CPBR logo

- CPBR News 6

News from the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and
Australian National Herbarium (CANB)

For the information of CPBR and ANBG staff and volunteers

July, 1998

1. Research Groups

1.1 Visit to Potsdam by Malcolm Gill

Potsdam, in former East Germany, was the site of an international workshop I attended in late June. The hosts were from the Potsdam Institute for Climatic Research. There we gathered to discuss the development of a fire-effects component for Dynamic Global Vegetation Models.

Sixteen people were present. Apart from the six locals there were 3 others from Germany, 4 from USA, 2 from Canada and a lone voice from the Southern Hemisphere. While the assembled group was small it was informed and capable, an ideal situation for the exchange of information and ideas.

Dynamic Global Vegetation Models result from the interaction of General Circulation Models (world climate models) and Biogeographical Models (climate-vegetation models based on a few "Plant Functional Types"). The main aim of such models is to predict the effects of increased carbon emissions on climate change and its consequences. Because fires strongly affect the output of emissions from the world's vegetation, the modellers wanted to put fire into their models.

The meeting provided new opportunities for networking by the participants. Apart from the fire ecologists the attendees were fire modellers or global vegetation-climate modellers. The frank exchange of views was worthwhile.

The world models often use a 'quadrat' size of about 50km by 50km because, in the early stages of the development of these models, the number of pixels on computer screens could just represent the globe if the 'quadrats' were of this size.

Knowledge gained on the approaches to global modelling was a great preparation for the visit of Professor Jim Clark, from Duke University, and Professor Peter Kershaw, from Monash University, the week after I returned. Jim, Peter and I are involved in a project that attempts to model the effects of fires on the persistence, or otherwise, of Australian rainforests through the various climatic and pyric changes that have occurred over past millennia. Tackling such problems can give new insight into the ways we might attempt to understand the effects of fire regimes on current Australian biodiversity.

[Malcolm Gill]

1.2 Atherton Visit

Judy West and Jeremy Burdon had a very useful, but rather rushed and cooler than expected visit to our group in Atherton, north Queensland last week. Discussions with Bernie Hyland and the staff largely concentrated on finalisation of the interactive key for rain forest trees and shrubs, future production of the key to vines and staff workplans.

The projects being developed for a new CRC proposal to follow the existing CRC for Tropical Rainforest Ecology & Management were also the subject of much debate. Discussions with our CSIRO Wildlife & Ecology colleagues at Atherton and with the director of the current CRC, Nigel Stork, centred on useful roles that the CPBR could play and contribute appropriate expertise in the projects as already proposed.

At the JCU Cairns campus Judy and Jeremy had brief discussions with Kerry Moore, Communications Manager for the CRC re possible launch of the Rainforest key in north Queensland, and with Paul Gadek re his molecular systematics research.

[Judy West]

1.3 Recent Publications

It has been suggested that staff might like to know about recent publications from the Centre. If you have any recent publications, please let me know and I will list them. You may also wish to add a paragraph detailing what your publication is about.

[Suzie Dietrich]

1.4 Summer Student Scholarships

Preparations for advertising the Summer Scholarship Program are well advanced. We already have a sponsor (Parks Victoria) for a scholarship with Malcolm Gill. In addition, we will be advertising a further six projects with 3-4 students being finally selected. As in previous years these students will be part of the CPBR over the summer.

[Jeremy Burdon]

1.5 Post-doc in Legume-rhizobia Interactions

An offer has now been made with regard to the 2-year post-doctoral position in legume-rhizobia interactions. Elizabeth Watkin will take up the position on 16 November.

[Jeremy Burdon]

1.6 Poster Prize Winner

Lejla Buza won the prize for best student poster at the recent Genetics Society of Australia meeting at the Sydney University for her work on the population genetics of Swainsona recta.

[Andrew Young]

1.7 Honours Student

Stefan Latham has started work with us as an Hons Student from BoZo, ANU. His research will be on the genetics of a hybrid zone between Daviesia mimosoides and Daviesia latifolia.

