A Stroll Down the Poison Path

Speakers: Jonathan M. Schmidt
Date: October 9, 2018
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Kitchener Public Library
85 Queen St N
Kitchener ON  N2H 2H1
Room: Theater (Lower level)

In this talk, we will be exploring the surprisingly wide variety of toxic plants that lurk in our ornamental and vegetable gardens. The diverse mechanisms of poisoning, practical measures required for self-protection and the societal role of the various toxins will be considered. We will also examine the important part many of these compounds have played in the development of life-saving medications. From the poison honey of ancient Greece to green potatoes and toxic celery this talk is guaranteed to whet all appetites and perhaps inspire the next Agatha Christie.

Prof. Jonathan Schmidt has been the Associate Dean Academic of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph since 2009. In this role he oversees the diploma and undergraduate programming of the college across a broad range of disciplines including animal bioscience, plant agriculture, agricultural economics, landscape architecture, food science and environmental science. He has been a member of the School of Environmental Science since 1988 delivering courses in research methods, insect physiology and natural product chemistry. For the past 25 years he has taught insecticide biochemistry. He holds the University of Guelph John Bell Medal for outstanding teaching. He has conducted research on a diversity of subjects including biological pest management, composting, insect repellents, spider ecology, computational drug design and cancer drug development. Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Toronto and has studied at the Universities of Tübingen, Germany and Wageningen in the Netherlands. His hobbies include creative writing, photography, cooking and playing traditional flutes. He spends much of his summer with his wife Annerose tending their one-hectare naturalized garden, which is the source of many of the photographs illustrating his lectures and talks. He has a particular fondness for plants associated with witchcraft and folk medicine.


These programs are a joint initiative of the Kitchener Horticultural Society and the Kitchener Public Library.

There is no charge for admission but your generous support is appreciated.