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- HerbNews 2 -

News items from the Australian National Herbarium,
for information of CPBR and ANBG staff and Volunteers

May, 1997

New Faces (Volunteers)

Welcome to new Volunteers Scott Gilmour, Justin Wood, and Caitlin Johns. Scott was a participant in the 1997 Interns Program, and is now continuing with volunteer work in Cryptogams (on the ANBG site) in what spare time his studies at ANU allow. Caitlin and Justin are students in ANU second-year biology, and are working with us for a half-day per week in the Vascular Mounting area on the CSIRO site.

New Faces (Staff)

Welcome to RANDY BAYER, newly appointed Research Scientist in the CPBR's taxonomic research program. Randy has come from the University of Alberta, and will be working in the area of molecular systematics. He has interests in Asteraceae, with other target groups to be decided.

Welcome to PETER THRALL, starting a post-doctoral position for 2.5 years, on the CSIRO site with Jeremy Burdon on plant pathogens. Peter is from Duke University, North Carolina, USA.

Welcome to JUDITH CAMPBELL, new CPBR Receptionist and part-time databaser. Judith sits in the office immediately inside the main entrance to the CPBR buildings on the CSIRO site.

JULIE PAUL is with us on temporary contract in Sara York's databasing position, working on both sites. Recruitment for this position through to the end of the financial year is underway.

JEN JOHNSON finishes her stint as an ABRS-funded assistant to Heinar Streimann about now, but after a complicated game of musical chairs we have been able to keep her on (hopefully until the end of the year), as a general technician in Cryptogams.

JIM MANT is on temporary money (to July) helping to database specimens. Jim was one of last summer's Student Interns, and will be starting his Honours at ANU in second semester.

LYN MEREDITH, from the Threatened Species and Communities Section at Belconnen, will be moving to the Centre's CSIRO site soon, on TSCS money. Lyn will be wrangling the ROTAP (Rare Plants) database and associated work.

Staff Movements and Appointments

FAYE DAVIES will be dropping back to permanent part-time work (3 days/week) from early June. On those three days, she will continue with her present mix of duties, especially working with our Volunteer team on both sites. We wish Faye well with her new-found leisure time.

IAN TELFORD has been back with us, but has now resumed his long-service leave. He will rejoin us for a month in July. Ian is looking towards retirement in October or thereabouts.

FRANK UDOVICIC has completed his post-doctoral position with us and has moved to work at the University of Melbourne.

JUDITH CURNOW is on leave for most of May, during which time she will be attending a bryological workshop in New Zealand and fossicking for fungi and bryophytes on Norfolk Island.

BOB MAKINSON has been appointed as Chair of the national Endangered Flora Network (a committee under ANZECC, the Aust./NZ council of environment ministers and departments). The EFN held its annual meeting at the ANBG in April.

HEINAR STREIMANN is currently on field-work in Tasmanian connection with his ABRS-funded treatment of the moss family Hookeriaceae for the Flora of Australia.

DAVID JONES is in New Zealand for two weeks work on the Catalogue of NZ Orchidaceae (collaborative with Brian Molly at DSIR Christchurch).

MARK CLEMENTS is in Europe visiting herbaria to study orchid collections; the trip has largely been funded by the Sainsbury Trust.

Bryophyte Bursary

JUDITH CURNOW was 1996 recipient of the annual ANBG Staff Bursary, provided by the Friends of the ANBG organisation. The bursary enabled her to attend the 12th John Child Bryological Workshop in New Zealand, and to visit several NZ herbaria. HEINO LEPP (CPBR Associate) also attended and covered macrofungal aspects. Judith has provided a full report on the trip, a copy of which is available in the ANBG Library, or from her.

Orchid Lab Move

The Orchid Micropropagation Lab has moved from Level 2 to level 3 on the CSIRO site. The Level 3 lab remains available for all general microscopy work.

CPBR Advisory Committee Meeting

A meeting of the Advisory Committee was held on April 24. Reports by Centre staff were given on the 1997 Interns Program, 1997 Summer Studentship, and on current Weeds research projects. The AC and several members of Centre management then spent a couple of hours workshopping ideas for possible sources of sponsorhip money for Centre projects, including herbarium functions. These ideas will be pursued over coming weeks.

Canberra Institute of Technology Students Visiting, 19 May

A group of 15-20 students from CIT's Faculty of Applied Science (Bruce campus) will visit the CSIRO site on Monday, 19 May. The students are basically technicians-in-training, and will be talking to staff about career options and seeing some of what Centre technical staff do.