[Andrew Young]

1.8 Flora Malesiana Symposium - Kuala Lumpur - 20-24 July

The IVth Flora Malesiana Symposium was held in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weeks ago. The 170 participants attending the meeting included many from within FM countries, including some of our colleagues from Bogor, and of course representatives from Europe, North America and Australia. The program was very full and stimulating and focussed attention on the enormity of the FM task - even developing suitable teams of workers is difficult for large families like Lauraceae and Rubiaceae.

As an FM Board member Judy West presented a paper to the Board providing ideas on means of developing complementary products, particularly electronic keys, that enable taxonomic information to be made available more speedily and efficiently. Such projects should not compete for scarce FM resources, but rather be designed to complement and enhance the more in-depth monographic treatments. The paper was well received and we were able to support the suggestions through demonstrating EUCLID, Australian Tropical Rain Forest Trees and Shrubs and to give some idea of how LucID performs in the building phase.

The next FM symposium, FMV will be held in Australia in 2001.

[Judy West]

Rogier de Kok presented a paper on the systematics and pollination biology of Oxera, Faradaya and Hosea (Labiatae) at the Flora Malesiana Symposium. Furthermore, Rogier and Judy West together demonstrated the interactive key program LucID, the Eucalyptus interactive key EUCLID, and the new Australian Rain Tropical Rain Forest Trees and Shrubs.

Lyn Craven gave a talk on the thorny issue of generic delimitation in the Syzygium (Myrtaceae) group of genera based mainly upon variation in species of the SE Malesian-Australian region.

The conference was well attended with a wide range of interesting papers covering systematics, ecology, conservation through to ethno-botany and minor forest products. The conference provided a good opportunity for Australian botanists to meet and discuss problems concerning these issues with other FM workers from the region and from Europe and North America.

[Rogier de Kok and Lyn Craven]

Chris Puttock presented a paper on the systematics of Aidia (Gardenieae: Rubiaceae) at the Stone Memorial Symposium at the University of Malaya (16-18 July). He also read a paper on behalf of Tom Hartley on the Systematics and Biogeography of Malesian Rutaceae. These papers will be published in the Proceedings of the symposium.

At the Flora Malesiana Symposium 20-24 July Chris presented a paper on the New Caledonian genus Atractocarpus and its relationship to the Malaysian genus Porterandia (Gardeniaeae, Rubiaceae) and a poster on the genus Kailarsenia (Gardeniaeae, Rubiaceae) sinking the genus Larseniakia for Australia. As coordinating author of Rubiaceae for Flora Malesiana he will be producing a report on the family for the next Flora Malesiana Bulletin.

[Chris Puttock]

1.9 Interactive Key to Families of Australian Flowering Plants

As some people may be aware, Kevin Thiele and I have in recent times been scouring the country for sources of colour images to illustrate the Family Key. We are now down to a hard core of 14 families for which we've not been able to locate any good quality colour transparencies.

If anyone can come up with the loan of one or more slides for the following Australian taxa we will be eternally grateful. (Unfortunately, not in financial terms, but you will get an honourable mention in the finished product! And copyright will, of course, remain with you).


    Balanops australiana
    Balanops montana

    Batis argillicola

    Cardiopteris moluccana

    Corsia sp.


    Tetrameles nudiflora

    Galbulimima belgraveana
    Galbulimima baccata

    Hydatella australis
    Hydatella dioica
    Hydatella filamentosa
    Trithuria bibracteata
    Trithuria lanterna

    Rhyssopteris timorensis
    Stigmatophyllon ciliatum
    Tristellateia australasiae

    Moringa pterygosperma

    Opilia amentacea
    Cansjera leptostachya

    Navarettia squarrosa
    Collomia linearis
    Collomia grandiflora
    Cobaea scandens

    Trimenia (Piptocalyx) moorei

    Andruris (Sciaphila) australasica

[Laurie Adams]

2. Herbarium and Services

2.1 Botanical Services Officer

Brendan Lepschi, the successful applicant for the Botanical Services Officer position, will take up his duties at the Centre on Monday, 17 August. Brendan will be located in the ANH, Building 502, Room 2.33.

