Over the years I have spoken at a number of meetings both in Australia and elsewhere on a wide variety of subjects. I use a PowerPoint presentation to which I give an individual commentary, depending on the interests of the society or group concerned. I often include some ‘tourist’ information when there has been travel associated with a conference or trip.


The wider acceptance of Zoom and other virtual meeting software has meant that I have given lots of talks ‘remotely’ to groups interstate and overseas.

I have talks on a number of different subjects, and I am constantly adding to them. The presentations are about places I have been, particular genera or species, or other subjects requested by orchid societies. Most talks last about 45 minutes, depending on the questions and discussions which they generate.

Listed below are some of the talks which I have already given, and I can repeat or modify. Bear in mind that I live in Brisbane, Australia so may like some help with travelling costs, if you want me to appear in person. However, ‘virtual’ talks are much easier.

If your favourite subject isn’t here, let me know!

Orchid conferences

The 22nd World Orchid conference and show was held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2017 and included some spectacular species from South America as well as other parts of the world.

The 21st World Orchid conference and show was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 10-14 September 2014. I also travelled to Cape Town and Madagascar, where I photographed a number of orchids in the wild, as well as seeing some amazing other plants and scenery.

The 20th World Orchid conference and Show was held in Singapore, in November 2011, and I was particularly interested in the species orchids.

The 19th World Orchid Conference and Show was held in Miami, Florida, USA in 2008. Displays and prize-winning orchids, and others are featured.

The 18th World Orchid Conference and Show was held in Dijon, in central France in March 2005, in conjunction with the Florrissimo which takes place there every four years. I have talked separately about the show itself, the species orchids, and the Slipper orchids.

The China Orchid Shows. The 10th Asia-Pacific Orchid Show, and the 20th China Orchid Show, were held in Chongqing, China in March 2010. A spectacular show, with some amazing surprises, both inside and outside the conference!

The 20th Australian Orchid Conference and Show was held in Mackay, Queensland, with theme of ‘Orchids in Paradise’. It is not often you see a brand new Holden Ute in an orchid show, and it also gave me the opportunity to find some of the native species in the area.

The 17th Australian Orchid Conference and Show, also had the theme ‘Orchids in Paradise’ and was held in Port Macquarie, in Northern New South Wales in 2006, with speakers from around the world.

Orchids around the world

Epiphytic and Lithophytic Orchids of SE Queensland. Yes, there are plenty of native orchids in the rainforest, and eucalypt forests of Queensland’s subtropics, as well as spectacular scenery.

Australasian Terrestrials. A brief overview of the many deciduous, terrestrial orchids in the Australasian region, and hints on the cultivation of some of them, under southeast Queensland conditions.

Spectacular Western Australia. Springtime in Western Australia is the best time to see its amazing collection of unique wildflowers, and is also the time at which they organise their orchid shows and conferences. On one trip I photographed 60 different orchid species in the wild, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. WA is also host to one of the amazing underground orchids.

The Orchids of Niugini. Based on a visit to Papua New Guinea with Phil Spence, and Geoff Stocker. This presentation takes in the first PNG International Orchid Show, Enga Cultural show, and orchids in the highlands.

The Orchids of Borneo and Kota Kinabalu. A trip through the highlands of Borneo, looking at orchids in the wild, and some in collections, as well as some of the other flora, and fauna, which you can meet if you aren’t careful!

Trekking Northern Thailand with a local orchid expert I was able to see many of the unusual species in the mountain areas.

A taste of China and China and Thailand were trips to photograph orchids in high mountain habitats in Yunnan, and Sichuan Provinces in southern and central China, and in parts of northern Thailand. They were a mix of very isolated areas, in small villages, and tourist areas with big hotels.

Trekking Yunnan, China A trip organised by Wenqing Perner and her late husband took us to various mountainous areas Southern China, which I supplemented with a trip with another local expert.

The Orchids of Madagascar are unique, as are some of the other flora and fauna. I was able to photograph some of the species, and also talk to various conservationists.

Orchids in Guatemala. Guatemala has a number of unique orchid species, as well as having others which can be found further north, and south in Central America.

Orchid Conservation in Costa Rica. The 3rd International Orchid Conservation Congress was held in San Jose, Costa Rica. The talk includes the 36th National Orchid Show, Lankester Botanic Gardens, and the Orchid Garden at Monteverde. Costa Rica is the country with the highest proportion of National Parks in the world.

Slipper Orchids in Ecuador and Peru. Yes! there are orchids at Machu Picchu as well as several other parts of the Andes, and the Amazon basin.

Exploring Ecuador and Exploring Ecuador and Peru. Yes! there are orchids at Machu Picchu, as well as several other parts of the Andes, and the Amazon basin. These talks feature species in situ, and the wonderful orchid collection of Ecuagenera in Gualaceo.

The OCA in Ecuador The Orchid Conservation Alliance organises trips in various parts of the world. This was a chance to see orchids in the wild in Ecuador, and learn about their conservation projects.

