Issue 33: February 2001



News from the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research, Australian National Herbarium (CANB), for the information of CPBR and ANBG staff and volunteers.


CPBR News is produced monthly. If you wish to contribute, please email your suggestions to Val Oliver, the coordinator.


Val Oliver: ph (02) 6246 5533; fax (02) 6246 5249; email:


1. Herbarium and Services



2. Research Groups


Book Launch

Close to 100 people gathered for an early morning breakfast on Wednesday 7 February to celebrate the launching of the new book, Genetics, Demography and Viability of Fragmented Populations. Co-edited by Dr Andrew Young of CSIRO Plant Industry and Dr Geoff Clarke of CSIRO Entomology the book was officially launched by Dr Sharman Stone MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Environment and Heritage and Dr Geoff Garrett, CSIRO’s Chief Executive.

Bringing together research from across the world the book investigates the genetic and ecological threats limiting the survival prospects of plants and animals living in small isolated populations. Methods of better managing these isolated populations are also suggested.

Copies are available at the ANU Co-op Bookshop for $76.95 (paperback).

[The Yellow Sheet No.04/01 - 26 February - 9 March, 2001, page 5]


CPBR Seminar Anouncement

Reid Palmer of the USDA and Iowa State University is currently working at the Centre with Tony Brown. Reid will present a seminar Thursday, March 15 and 12:30 in the Centre's tearoom. The seminar is titled "Nectar production and floral morphology of perennial Glycine species."


Summer Scholarship Student Projects

As a summer scholarship student at the CPBR for 2000/2001, I was working on a project with Rogier de Kok looking at the phylogenetic relationships present within genus Pultenaea (Fabaceae:Mirbelieae) using sequences of the trnL/F region on the chloroplast chromosome. Altogether I sequenced 65 taxa, and the resultant phylogeny was very informative and quite well resolved. The phylogeny suggested that Pultenaea is not a monophyletic genus and that several species may need to be removed from it. Some strong correlations between clades in the phylogeny and morphological characters has led to a better understanding of the subgeneric groups present in Pultenaea, and will hopefully enable a reliable subgeneric classification scheme to be constructed for the first time in over 200 years.

[Lindy Orthia]


Summer Scholarship student Matthew Rawlings’ project report on Eucalyptus cladocalyx is available on the web at Scholarships.


Legume Interaction Key Project

Ed Biffin has been employed for eight (8) months coding taxa and collecting images and contributions from other legume workers. Ed’s employment is supported by ABRS.

The 4th International Legume Conference will be held at the Australian National University, Monday July 2 to Friday July, 2001.

[Val Oliver]


3. Information Technology and Data Management

3.1 WWW Site

The URL for the Centre can be found at:

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


Interns assist with Slide Collection

Janet Sparrow and Renee Watson spent two weeks of their internship assisting with the Slide Collection at the Gardens.

They sorted, checked and resorted Fabaceae slides until they had selected enough little pea flowers to make 4 Kodak photo CD's. These will be loaded onto the Web site and all users will be able to access these images. Hopefully they will also contribute image resources for the Fabaceae interactive key and other FABulous activities leading up to the conference in July this year.

It was a delight to have these two young people working with the collection and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

[Jan Wilson, Photograph Curator

Australian National Botanic Gardens]



4. Education and Communication

Federation Flowers

In the lead-up to the Centenary of Federation each state or territory was asked to choose a symbolic flower to celebrate the year. I understand that they were all asked that their state Federation Committee consult with their botanic gardens on this. Perhaps that's why the ACT finished up with a rose because they had no botanic gardens of their own to consult with (only the National Rose Garden) and couldn't bring themselves to discuss the matter with a 'national' institution.

While NSW widely publicised their choice of Actinotus helianthi forms marketed as 'Federation Stars', getting the information from the other states has been a bit like extracting teeth. There seemed to be no central point for finding the names for all the state Federation Flowers, despite quite a bit of public interest.

I've put a web page on the Gardens' site for those interested in the choice each state or territory made, Federation Flora:

[Murray Fagg]


  1. General Centre Matters

Helen Hewson - Honorary Associate

The Centre's Executive Committee has approved a proposal for Helen to be associated with the Centre in two major project areas, i.e. further development of the inclusion of bryophytes into the APNI database and the establishment of a database of scientific illustrations of Australian plants linked to APNI.

Helen is planning to work in the Centre on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week and we look forward to her continuing valuable contribution to the Centre.


[Val Oliver]









CPBR Report

We are now in the process of producing the next CPBR Report covering the period July 98 to December 2000. We expect to have first drafts of the text prepared in the next couple of weeks and aiming at publishing in March 2001. The team putting it together is Val, Judy and Murray. If you have comments on the 1996/98 Centre Report and ideas on the content of this next one please feel free to raise it with any of us.



6. Other News



7. Diary of Events/Activities




Details (relate to projects)

8 March

100th Anniversary of NSW Herbarium

Judy West, Jim Croft

Function at Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney

9 March

Executive Cte mtg

Executive Committee

Agreed agenda

12-15 March

Review of Kew Science

Judy West


3-4 April

Biodiversity Sector, AC

Jeremy Burdon & Judy West

Regional location