2.2 Loans

A new staff member, Roslyn Grace, started with us on 10 June. She is working 20 hours per week, and replaces the Loans component of Ann Langston's time, as Ann will shortly be working with Randy Bayer full time.

With Chris Puttock leaving on 14 August, we are preparing his loans for return or transfer to BISH, where he will be working for the next few years.

In July, amongst other loans, we sent 536 sheets of Haloragaceae to CONN for R. Aakjar. A huge loan (1119 sheets) of Pultenaea for Rogier de Kok was received in July.

With no big loans waiting to go out at the moment, we are making a dent in the backlog of loans waiting to be returned to their originating institutions, including the Daviesias! After that, we hope to be able to start reincorporating the loans that have been returned to us!

[Helen Hadobas]

2.3 Herbarium Volunteers

Since placing the request for people interested in becoming Herbarium Volunteers in the July issue of "Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens" Newsletter we have taken on six new recruits. (Names below.) These generous people bring with them a wide range of experience including the fields of Agriculture, Herbal Medicine, Libraries, Dentistry, Archives, Art and Marine Biology. All come with a general love of plants.

Bernard Lilienthal
Margaret Mansfield
Paulette McWilliam
Anne Phillips
Debbie Reynolds
Annelies Shearer-Bosch

If at the Centre please make them welcome by going down to the Mounting Room and introducing yourself. Directly or indirectly they are helping all of us.

In the April/May CPBR News I mentioned we would invite all the volunteers to a morning tea soon. This has been postponed until September (hopefully), as several people have been/and still are away.

[Faye Davies]

2.4 Australia's Heritage

Collections Workshop

Helen Hewson attended, on behalf of CPBR, a workshop on "Significance" in museum collections. Significance in this sense relates to assessing the importance of a collection item against historical, aesthetic, scientific/technical, and social criteria. The Heritage Collections Council (HCC) is seeking to develop a general but standardised set of criteria for such assessments. The workshop was attended mainly by representatives of cultural collections, but Helen and Pam Diver (ANBG Interpretations Officer) made input from the point of view of the natural history collections. Bob Makinson has subsequently prepared a discussion paper for circulation to workshop participants.

[Bob Makinson]

2.5 Thai Visitors

Two post-graduate students from Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand are visiting Canberra (1-22 August) to study lichens with Pat McCarthy (ABRS) and Prof. Jack Elix (ANU). Their visit is funded by Environment Australia as part of the Global Taxonomic Initiative, and follows a very successful workshop held last year in Bangkok and northern Thailand which was attended by Pat McCarthy. Most of the visit will involve the study of specimens in the Cryptogamic Herbarium as well as their own Thai collections. They will also do chemical analysis in Jack Elix's lab, and receive advice on the write-up of their theses.

[Pat McCarthy (ABRS)]

2.6 Public Plant Identifications


IDs received 2
IDs determined 2

Inquiries: (eg botanical, horticultural questions)

Received 4
Answered 3


NPWS CRA work continues, with specimens received for confirmation as part of survey work in the South Coast and Southern Tablelands. The 74 specimens received last month have been identified. 44 new specimens have arrived for identification. This is part of the CPBR's ongoing commitment to our MOU with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, in return we receive payment and keep the specimens.

[Anthony Whalen]

3. Information Technology and Data Management

3.1 WWW Site

The URL for the Centre can be found at: http://www.anbg.gov/cpbr/

Please check regularly for new items of interest re Centre staff and activities.

3.2 Centre Web

Andrew Lyne continues to maintain and add new material to the Centre's World Wide Web pages. If you have any material describing or illustrating your programs or research, see Andrew about what needs to be done to make it available on the Web. MS-Word has a 'save as HTML' option which makes it relatively simple to prepare text material, prepared for other purposes, for the Web. There are a number of scanners and cameras in the Centre that can be used to prepare images.

