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Issue 65: November 2004

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. Staffing News

Summer Students

Six students have been awarded Summer Scholarships with Program U. The scholarships will run for a 10 week period from 6 December 2004 to 11 February 2005 and successful applicants will undertake full-time work on the chosen project, present a short seminar and write a two page report for the Centre website. A list of students, projects and supervisors is provided below:




Susan Brandner

Interactions between Mycorrhizal Fungi and a Rare Orchid Hybrid

Tupac Otero

Todd Green

(funded through CSIRO Plant Industry Summer Student Program)

Interactions between Soil Microfloral Diversity and Fusarium Wilt of Cotton

Bo Wang

Imogen Malpas

Phylogeography and Evolution of the Grey Fantail Complex in Australia

Terry Chesser (CSE)

Nathan Potter

Evaluation of inoculation methods to determine disease response of cultivated and native cotton cultivars to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp vasinfectum

Augusto Becerra

Tristan Reekie

Evolutionary Relationships among Rust Fungi in the Family Melampsoraceae

Marlien van der Merwe

Gemma Topping

(funded through CSIRO Plant Industry Summer Student Program)

Evolutionary Relationships in the Paper Daisy Genus Helichrysum Mill.

Matt Unwin


[Val Oliver]


2. Australian National Herbarium

2005 Internship Program

Eighteen students will join the CPBR in early January, as part of the 13th annual Student Botanical Internship Program. The Program will include the traditional four-day field trip to Jervis Bay, continuing the assessment of vegetation recovering from the late 2003 bushfires. Curatorial efforts this year will focus largely on the processing of QRS duplicate specimens. Research assistance will also be provided to the CPBR study on ecological and genetic constraints on population persistence within areas of remnant vegetation. The enthusiasm of the students has definitely come through in their applications; I am sure all staff will make them feel welcome when they arrive on the 4th January.

[Anthony Whalen]


3. Research Groups

Professor Brian Murray

The last three weeks has seen Prof Brian Murray (Auckland University NZ) in the lab working with a range of staff on a variety of projects in UB including work on Swainsona, Acacia, Linum, Glycine and Austrodanthonia, as well as finishing up some work on Metrosideros. As always the time has been very productive and the cytogenetic work is providing critical insights into interpretation of our molecular data.

[Andrew Young]


Eucalyptus foelscheana, the policeman, and Darwin photos...

For those with an interest in the old Northern Territory there is an excellent exhibition on at the National Archives (behind Old Parliament House). Paul Foelsche was first Inspector of Police at Darwin from 1869 and a keen photographer in the days of wet plate glass negatives. His photos reproduced digitally from these glass plate negatives are really worth seeing. They are mostly town-scapes, landscapes and photos of the local Aboriginals.

He also collected specimens for Mueller, and the exhibition even includes a couple of these. Eucalyptus foelscheana was named by Mueller in his honour.

Exhibition: 'The Policeman's Eye', 18 Nov - 6 Feb, National Archives of Australia.

[Murray Fagg]


Dampiera fusca, a new species for the ACT

Jo Walker (Australian Native Plant Society) recently reported to the CPBR an occurrence of Dampiera fusca growing at Booroomba Rocks in Namadgi National Park. This plant was previously unknown to the ACT, the closest previous collection being in the Tinderry Ranges.

A day trip to Booroomba Rocks was undertaken to collect Dampiera material in mid November. David Mallinson, Anthony Whalen, Jo Walker and visiting research scientist Cynthia Morton explored the hilltops around Booroomba Rocks. Two populations, each of several thousand plants were found in full flower. The local abundance seems to relate to the species being an early recoloniser after the intense burning of these sites during the January 2003 fires. Herbarium specimens of the Dampiera and several Rutaceae species were collected. Cynthia Morton is working on the phylogeny of Rutaceae and required fresh DNA samples.

Booroomba Rocks is also known for an undescribed species of Logania. Anthony Whalen recorded one population of about 30 plants in 2001 as part of a revision of the Logania albiflora complex. This being the first trip back to this population since the fires revealed the former generation had been completely burnt. Large numbers of Logania seedlings were found growing around previously recorded female plants. It seems Dampiera fusca is not the only species to take advantage of a good burn!

[Anthony Whalen]


  1. Seminars

The next CPBR seminar is by Loren H. Rieseberg on 15 December at 12.30pm in the Herbarium tea room and titled:

"Hybridization, Adaptive Evolution, and Speciation in Annual Sunflowers"

[Tupac Otero]


5. Other News

CPBR Staff and Visitor Handbook

A handbook has been compiled providing a summary of information, facilities and services of the Centre and the Herbarium for staff, particularly new staff, and for visitors. The URL for the handbook is

Feedback on the Handbook would be appreciated together with any updated information to keep it current.

[Val Oliver]


CPBR Executive Committee

The next meeting of the Executive Committee is 9 February 2005

[Val Oliver]


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone

Updated 3 December, 2004 , webmaster, CANBR (