The OCA in Colombia Another Orchid Conservation Alliance trip, braving the Andes of Colombia and its numerous orchids. Colombia can boast that it is the country, which has the largest number of orchid species that have been described.

Slipper Orchids in Situ. Cypripedium, Paphiopedilum, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium occur in the wild, in different parts of the world.

Orchid Collections. See behind the scenes at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Wisley RHS Gardens, and the National Collection of Anguloa, Ida & Lycaste in the UK, the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Kabukiran Orchids in the Philippines, Orchid Zone in the USA, Ecuagenera in Ecuador, and Kenntner’s Nursery buried in snow in Germany!

Weird and Wonderful Species. A small selection of wonderful species from the 30,000 found throughout the world. Not all of these are weird but they are certainly unique.

Orchid genera

Dendrobiums of Australasia presents Dendrobium species from the Australasian region (Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands). This presentation discusses recent classification changes – or not, depending on which taxonomist you follow.

Dendrobiums of New Guinea. A range of unique Dendrobium species that are found on the world’s second largest island. Species from various sections are covered, plus taxonomic changes are also discussed.

Asian Dendrobiums. A popular genus in cultivation, there are nearly twelve hundred species, included in the genus Dendrobium. The ones from mainland Asia are confined predominantly to that continent, and are the focus of this program.

Indian Dendrobiums There is a wide variety of Dendrobiums in the Indian subcontinent, mainly spring-flowering in deciduous forests.

Cattleya Species looks at the traditional Cattleya species, plus recent additions, which have come about due to the reclassification of genera, based on recent DNA work.

Bulbophyllum and its Allies. Bulbophyllum is a huge, pantropical genus of about one thousand species. This program provides a look at some of the species from the numerous, and varied sections, which are found from Africa, Madagascar, southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia, and the Americas.

Oncidium and its Relatives provides an overview of the Oncidiinae. Recent DNA work has suggested all sorts of confusing name changes.

Encyclia and Prosthechea looks at these two central and south American genera, which were once lumped together.

Vanda and Phalaenopsis Species summarises some of the recent reclassifications of these genera.

A Selection of Aëridinae covers a selection of vandaceous genera, which are predominantly found in the southeast Asian, and Australasian region.

What Happened to the Brazilian Laelias? Recent taxonomic changes has meant that the Brazilian Laelias are not Laelias anymore.

Paphiopedilum subgenus Brachypetalum A discussion of the origins and distribution of the species in the subgenus.

The Genus Coelogyne – an Overview A discussion of the classification and wide distribution of this genus, along with a range of various species illustrated.

The Pleurothallid Alliance A discussion of the origins and distribution of the species in the Alliance.

Dendrobium Is it in Danger of Extinction? Extensive use of some Dendrobium species for medicinal purposes in Southeast Asia is endangering it in the wild. Traditional Chinese Medicine  has been encouraging commercial production in the millions.

Mediterranean Orchids – Origin of Orchids? Terrestrial orchids in the Mediterranean have been known for centuries. The deceptive flowers have evolved alongside their pollinators, and developed insect-like features. Some were thought to have aphrodisiac properties, and harvested accordingly.

Other subjects

Orchid Fascination. An introductory talk for people who are not familiar with orchids; how they are identified, how and where are they grow, and how they are used throughout the world.

An Introduction to Species. What is a species, how are they named, what types of species orchids are there? Also, a discussion of the pests and diseases, and suitable environments. A list of suitable species for subtropical areas is also given, with suggestions of where they can be obtained.

Why Does My Orchid have More than One Name? One of the most common questions of hobby growers. I talk of the history of naming orchids, the difficulties of deciding which name to use, and the recent changes as a result of DNA work.

Lump or Split? With all the DNA work, various specialists are lumping some genera into a single name, while others are splitting them into individual, new, or resurrected names. Taking Australasian Dendrobium species as an example, I ask are you a lumper or a splitter?

Orchid Types. A look at different orchid genera, by going through an A to Z of generic names, which were published by John Lindley.

Miniature Species – A Selection. Where space is limited, a collection of miniature orchids does not take up much room. Some flowers may be small, but some can be very large for the plant size.

Judging Species Orchids, Judging Pleurothallidinae, and Judging New Types of Orchids. Talks on the procedures, problems, and pitfalls of judging different kinds of orchids.

The Orchid Conservation Alliance Information about the Alliance and its work in conserving orchids in their natural habitats around the world.

The Language of Orchids Why do some names have Greek origins and some Latin, where do their names come from, and how do you pronounce them?

Photographing Orchids. The technicalities of orchid photography, what kind of photographic equipment I use, and how I take photographs, in the wild, and in collections, with a section on the dangers as well!

Name that Species. A quiz program asking participants (usually split into groups) to name a species based on its photo. Fun for Christmas and other celebrations.