[Jim Croft]


A dozen or more of the Bioinformatics illuminati of Australian herbaria will gather at the Centre on the 2-4 September for a three day workshop of the Herbarium Information Systems Committee (HISCOM), a subcommittee of the Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria (CHAH). This gaggle of botanical computer geeks, including Greg Whitbread, Pennie Hohnen and Jim Croft from the Centre, meets annually, generally before CHAH meetings (this year in November) to discuss data, information and computing issues facing herbaria in Australia. Always on the agenda is the Herbarium Information Standards and Protocols for the Interchange of Data (HISPID) and the electronic exchange of specimen records and other botanical data between herbaria, an attempt to share the burden of data capture and maintenance.

A major agenda item this year is the Virtual Australian Herbarium, a distributed network of electronic herbarium data that will provide botanists and the public with access to information on plant names, bibliographic records, plant occurrence and distribution, specimen data, taxon and descriptive records, identification keys, utilisation and ethnographic information, images and maps. Particular attention is being paid to mobilising data and information associated with type specimens of Australian taxa, both here and overseas.

[Jim Croft]

3.4 Biodiversity Informatics Conference

In July, the Australian Academy of Science hosted an international three-day symposium on Biodiversity Informatics (the application of modern computer systems and applications to facilitate the automatic harvesting, storage and processing of large amounts of biological data) in Canberra. Computer staff from a number of Australian herbaria were present at the symposium and Jim Croft gave a presentation on biological inventories. The symposium provided an opportunity for IT staff to catch up with their colleagues from interstate and overseas.

Arising from this was the news that the OECD is soon to fund, to the tune or c. $500,000,000, a global inventory of 'Life on Earth' (or a similar grandiose title). Such an amount distributed over all countries and all biological groups is not likely to go very far in terms of resources to enable institutions such as the Centre to step up our inventory effort, but it should heighten awareness of biodiversity inventory and documentation in government and other funding areas.

[Jim Croft]

3.5 Interactive Botanical Keys

There has been a flurry of activities in this area over the past month. The Hyland/Whiffin et al. illustrated interactive Key to Rainforest Trees and Shrubs entered the final stages of publication and Judy West gave a demonstration of it to an enthusiastic audience at the Flora Malesiana Symposium in Kuala Lumpur. It is built on software developed by Trevor Whiffin. Judy has a copy of the latest version on CD, if anyone wants to see what it looks like.

Interest in LucID as a user-friendly platform for the development of interactive keys continues to mount; it featured in several presentations in the Bioinformatics Symposium, where Kevin Thiele also provided hands on demonstrations to a large number of participants. John Connors demonstrated EUCLID to the Director of Missouri Botanical Gardens, Peter Raven, and a proposal is being prepared for the enhancement of the LucID software as a collaborative venture with North American partners.

Bruce Maslin of the PERTH herbarium visited the Centre in connection with his 'Wattle' interactive key project, covering all the members of the genus Acacia in Australia. He demonstrated his IntKey-based application to staff from the Centre and the ANBG and left a copy of the working DELTA dataset for staff to use. The data and images are being loaded onto the network to be made available to those who are interested or need it for routine identifications.

[Jim Croft]

3.6 Australian Plant Name Index (APNI)

ERIN has provided the Centre with a small grant to update the names, synonyms and publication details of all the Endangered, Vulnerable and Extinct taxa on the official ANZECC list of rare and threatened plants. Andrew Lyne and Kirsten Cowley have been assigned this task for the bulk of their time over the next two months; the ERIN grant is being used to employ Jim Mant to attend to a range of general curatorial tasks over this period. Greg Whitbread and John Hook have enhanced the APNI database application and installed it on a number of computers in the Centre to facilitate this project.

In addition, ABRS has provided funds to employ a staff member for c. 10 months to update the names and synonymy of some key or strategic families: so far nominated are the grasses, the legumes and Proteaceae. This position has just been advertised and will hopefully be filled by the end of August.