Centre Staff to Indonesia

JUDY WEST, PENNIE HOHNEN, JO PALMER, KIRSTEN COWLEY, and LYN CRAVEN spent periods of 2-4 weeks in Indonesia in March/April, training curators and technicians at Herbarium Bogoriense. This is part of our continuing involvement in a major biodiversity project in Indonesia, funded by the Global Environment Fund. The training went well for both our staff and those at Bogor. Bogor has adopted an excellent system whereby professional staff (taxonomists, ecologists, and ethnobotanists) all accept responsibility for curation and enquiry servicing for parts of the herbarium collections, with technical support for more routine aspects.


CPBR is entering an arrangement with a "rapid biodiversity assessment" project for Papua New Guinea, funded by the World Bank. This will see five staff (including at least two from PNG) employed at CPBR early in the new financial year, to receive data-entry training and to fully database all our PNG-origin herbarium specimens. More details in next issue.

Visitors and Displays

Visiting groups to CPBR in late April included participants in the "Megascience - Inventory of Life" forum, an OECD Bioinformatics group, and a group from the Australian Horticultural Journalists Association. JOAN GRAHAM, SUZIE DIETRICH, MURRAY FAGG, and JOHN CONNORS bore the brunt of the organisation. Visitor responses to CPBR activities were very positive, and we look like getting some coverage in the horticultural press.

Field Work

ANDREW LYNE (from Herbarium), STUART DONALDSON and DEBORAH EDWARDS (both from ANBG Living Collections) recently spent a week collecting in the Northern Tableands of N.S.W. Andrew sampled more populations of Leptospermum brevipes for his studies. About 260 collections (vouchers, cuttings, and seed) of a wide range of taxa suitable for growing in Canberra were made for the ANBG Living Collections.

Miscellaneous Achievements

JO PALMER has submitted her monograph paper on Gomphrena (Amaranthaceae) to the journal Australian Systematic Botany. Preparation of the Flora of Australia treatment of the family is continuing.

ANDREW LYNE has finished his Grad. Dip. Sci. at the ANU. The study involved examining the variation exhibited by Leptospermum brevipes (sens. lat.) and the relationship between Leptospermum and some other closely related genera.

IAN BROOKER reports that EUCLID (Interactive Identification Key to Eucalypts) is progressing apace, and it is hoped to have a complete version for south-eastern Australia by the end of June. Users will then have available descriptions, colour pictures, distributions, and an easy-to-use key.

Why, you ask, is your miscellaneous achievement of the last month not featured here? Because you didn't let us know about it! Copy on Herbarium-related news items to Bob M or Andrew L, please, preferably by email.


This segment revives an old ANBG tradition of disseminating selected botanical news, especially for non-scientific staff and volunteers. This issue's contribution is a digest of two recent papers from Austrobaileya, house journal of the Queensland Herbarium, that may be of interest to horticulturalists and others interested in the Australian flora. It is supplied by IAN TELFORD.

Forster, P.I. and Hyland, B.P.M. (1997): Two new species of Eucryphia (Cunoniaceae) from Queensland, Austrobaileya 4: 589-596.

Until recently, the northern limit for the genus was Robertson, N.S.W. (northern limit of E. moorei).This paper names two new species, extending the known range of the genus northwards to far North Queensland. Discovered as recently as 1994, E. jinksii is restricted to a single grove of trees on Springbrook, McPherson Range, Qld. E. wilkiei occurs as a single population on Mount Bartle Frere, Bellenden Ker Range, Qld.

[Both species are in cultivation at the ANBG. E. wilkiei has been grown from cuttings collected by Stuart Donaldson and Ian Telford last July - the first successful propagation of this extremely restricted species.]

Bean, A.R. (1997): Reinstatement of the genus Babingtonia Lindl. (Myrtaceae), Austrobaileya 4: 627-646.

The genus Babingtonia was named by John Lindley in 1842, but was never widely taken up for Australian taxa and was effectively sunk by Bentham's (1866) synonymizing it (along with several other supposed genera) under Baeckaea. Tony Bean reinstates Babingtonia as separate from Baeckea, with several new species named. Importantly, Baeckea virgata has become Babbingtonia virgata. The B. virgata species complex is still under study by Bean, and no doubt several new species will be segregated from what we know as a very variable species. The type of the species is from New Caledonia, which would be an unusual disjunction for a shrubby species - hopefully there will be a further critical assessment of whether the Australian taxon is really of this species or not.

HerbNews is compiled by Bob Makinson (rom@anbg.gov.au),
Curator, Australian National Herbarium

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Placed here 15 November, 1999 by Andrew Lyne (al@anbg.gov.au)