed collections and native plants
  • UT Biodiversity Collections: Check out insect specimens and enjoy activities — you might even get to meet live hissing cockroaches 
  • Texas Science and Natural History Museum (formerly Texas Memorial Museum): Discover hefty herbivores of Ice Age Austin
  • Billy L. Turner Plant Resources Center, the UT Herbarium: Learn about the legacy of Jean Andrews 
  • and much more from Farmshare Austin, Beevo Beekeepers, the Xerces Society and others!

About the Talk

“You are what you eat” is often used as an admonishment when we have neglected to eat healthfully. But from a historical perspective, the assertion can open a wide range of questions about how we define ourselves and hold to our cultural affiliations, and to whom we should be thankful for our nourishment. This presentation will describe the journey Colin Khoury has taken to better understand where our food comes from and how that history connects people, crops and livestock, and food cultures across the world. It will delve into the increasing homogeneity of human diets over recent decades, and discuss the benefits and challenges of the globalization of food. Finally, we will discuss the state of conservation of agricultural diversity, and explore ways to rekindle interest in foods on the brink of disappearing.  

A bearded man in a collared shirt sands in front of a plant with fronds

About the Speaker

Colin Khoury is the Senior Director of Science and Conservation at the San Diego Botanic Garden, a 37-acre garden in Encinitas, California, working to conserve plants and educate people about the wonders of plant life. Colin holds a Ph.D. from Wageningen University in the Netherlands and a Master of Science from the University of Birmingham, UK, and has held posts at academic, nonprofit, industry, government, and international organizations in the US, Europe, and South America. His primary interests include conservation science, crop diversity, food security, plant genetic resources, and crop wild relatives.


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center