[Jim Croft]

3.7 International Plant Names Project

Greg Whitbread represented the Centre at a symposium on taxonomic authority files in Washington and prepared a presentation on the development of the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), a joint project with Harvard University Herbaria, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Centre; the prototype of this distributed and jointly maintained database project, covering author names and abbreviations was demonstrated to participants.

Based on the architecture developed for the prototype, the US National Science Foundation was approached for a grant to extend the application to combine the data of the Index Kewensis, the Australian Plant Name Index and the Harvard Gray Cards. The grant application has been successful, although yet to be formalised, and planning and setup will start mid to late September.

[Jim Croft]

3.8 Herbarium database (ANHSIR)

The cutover from the old herbarium database systems to the new combined database has started. If IT and herbarium staff appear freaked out, more stressed and more off the planet than usual as they enter a new and frightening world and leave familiar security blankets behind, please sympathise. John Hook and Greg Whitbread have been refining the data entry forms and have been installing the application on herbarium and data entry staff computers; to complete this phase, some staff computers are going to have to be upgraded to run the applications.

Over the next two weeks, data entry staff will be asked to use and experiment with the new system and to make all new specimen entries only on the new database, and refrain from using the old ones unless it is absolutely essential. All new entries made on the combined database will be retained at the final cutover, when all legacy records from the old databases are copied across for the last time.

Greg Whitbread will be taking a couple of weeks leave before this final data transfer; John Hook will be hovering around guiding staff into the new system and generally holding hands and smoothing ruffled feathers.

[Jim Croft]

3.9 Blue Spaghetti

Users of the old herbarium building will have noticed a bunch of beefy guys pulling blue cable out of the walls and ceilings and putting new blue cable in. This is part of a general upgrade to electronic communications, courtesy of the CSIRO Corporate Centre. While a bit inconvenient at the moment, the end result will be a doubling of available ports and outlets in each room and a standard of wiring capable of much faster data transfer. And hopefully it will get rid of an annoying gremlin in that building that causes computers to hang from time to time.

[Jim Croft]

3.10 BioRAP

The World Bank BioRAP team visited Canberra to evaluate progress of the PNG biodiversity assessment project and to set future directions. The Centre's contribution to this project is completed and Jim Croft attended the meetings to submit the Centre's final report. The Centre was responsible for the supply of biological specimen data (as opposed to environmental data) and there was much discussion as to how the other partners in the project (the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at the ANU and CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology) were to analyse it; the reviewers were happy with the Centre contributions, and will be recommending more rather than less biological data for future BioRAP projects. There is a possibility of some unallocated project funds being put towards the capture of more specimen data.

An external reviewer on the World Bank team was Vicki Funk from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. She visited the Centre for a tour of our herbarium facilities and for discussions on the Centre's views on the project and future directions of BioRAP. While at the Centre, she caught up with her old mate, Randy Bayer, to talk about his research and old times in the US OF A.

[Jim Croft]

4. Education and Communication

4.1 Orchid Stamps and Parliament House Display

Mark Clements was botanical advisor for a new set of postage stamps featuring orchids native to Australia and Singapore. The stamps were released by Australia Post on Thursday 6 August. To celebrate the release, a special first day cover with an Australian National Botanic Gardens postmark, was on sale at the Gardens' Botanical Bookshop from 6 August.

The stamps, designed by Cathleen Cram and artist Clare Kaegi, have been produced to coincide with the 6th Asia Pacific Orchid Conference to be held in Townsville in September. The new stamps feature two species from Australia and two species from Singapore.

The ANBG set up a display of live orchids at the Parliament House Post Office for two weeks to coincide with the release. Both the ANBG and CPBR logos were featured as part of this display.

[Murray Fagg]

5. General Centre Matters

5.1 Centre Review

I would like to thank all Centre staff for their input and participation at our recent Centre Review.

