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- CPBR News 12-

News from the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research and
Australian National Herbarium (CANB)

For the information of CPBR and ANBG staff and volunteers

January, 1999

1. Herbarium and Services

1.1 1999 Interns Program

The Program is now in its 6th week, and is running smoothly. At this stage of the Program the emphasis is shifting from training to work-output, although there are still a number of lectures and training sessions yet to be delivered. The Class of '99 have been exceptionally focused and active, and have made some major inroads into a number of herbarium tasks, including:

    Mounting and incorporating vascular and non-vascular collections (nearly 3000 specimens).

    Assisting with databasing (exchange material in particular).

    Processing of ANBG Associates collections, Living Collections vouchers and Orchid Group material.

    Identification of polypore (puffball) specimens.

    Matching determinations with specimens for a large batch of New Guinea exchange material.

    Determining lat/longs for various batches of vascular and non-vascular specimens.

    Assisting with processing of a number of large loans due for return.

    General curatorial and research-assistance tasks.

A more detailed list of completed jobs is on the wall-mounted whiteboard in the CPBR tearoom; a full report on work done will be circulated at the end of the program.

[Brendan Lepschi]

2. Research Groups

2.1 Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for Malcolm Gill

Congratulations to Malcolm Gill who received an OAM in the 1999 Australia Day Awards. Malcolm's award is for 'service to scientific research into bushfires and their effects on the environment.'

2.2 Joe Miller

Welcome to Joe Miller, the second of our post-doctoral fellows funded by Plant Industry, who has recently taken up his position in the Centre. Joe will primarily be working with Randy Bayer on Acacia. Joe has just returned from the field with Randy and Greg Chandler and visited MEL to discuss potential projects in Acacia with Pauline Ladiges, Jim Grimes and Dan Murphy (PhD student).

2.3 Bernie Hyland

Bernie will be here in Canberra for the Program Review and project discussions 2-4 March. So save up all your rain forest enquiries for him.

2.4 Honours Students

Two new Honours students will start at the Centre on 1 February. Jenny Hill will be working with Andrew Young on "Genetic structure, reproductive tradeoffs and mating system in the rare herb Rutidosis leiolepis: implications for conservation." Elizabeth Oliver will be working with Jeremy Burdon and Pete Thrall on "Population Demography & Disease Dynamics of Cakile maritima."

2.5 Pultenaea Database

Welcome back to Chris Penketh who will assist in the Pultenaea project with some databasing for eight weeks.

3. Information Technology and Data Management

3.1 WWW Site

The URL for the Centre can be found at: http://www.anbg.gov/cpbr/

Please check regularly for new items of interest re Centre staff and activities.

3.2 Centre Web Site

The Executive Committee met 8 February to discuss the Web page, and particularly to plan future development and staff resources.

3.3 Pennie Hohnen - Change of Working Hours

Pennie will now be working on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, if you need to see her re databasing.

4. Education and Communication

4.1 Weeds on CD

In response to a plea for photos of weeds from ANBG Visitor Services, Jim Croft posted a request on the Conservation Distribution list. Within a very short time I received an email from Colin Wilson, the Weeds Management Officer at the Parks and Wildlife Commission NT.

Colin has been photographing tropical environmental weeds for some time and had just put 200 of these slides onto photo CD. He was more than willing for the Gardens Photograph Collection to have access to these slides and was generous enough to send us duplicates of the CD's to use.

In time the images will be used on a Weeds page on the Web but at the moment they are proving a source of weed images for the Centre Interns to use in preparing their presentations.

Digital technology is opening up a whole new way of sharing and using images which hopefully will be of great benefit to all if we can manage to keep up with it and people continue to be as generous as Colin.

[Jan Wilson]

5. General Centre Matters

5.1 Graduate Administrative Assistant (GAA)

The Centre has been successful in its application for a GAA (through Environment Australia). Lucy Blackburn will join the Centre on Monday, 8 February for a period of approximately four months to work on the Strategic Plan. Lucy will be located at the computer station on level 3, outside the lift.

