Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born in Luton, Bedfordshire, UK, 1929; died Canberra, Australia, 7 November 2014.
Qualified with a Certificate of Engineering (equivalent of Diploma today) from Luton Technical College (now Bedfordshire University), UK, 1952. Later graduated with a Diploma of Plant Biology at Canberra College of Advanced Education (now Canberra University), 1974.
Migrated to Australia in 1959. Originally employed with Commonwealth Engineering, Brisbane, Qld, as engineering design draftsman until he resigned in 1960. In 1961 he spent 5 months on Dunk Island, Qld, as hotel general hand, then returned to Brisbane, rejoining Commonwealth Engineering, resigning in 1962.
In 1962 he moved to Canberra, joining CSIRO, Division of Land Research & Regional Survey (now Land & Water), as an Herbarium laboratory assistant in the Australian Mainland Survey Group (later incorporated into the Australian National Herbarium).
As well as a wide range of other botanical roles, Laurie became a self-taught authority in botanical Latin, a skill much appreciated by his taxonomic colleagues in the herbarium. He also undertook five six-week courses in Bookcraft at the Canberra Institute of Technology.
He officially retired from the Australian National Herbarium on 26 August 1988, and continued his botanical activities as a CSIRO Honorary Research Fellow for over 25 years until just a few months before his death.
Micraira adamsii Lazarides (Poaceae) is named for him.
Major collecting sites:
- Alligator Rivers, two survey areas in Kakadu National Park; Katherine-Darwin, etc., NT;
- Nogoa-Belyando survey, central Qld; Army training area, Wide Bay, Qld;
- Queanbeyan-Shoalhaven survey, NSW; Eurobodalla survey, NSW;
- Namadgi National Park & general ACT communities.
Number of fieldbook records for L.G.Adams (as at Feb. 2014): 4,251
Number of databased collections in CANB (as at Feb. 2014): c. 3,723
- 3,067 L.G. Adams-only accessions and
- a further 656 accessions with L.G. Adams as primary collector or as one of a group of collectors.
Distribution of herbarium specimens (see Index Herbariorum for the meaning of the herbarium codes used here):
- Australia: AD, BRI, CANB, DNA, HO, MEL, NT, NSW, PERTH.
- Overseas: A, B, BISH, BM, CHR, COLO, E, FH, G, HBG, JE, K, L, NY, P, S, TNS, UC, US, Z.
- Taxa: Caryophyllaceae; Gentianaceae; Cyperaceae; Philydraceae; Violaceae.
- Floristic interests: NSW: South Coast & Southern Tablelands generally; ACT: Namadgi National Park; Canberra's Nature Reserves.
- Accessory interests: Botanical Latin & Greek; botanical nomenclature; 'Flora of Australia' treatments, minerals and geology, bookcraft and repairs.
- see separate web page
Plant names published by Laurie Adams
- see separate web page
Sources: Extracted from: Personal Communications, L.G.Adams, 11.12.2013, with additional statistics from the Australian Plant Name Index (APNI) and the Australian National Herbarium Specimen Information Register (ANHSIR) databases extracted by A.M.Monro, February 2014.
Portrait Photo: M.Fagg, 1999