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Issue 52- March 2003

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

Retirement of Peter Moore

Peter commenced work with Plant Industry in the Grassland Agronomy section on 22 May 1967. During the next seven years a large part of his time was spent at the "Animal House" located at Ginninderra Experimental Station (now the suburb Giralang) where he assisted with the study of the digestibility of pasture plants, which involved many tasks he would prefer to forget!

Peter then moved to Black Mountain to work in the Agricultural Systems/Crop Adaptation section, where he ran numerous field and glasshouse experiments on soybeans for a period of seven years.

For the next twenty years he worked in the Fire Ecology group and contributed to the development, construction and deployment of equipment used to collect bushfire data electronically. He used this equipment to collect data from experimental fires in north and south-west Western Australia, Eden in south-east New South Wales, Kakadu in the Northern Territory as well as from local fires. The analysis of large data sets, particularly weather data, also occupied much of Peter’s time.

Peter moved to the Australian National Herbarium (ANH) eight years ago while still working in the fire ecology group (then a group of three and soon to be two). He was Building Fire Warden and Assistant Building Manager for the ANH, and also had responsibility for the Herbarium vehicles. He took on the role of Building Manager in 1989.

Two and a half years ago, when the Fire Ecology group was disbanded, Peter found himself working in the Weeds group. Leading up to his retirement he has also been assisting with other projects in the Program.

The Program and Centre wishes Peter a happy retirement.

[Peter Moore/Val Oliver]

Gudrun Wells

Gudrun Wells is working on the Plants, People and Planning project with Andrew Young until end June 2003. This project will provide information regarding the use of national botanical datasets in regional planning, advice about factors limiting the use of such information and recommendations regarding targeting Commonwealth investment to improve the accessibility and utility of these data. The project will gather information on use of botanical information in regional vegetation planning from a range of users involved in a broad array of vegetation planning and management activities at a variety of scales (e.g. state government, Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and Catchment Management Boards (CMBs), local government, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), Landcare groups and landholders). To facilitate this vertical approach to understanding botanical data use, the project will study four sample catchments in Victoria (Glenelg-Hopkins and North Central) and southern NSW (the Lachlan and the Murray). These catchments give a comparison between two different state systems with regard to vegetation planning and management infrastructure, and also provide a comparison between different levels of funding for vegetation management. All four catchments have vegetation planning issues associated with clearing and salinity.

Several methods will be employed to obtain information regarding the use of national botanical information and how this relates to the level of planning or management being undertaken, the regional vegetation issues and the infrastructural context.

[Gudrun Wells]


2. Research Groups

Teguh Triono

Teguh Triono is a PhD student working with Mike Crisp (ANU), Judy West, and Tony Brown (CPBR). His project will look at the Phylogeny and Biogeography of Genus Pouteria (Sapotaceae) in Malesia and Australasia based on morphology and molecular data.

The aims of his research are to investigate the taxonomic delimitation and the evolutionary relationship of Malesian Pouteria in its current broad sense as well as investigate its pattern of distribution. This research is expected to provide greater understanding of the circumscription of all taxa currently included in Pouteria throughout the Australasian and Malesian regions.

[Val Oliver]


CPBR Seminar

David Eddy from WWF Australia will present our next seminar: "Threatened native grasslands and herbaceous flora of Monaro".
Thursday 3 April 2003
Herbarium Tea Room


3. Education and Communication

Photos for All Tastes

The range of publications using images from our collection is expanding to reach many different readers. This week we received a copy of Biology of Acacia Advances in Legume Systematics Part 11 (from Australian Systematic Botany) using one of our images on the front cover and two on the back.

In the same post we received a copy of Family Circle for April with a gardening article entitled 'Totally Wild'. Among the photos of frogs, birds and butterflies are another three images of plants from our collection.

Nice to know that our audience is so diversified - just imagine how many people will come across the Family Circle in doctor's waiting rooms for years to come.

[Jan Wilson]


Media Articles

Publications containing information relating to the Centre/Program:

Publication: Australian Horticulture Centenary Special, Mar 2003
Heading: Canberra: bushland setting for national garden, Page: 35

Publication: Australian Geographic 70, Apr-Jun 2003
Section: Corroboree
Heading: Australia’s virtual herbarium, Page: 24

Publication: Australian Geographic 70, Apr-Jun 2003
Heading: The tree amigos, Page: 15

[Val Oliver]


4. Information Technology and Data Management

Exciting Times

Type photography is about to take a step into the digital world. Our Nikon D1x digital camera is soon to be incorporated into the existing film-based type photography program. The digital images we capture will provide us with a number of benefits not least of which will be accessability. Digital means we now have an easy means of getting images into the database. Once in the database we can access the images via our web browsers. And should we wish to print a hard copy of the image to lay in the general collection we can do that in-house.

These are exciting times. Australia's Virtual Herbarium is seeing us database our specimen label information and now, as a perfect dovetail, digital means we can now capture photographically additional specimen information. Perhaps soon we will be digitally photographing every specimen in the collection? Now there's an Interns project!'

[Andrew Lyne]


5. General Centre Matters

We would like to thank everyone in the Centre and the Gardens, plus some people from as far as Adelaide (AD) and Christchurch (CHR), for their personal support and the completely unexpected financial help.

One of the many things we lost in the fire was an ash (Eucalyptus regnans) table that was the centre of all domestic life at 4 Brewster Place Duffy. We have found an almost identical one made by Uneke Furniture in Bungendore to replace it and will spend your donations on that plus some chairs to go with it.

We have settled fairly comfortably into a townhouse in Holder and the old place ("the ruin") should be demolished and cleared next week on about the 1 April. Some things are sprouting in the front garden including Eucalyptus pumila, E. froggattii, Brachychiton populneus, Lomatia myricoides and Elaeocarpos reticulatus.

Thanks everyone

[Andrew, Jen, Zoe and Harriet]


Next Program U/Centre meeting

The next Program U/Centre formal meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 9 April in the ANH Tearoom at 10.15 am.

[Val Oliver]