Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, on 14 May 1942;
Ed McAlister was born in Northern Ireland, where he studicd horticulture. He migrated to Australia in 1967 and initially worked at Jack Pike's nursery in Kellyville, NSW. In February 1979, after completing a science degree at the University of New England, he was appointed horticultural botanist at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. In 1981 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Gardens, and in July 1991 the Director of the Adelaide Zoo (with the added responsibility of Monarto Zoological Park). He retired from the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia in January 2006.
He was elected president of the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria in 1996 and vice-president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Ed McAlister's interests, while broadly based in environmental and ornamental horticulture, have centred on the development of plant collections, especially from arid zones, for scientific and educational purposes in Botanic, zoological, and trial gardens in SA. He has also served on a wide range of committees promoting horticultural education and heritage conservation. He was an early member of the Australian Institute of Horticulture in SA and served on the state committee for many years, including executive positions; he also served on the Institute's national committee and was national president (1982-85).
One of Ed's volunteer projects in retirement was to catalogue and digitise the extensive plant photograph collection of Noel Lothian for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
ORAL HISTORY: https://archival.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/oh/OH870_7.pdf
Source: Extracted from: Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens, ed: R. Aitken & M. Looker (2002)
McAlister, E. (2012) 'A slide odyssey: the Noel Lothian Collection', Australian Garden History 24(2) Oct-Nov-Dec 2012 p.19-21
Portrait Photo: Extracted from: Google image search, adelaidenow.com.au .
Data from 430 specimens