5.2 Board Meeting

The Board meeting in December concentrated on the recommendation from the Centre Review. The Board considered each Recommendation as well as staff and Advisory Committee responses. The actions taken are being collated into a table for distribution to staff. Several recommendations have already been implemented, or are being addressed currently.

[Judy West]

6. Other News

6.1 Species Plantarum

The first two parts of Species Plantarum, an international cooperative effort to write a Flora of the World, were published by ABRS on 21 January 1999. The Species Plantarum Project operates under the auspices of IOPI (International Organisation for Plant Information). Contributions are voluntary and parts will be published as material becomes available. ABRS has edited and published these first 2 parts, with funding supplied by Environment Australia (Biodiversity Program, through ANBG). A meeting of the Species Plantarum Project Steering Committee in Cape Town in early February will discuss the management and publication of future parts.

The parts already published are:

    Introduction to the Series. iv + 91 pp. Contents: Introduction, The Need for the Project, A Brief History of the Species Plantarum Project, The Way Forward; Guide for Contributors; Glossary; Geographic System, Maps.

    The Guide for Contributors and the Glossary, both based on the Flora of Australia texts, are also available on the ABRS Website. On the Website, too, are introductory pages on the project.

    Irvingiaceae. v + 25 pp. Author: D.J.Harris. Irvingiaceae are a family of 10 species of forest trees in 3 genera. All but one are endemic in central and western Africa. The exception is a species confined to Malesia. Keys, illustrations, maps, descriptions and full synonymy is provided for each species, in a style heavily based on that of Flora of Australia.

Copies of these first 2 parts will be deposited in the CANB and ANBG libraries, and are available gratis to those expressing interest in contributing to the series. For those not interested in contributing, parts may be purchased from ABRS, and all future parts are likely to be available only by purchase. Enquiries should be directed to Tony Orchard (ph. 6250 9443).

[Tony Orchard]

7. Diary of Events / Activities

4 Jan - 26 Feb
Interns Working busily in all parts of the Herbarium.

11 Feb
Summer Student Symposium
Summer Students
The Summer Students will hold a Symposium on Thursday, 11 February from 2:00 - 3:00 pm in the Seminar Room. All welcome.

15-16 Feb
CSIRO Collections Group Meeting - Hobart
Judy West
Regular meeting combined with visit to Fish Collection.

17 - 28 Feb
Visiting Scientist
Prof. Herbert Hurka
Professor Herbert Hurka (University of Osnabrueck, Germany) will visit the Centre for 10 days from 17 February. Whilst in Canberra, Professor Hurka will utilise the collections of the ANH and consult with Tony Brown and other members of the Program. He will give a seminar on 18 February titled 'Molecular systematics of Cardamine (Brassicaceae)'.

24 - 25 Feb
BDAC meeting
Judy West Biodiversity
Advisory Council meeting.

3 - 5 Mar
Program U Review
Jeremy Burdon and all research staff
All research staff are required to attend the Review. All technical staff are encouraged to attend. To be held in the Seminar room.

16 Mar
EA Chief Science Adviser's Seminar
Judy West
Judy West has been invited by the Chief Science Adviser (Peter Bridgewater) to present a seminar on the Centre.

23 - 26 Mar
Visiting Scientist
Prof. Jeff Doyle
Professor Jeff Doyle (Cornell University, USA) will visit the Centre and present a seminar on 25 March. Professor Doyle has on ongoing project with Tony Brown on molecular systematics of Glycine.

9 April
Biodiversity SAC meeting
Judy West
Sector meeting with Advisory Committee planning for presentation to CSIRO Executive.

19-23 April
CHAH Technician's Workshop
Helen Hewson and Heinar Streimann
Technical workshop on Cryptogams to be run at the Centre on behalf of CHAH.

21 Apr-1 Jun
16th World Orchid Conference Vancouver
Mark Clements
Invited speaker at 16th World Orchid Conference Vancouver. Post conference tour of South America.

CPBR News is compiled by Suzie Dietrich (suzie.dietrich@pi.csiro.au),
Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research

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Placed here 15 November, 1999 by Andrew Lyne
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