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- CPBR News 11-

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

For the information of CPBR and ANBG staff and volunteers

December, 1998

Director's Christmas Wishes

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Have a good break and I look forward to a productive 1999.

[Judy West]

1. Herbarium and Services

1.1 1999 Student Botanical Internship Program

Twenty individuals were offered placements in the 1999 Program, and as of this week all successful applicants have accepted. A draft list of participants (along with a provisional work program) has been circulated to CPBR staff. For the 1999 Program we will be hosting Interns from institutions in the ACT, NSW, Qld, SA, WA and (potentially) the USA, with the ACT and NSW best represented, as in previous years.

Intern duties have largely been finalised, but we are happy to consider additional tasks as 'backup' in case circumstances do not allow completion of what we presently have allocated. See Brendan or Bob if you have any queries or comments on the Intern Program.

[Brendan Lepschi]

2. Research Groups

2.1 A Flying Visit to Portugal

I was surprised to find three hundred registrants from 30 countries when I attended the combined Third International Forest Fire Research Conference and the 14th Conference on Fire and Forest Meteorology in Portugal recently. The history of these meetings has been with Europe in the first case and North America in the second. There is a great deal of activity and enthusiasm for matters pyric in Europe these days as the rural scene there continues to change and severe fire events continue to increase. Greece has been the latest European country to experience severe fires and two conferences have been scheduled there in the next three months.

The main benefits of attending the meeting can be summarised as:

    (i) the 2,600 page Proceedings;

    (ii) the opportunity to share ideas, scientific information and news; and,

    (iii) seeing the countryside.

The one and a half day study tour was to the northern border (with Spain) in Montesinho "Natural Park". This is a large mountainous area of many villages interspersed with public land. It is more like a Man-and-the-Biosphere-Reserve area than a National Park. The village we visited consisted of quaint stone (schist) and wooden (chestnut?) buildings set in a picturesque valley of meadows and gardens. Pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, chooks and pigeons were raised there. The slopes support little groves of chestnuts surrounded by heath (Erica sp. mainly). The wilder areas support deer and wolves among other animals. The locals use fire to improve grazing value. With shifts of rural populations to the cities, traditional burning ceases and large fires become more common.

[Malcolm Gill]

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.

4. Education and Communication

5. General Centre Matters

5.1 Fumigation Reminder

Just to remind all staff of the 'fumigation' of the Centre buildings 502 and 502A on the CSIRO site on the 24th December. The Building will need to be vacated from 3pm, 24th December and will be safe to enter by the next working day, 30th December. A notice will go out about covering equipment and opening cupboards and drawers etc. early next week.

[Jo Palmer and Joan Graham]

5.2 Centre Get Together

The Centre held an end-of-year Get Together for staff and collaborators on Wednesday, 16 December under the Oak tree. It was great to see so many staff and associates join us. A special thank you to Joan Graham, Pennie Hohnen and Julie Paul for their efforts in making this event so successful.

Thank you to all staff who participated.

[Judy West]

5.3 Building Extension - Long Term Plans

The Board and the Review team have recognised a need to plan for incorporation of all the herbarium collections and all staff into one building. In preparation of any major proposal for a building extension, the Director has asked the Building Manager, Ms Joan Graham, to document the requirements for space and resources for research (including labs), the collections and for staff, and to prepare first draft plans to incorporate the whole collection (except the rain forest collection at Atherton) and all Centre staff into one building. Joan will be asking staff for input (probably in small groups).

Since we have to find the funding, hopefully from CSIRO and EA, but perhaps also from an external sponsor, the earliest that any building could begin would be at the end of the next triennium, ie in about four years time.

[Judy West]

6. Other News

6.1 ANBG Parking Permits

Four ANBG Parking Permits are available for Centre staff who are required to visit the ANBG on business. Permits will be kept at Centre Reception and Judith Campbell has been asked to keep track of usage rates. Staff will be required to sign a Permit in and out.

[Suzie Dietrich]

6.2 ANBG Library

The ANBG Library will be closed from Christmas Eve to the 4th of January. There will be minimal library services from 21-24 December.

