Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born in East Freemantle, Western Australia, on 4 April 1939.
Schooling: Applecross Primary and Wesley Collge, Perth, WA
Tertiary education: Univ of Western Australia.
A member of staff of the Western Australian Herbarium 1959-1981.
From 19 January 1981 to 1993 he was foundation Executive Editor of the Flora of Australia.
His research activities span Caesalpiniaceae, Myrtaceae, Orchidaceae and Proteaceae, and he is perhaps best known for work on Banksia, Dryandra, Synaphea and Verticordia. His main herbarium (17 000+ numbers) is in PERTH.
He was Australian Botanical Liaison Officer (ABLO) in Kew, UK, Dec 1967 - Dec 1968.
Source: Extracted from: A.E.Orchard (1999) A History of Systematic
Botany in Australia, in Flora of Australia Vol.1, 2nd ed.,
ABRS. [consult for source references]
ABRS contributors survey, mid-1980s
Portrait Photo: 1977 George Chippendale collection at ANBG
Alex began his botanical career at the Western Australian Herbarium as a Laboratory
Assistant in 1959. He completed a B.A. at the University of Western Australia in 1963.
and from 1964 until 1981 held the position of Botanist at the Western Australian
Herbarium, In 1981 he came to Canberra as the first Executive Editor of the Flora of
Australia. Upon his resignation in January 1993 he returned to Perth as a freelance
His research career spans many families, with well over 100 papers published. He has made major contributions to, in particular, the taxonomy of the families Orchidaceae, Myrtaceae and Proteaceae. In the latter he is the undisputed world authority on Banksia, and a number of other genera.
The contribution that Alex has made to the Flora of Australia project is difficult to over-estimate, He nursed the program through its formative years, encouraging and cajoling contributors until providing a 'Flora treatment' became an accepted part of an Australian taxonomic botanist's life. Together with the Flora Editorial Committee he developed the formats, guidelines and codes of practice that laid the foundations for the hard-cover published Flora; he oversaw the extension of the series to embrace the mosses, lichens, algae and fungi: and helped implement electronic publication methods and brought a great sense of history, appreciation of illustration and depth of knowledge and experience of the Australian flora to the series.
Source: Extracted from: Dedication notice for Vol.50 of Flora of Australia (1993)
Received an Order of Australia (AM) in the Honours’ list announced 11 June 2012 for service to conservation and the environment as a botanist, historian and author, particularly in the area of Australian flora, and through roles with national and international professional organisations:
President, Kew Guild Council, 2010-2022; Committee Member, since 2003.
Member, Steering Committee, Species Plantarum: Flora of the World project, since 1999.
Australian Botanical Liaison Officer to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1967-1969 and 2004-2005.
President, Royal Society of Western Australia, 2000-2001; Senior Vice-President, 1998-2000; Junior Vice-President, 1996-1998.
Council Secretary, International Organisation for Plant Information, 1991-1997.
Honorary Research Associate, WA Herbarium, 1993-2009.
Adjunct Associate Professor, Murdoch University, since 1994.
Life Member, International Association for Plant Taxonomy.
Inaugural and Executive Editor, Flora of Australia Project, 1981-1993.
Member, WA Wildflower Society.
Member, Australasian Systemic Botany Society.
Data from 27,435 specimens