The Review Team was pleased with the organisation of the Review and particularly that they were able to meet with so many staff and associates of Centre activities, including representatives of our stakeholders and students.

For those of you who did not attend the wrap-up session at which the Reviewers provided a brief overview of their report, they made positive noises about our science and the educational role of the Centre, and mentioned some issues that they will be addressing, such as the strategic plan, relations with other bodies like the ANBG and Centre promotion.

I have had brief communications with Pauline Ladiges (Chair of Review Team) and it seems the report is coming together and she anticipates it will be completed by the agreed date of August 14.

[Judy West]

5.2 Centre Report

1500 copies of the Centre Report for the years 1996-1998 have just been printed and are available for staff who need/want a copy.

They will not be sent out as a matter of routine to all gardens or CSIRO staff, so if you want one, contact Suzie Dietrich at the Centre.

We will be compiling a mailing list of external recipients and stakeholders to receive copies of the report: botanic gardens, herbaria, conservation bodies, botanical libraries, funding bodies, collaborators and so on. Please let us know if you have an address list of a class of stakeholders or genuinely interested people that we may not be aware of. If you would like a copy sent to a collaborator/associate, please furnish Suzie with details of name and address.

[Jim Croft]

5.3 Permits for Scientific Collection - ANBG

New arrangements have been implemented to bring all Centre Staff in line with the practice of ANBG staff with regard to collecting in the Gardens. In future, Centre staff need not apply for a Permit to remove material for scientific purposes subject to the following stipulations - that they:

  • inform the ANBG of their requirements (Ben Wallace x524 or Leslie Lockwood x522),

  • wear laboratory coats and ID tags while collecting,

  • liaise with grounds staff to advise the reasons for and nature of their collecting,

  • provide a list of actual collections, and

  • be encouraged to give a presentation of their research (ie at Staff Awareness Meetings).

This should not only streamline the processes when accessing the living collections, but also assist with the linkages between the CPBR and ANBG. Feedback on the process would be useful.

[Judy West]

5.4 Advisory Committee Member

This month's Centre Advisory Committee Member is a new member who has not yet met with the whole Committee:

Brian Scarsbrick (CEO of Landcare Australia)

Brian Scarsbrick is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Landcare Australia Limited.

Brian studied at Macquarie University Sydney, Massey University New Zealand, and Hawkesbury Agricultural College, to gain a broadly based grounding in agricultural, biological and earth sciences. After 13 years as a front line Farm Advisory Officer, he served as Regional Director of Agriculture and Fisheries in two regions of New South Wales. Brian has been Chief Executive Officer of Landcare Australia for the past six years and in 1993 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study sustainable land management and sponsorship marketing in Europe and the USA.

Brian has a strong agricultural, conservation land management and Landcare background, especially in central eastern Australia

5.5 Visit by Peter Raven

Peter Raven, Director of Missouri Botanical Gardens, visited the Centre twice while he was in Canberra in connection with the CSIRO Entomology Conservation Biology symposium. It was his first tour of the Centre since it was formed, he had a general meeting with members of the Executive, a tour of the Centre herbarium buildings and labs, discussions with the orchid research staff, the conservation genetics program and a demonstration of the EUCLID interactive key. On a subsequent visit to the Centre he met with Judy West and Jim Croft to discuss the issues of the International Plant Name Index (IPNI), the plant name registration proposal for the next International Botanical Congress and possible collaboration with enhancement to the LucID interactive key software. He also met with Randy Bayer to talk about his research and old times in the US of A.

[Jim Croft]

5.6 Visit by Brent Mishler

Brent Mishler, a bryologist and Director of the Jepson Herbarium of UCLA Berkeley, is visiting Australia for two months as part of his research into the taxonomy of Mosses. He is using the Centre as a base and recently spent two weeks on field work in Queensland with Heinar Streimann; this field work was funded by Brent's grant. Some further local field work is planned and Brent has offered some of his grant to help support Heinar on fieldwork in Vanuatu to collect mosses. While in Canberra, Brent will present a seminar on his work and participate in the local 'Coopers and Cladistics' meetings.