Linda Harris is on leave for 12 months and Eleanor Galvin will be replacing Linda for at least the next 3 months.

The ANBG Library now has a home page which links to the library catalogue, journals list, subject bibliographies and many other sites.

The address is:


(Please note that 'LIBRARY' must be in upper case)

[Linda Harris]

6.3 Reorganisation of the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS)

As a result of the review of ABRS in late 1997/early 1998, and actions flowing from that review, it has been decided to reorganise the internal structure of ABRS.

Under the new structure, all publishing and related activities (paper-based and electronic; Flora, Fauna and other groups) will be brought together in one Section (called ABRS Publication Section), while policy, strategic planning, partnership developments, international activities, budget, grants administration and other non-publishing activities will become the responsibility of ABRS Strategies and Research Section. The Publication Section will be headed by Tony Orchard, while Jean Just will be Director of ABRS Strategies and Research Section.

It is intended that the new structure will provide a new focus for ABRS activities, with the adoption of a "biodiversity" approach instead of the traditional "Flora" and "Fauna" focus. To this end, the separate Flora Editorial and Fauna Editorial Committees will be merged into a single ABRS Editorial Committee, and its duties will be redefined to include policy-related matters as well as the more process-oriented focus that the separate committees have had in the past.

The new organisational structure is expected to be in place by 1 January 1999.

[Tony Orchard]

6.4 Flora of Australia Volume 1 Introduction (2nd edition)

This book has now gone to press and is expected to be available about March 1999. It is completely rewritten from the first edition of 1981, and is about 3 times the size (680 pages). It contains authoritative review essays on a wide range of topics underpinning Australian taxonomic botany, and should become one of the standard references for information on these topics. Special efforts have been made to provide copious references to wider reading. Topics covered are:

    Introduction (A.E.Orchard)

    A History of Systematic Botany in Australia (A.E.Orchard)

    Development of the Flora of Australia Project (A.S.George, A.McCusker and A.E.Orchard)

    Classification, Phylogeny and the Flora of Australia (A.Kanis, M.D.Crisp and A.E.Orchard)

    Annotated Bibliography (A.E.Orchard and A.S.George)

    Evolution of Australian Environments (L.A.Frakes)

    Present Environmental Influences on the Australian Flora (M.D.Fox)

    Evolution of the Australian Flora: Fossil Evidence (R.S.Hill, E.M.Truswell, S.McLoughlin and M.E.Dettman)

    Biogeography of the Terrestrial Flora (M.D.Crisp, J.G.West and H.P.Linder)

    Present Vegetation Types (R.H.Groves)

    The Aquatic Flora :

    Terrestrial Wetlands and Waterplants (S.W.L.Jacobs)

    Mangroves (P.Bridgewater)

    Marine (D.I.Walker)

    Utilisation of the Australian Flora (A.E.Orchard and A.J.G.Wilson)

    Images of Australian Plants (H.J.Hewson)

    Conserving Australia's Flora (I.D.Cresswell)

    Key to Families of Australian Plants (A.E.Orchard)

    Glossary (A.McCusker)

It is likely that a LucID-based interactive key to Australian flowering plant families (compiled by L.Adams and K.Thiele) will be included as an insert.

[Tony Orchard]

6.5 The Global Taxonomy Initiative: Shortening the Distance Between Discovery and Delivery

This report, of a meeting in London in September 1998, convened by Diversitas, Environment Australia, and the Global Environment Facility's Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, has been published by ABRS. A limited number of copies are available for those who need one (a copy has been given to the CPBR library and can be consulted there). Ask Tony Orchard (tony.orchard@deh.gov.au) if you need a personal copy.

[Tony Orchard]

7. Diary of Events/Activities

24 Dec
Fumigation of ANH
The herbarium buildings will be fumigated on Thursday, 24 December at 3:00 pm. The buildings can be reoccupied from Monday, 28 December.

4 Jan - 26 Feb

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

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Placed here 15 November, 1999 by Andrew Lyne
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