[Jim Croft]

6. Other News

6.1 Happy Birthday Ted

Ted Moore celebrated his 90th birthday on Wednesday, 15 July. Congratulations and best wishes to Ted from everyone at the Centre.

[Jo Palmer]

6.2 Chris Puttock leaves for Hawaii

Chris will be leaving for Hawaii on 16 August to take up his new position as Collections Manager at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Bishop Museum houses the largest collection of plants of the Pacific region. It has some 600,000 vascular plant specimens, well in excess of 60,000 algal specimens, and several thousand fungi and lichens.

In the present arrangement of the Natural History Collections at the Bishop Museum Chris will be in charge of the herbarium and all its technical staff. He is already busy writing NSF grant proposals.

Chris' last day around the Centre will be 14 August. His email address at Bishop is already activated. It is <C.Puttock@bishop.hawaii.org>

[Chris Puttock]

6.3 ABRS News

Trevor Whiffin from La Trobe University spent a week at CPBR with Don Foreman (ABRS). Trevor and Don are working on the Monimiaceae treatment for Volume 2 of the Flora of Australia.

Bruce Maslin also visited CPBR, and Annette Wilson (ABRS) and he discussed the progress of the Acacia volumes (Volumes 11A & B of the Flora of Australia).

Ian Cresswell left the Flora Section of ABRS at the end of May to take up a 2 year appointment with the National Land and Water Resources Audit. His position will be filled only until the end of this 2 year appointment. Applications for the position have closed with interviews expected in early August.

Scott Gilmore has completed his short term contract to write parts of the treatments of Rhizogoniaceae and Bartramiaceae for one of the moss volumes (Volume 51) of the Flora of Australia. Scott has now begun study for Honours at the Australian National University (on mosses).

Application for Flora Grants in 1999 closed on 17 June 1998. The grants are currently being processed. Applications for the Australian Botanical Liaison Officer (ABLO) in Kew, UK, in 2000/2001 close on 1 September 1998. Copies of the duty statement and selection criteria are available from Director, Flora (02) 6250 9443, fax (02) 6250 9448.

[Helen Thompson]

6.4 What does Helen Hewson do these days?

Apart from disturbing the dust, the leaves, and the spiders (slightly more frequently) at Gunning, I have a number of conservation and botany-type projects running. By far the most interesting, and time consuming, is the preparation of a book on the history of botanical illustration. This is to be published by CSIRO Publishing and fits into the "arty-farty" category. Consequently I rush (frequently) between the computer and the library; drool over exquisite plates in rare books; and consult various indexes and references such as Taxonomic Literature II. The timeliness of the Ferdinand Bauer Exhibition at the Australian National Library was fortuitous to say the least. As for Peter Good, the value of his collecting was more to the stocking of the garden at Kew than to enriching the herbarium collection of Robert Brown. In researching this book I am learning a lot about Australia's history which, in retrospect, is much more interesting than the Kings and Queens of England. I am learning a lot that I did not know before. For example did you know that Conrad Martens was the artist aboard the survey vessel, the Beagle, with Charles Darwin; and, Louisa Atkinson married James Calvert who was the botanist on the Leichhardt expedition to Port Essington (1844-45); and John Gilbert, who died on that Leichhardt expedition, was a collector for John Gould; and, that John Gould's bird illustrations (with their plant backgrounds) were prepared by his wife, Elizabeth Gould, she dying before the sketches were lithographed for the Birds of Australia - reminiscent of the untimely death of Sydney Parkinson, botanical artist with Joseph Banks on James Cook's first voyage of exploration in the Pacific? How about that for a horrible sentence! More next time.

[Helen Hewson]

6.5 ANBG Library News

Some of the new publications in the ANBG Library:

"Vegetation survey & mapping of Jervis Bay Territory" by Nicki Taws. Taws Botanical Research, Jamison, ACT, 1997. 581.9947 TAW

"Fire & vegetation management in Jervis Bay Territory" by Nicki Taws. Taws Botanical Research, Jamison, ACT, 1998. 577.209947 TAW

"Amalie Dietrich (1821-1891) : German biologist in Australia" edited by Ulrich Luttge. Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart, 1988. 508.092 AMA

"Biodiversity II : understanding & protecting our biological resources" edited by Marjorie L. Reaka-Kudla, Don E. Wilson, & Edward O. Wilson. Joseph Henry Press, Washington, D.C., 1997. 333.95 BIO

Internet Sites

* ANBG Library Catalogue


The Horizon Library Catalogue is available via the internet. You can search for books or journals held in the Environment Australia libraries.

* Orchid Research Newsletter


This site contains the full text of the Orchid Research Newsletter.

* Orchids Australia


On this site are listed forthcoming major orchid conferences, contents pages of the 'Orchids Australia' journal and links to Australian and overseas orchid sites.

* UnCoverWeb


UNCOVER is a database of journal articles in the sciences & humanities areas. The database can be searched by author, title or keywork, free of charge. To search the database, click on "Search UnCover" button. Then click on "Search UnCover Now" button. You do not need a password or profile number to search.

[Linda Harris]

7. Diary of Events/Activities

DateEvent/Activity WhoDetails (relate to projects)
1-22 AugustLichen Study Thai VisitorsTwo post-graduate students from Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand are visiting Canberra to study lichens with Pat McCarthy (ABRS) and Prof. Jack Elix (ANU)
8 August - 3 SeptemberIOPB meeting - Amsterdam Randy BayerPresenting paper on Polyploidy and visiting University of Rennes and giving Antennaria paper
8 August - 12 SeptemberWA Field Trip Ian Brooker and Andrew SleeField trip to WA for EUCLID II
9-14 August7th International Congress of Plant Pathology - Edinburgh Jeremy BurdonChairing one symposium; speaking at two
14-23 AugustVisit to Umeå University, Sweden Jeremy BurdonResearch collaboration on host-pathogen systems
17 AugustBotanical Services Officer Brendan LepschiBrendan to take up Botanical Services Officer position
17-31 AugustOverseas Visitor Dr Brent Mishler, University of California Collecting trip to Australia to study mosses with Heinar Streimann
20 August - mid December 1998 Churchill Fellowship Award - Travel to Europe Heino Lepp & Judith CurnowTo study fungi in Europe and attend various Mycological
21 August - 12 SeptemberIPGRI - Rome Tony Brown Tony to attend the International Plant Genetics Resource Institute meeting in Rome
24-27 AugustARC meetings Jeremy BurdonJeremy will be the ARC meeting in Canberra for 4 days
26 & 27 AugustABRS Advisory Committee Judy WestGrant allocations
2-4 SeptemberHISCOM Meeting Centre IT staff and 14 delegates from interstate Meeting on herbaria database issues and standards. To be held in the Map Room
7-9 SeptBiological Diversity Advisory Committee Canberra Judy West
6-14 SeptemberAsian Pacific Orchid Conference/field work - Townsville Mark Clements, David Jones, Anne Mackenzie (RSBS) Mark and Anne jointly presenting two posters. David presenting a paper
20-30 September Review of Natural History Museum, London Research Judy WestReview of NHM research programs
27 September - 2 OctoberMonocot Conference - Sydney Mark Clements, David Jones, Maggie Nightingale, Randy Bayer Mark presenting paper on orchid embryology
10-12 NovemberCHAH Meeting Heads of HerbariaCHAH meeting to be held at the ANH - one day retreat and two day meeting. (Followed by two one-day field trips)
16 NovemberPDFElizabeth Watkin Elizabeth to take up the 2-year post-doctoral position in legume-rhizobia interactions

CPBR News is compiled by Suzie Dietrich (suzie.dietrich@pi.csiro.au),
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research

Return to the CPBR News Page

Placed here 24 April, 2006 by Andrew Lyne
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