Issue 31: December 2000



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. Herbarium and Services


The Herbarium will be FUMIGATED on FRIDAY  22nd DECEMBER at 2.00 pm. All staff are to vacate the building by that time.   The building will be re-opened for business on the next working day, Thursday 28th December.

If you are going on leave before 22nd December, please make sure your room/area is ready for fumigation.

Sensitive equipment should be covered with plastic bags or sheeting (Jo Palmer delivered these last week).  Drawers and cupboards should be left open a little to allow penetration of fumigant.  Please clear a space (of approx 30cm ) along bench under windows, as these areas will be treated with surface spray.  Books and specimens should not be left open. 

Please WASH YOUR TEA MUG before use after fumigation. 

If anyone has health queries re the chemicals used in the fumigation please see Peter Moore for the relevant Chemical Safety Data Sheets.

Wishing you all the best for  Christmas and the New Year


[Peter Moore and Jo Palmer]



2. Research Groups

Summer Students

Julia Cooke started her summer studentship with Tony Willis on Monday 4/12/00.  Julia will be investigating aspects of the impact of Olive and Privet invasion on key species from the Cumberland Plain Woodland (CPW) -- the first ecological community in Australia to be listed under the Commonwealth endangered species legislation.  In particular, Julia is studying the accumulation of Olive and Privet leaf litter in invaded CPW remnants to determine their impact(s) on the germination and growth of characteristic CPW natives, including 2 ROTAP species,  relative to the impacts of native litter from uninvaded remnants.  Julia will also look at changes in soil chemistry and litter invertebrates associated with Olive and Privet invasion.


[Tony Willis]


Lindy Orthia from LaTrobe University has joined us as a summer student working on the subgeneric classification of Pultenaea (Fabaceae). A number of subgeneric classifications have been proposed in the past (Bentham 1840 & 1864). But these classifications have never been widely adopted and the re-examination of their defining characters and the discovery of many new species has made them unworkable at present. In an attempt to define new and more robust subgeneric groups, morphology has proven to be of only limited use. Lindy is therefore working in the molecular lab in order to sequence the trnL/trnF intergenic spacer of a number of selected Pultenaea taxa. This sequence has proven in the past to be informative below genus level. The hopeful outcome of this project is that we will have a better idea about the morphological and molecular variation within the genus.

[Rogier de Kok]

3. Information Technology and Data Management

3.1 WWW Site

The URL for the Centre can be found at:

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



Murray Fagg has advised that staff publications for 1998, 1999 and 2000 are now available on the CPBR web site, indexed by staff member (thus joint publication can appear more than once).

It would be appreciated if staff can advise Murray direct by email with any changes, or publication details for papers listed as 'in press'.

The Web site is

[Val Oliver]


4. Education and Communication

2001 Student Botanical Internship Program

Planning for the 2001 Student Botanical Internship Program is almost complete. Twenty eight applications were received this year, considerably more than for the 2000 Program, and twenty placements have been offered. We have had a good response so far with about 80% confirmation, and no withdrawals at this stage. The Program proper will commence on Wednesday, 3rd January, and run through until Wednesday 28th February. Interns will once again be occupying the Map Room for the duration of the Program.

The 2001 work/training program is available on the web, as outlined in an email earlier this month, at:

If any staff have difficulty accessing this, please let me know and I can provide an electronic or hardcopy version. Please also be aware that you can still put in requests for Intern labour in your area – see either Bob Makinson or myself if you have any work that could benefit from some extra pairs of hands.

Roll on January….

[Brendan Lepschi]


Catherine Jordan

Catherine Jordan is back at work at the Australian National Botanic Gardens Library after a 20 month break. Catherine can be contacted on phone 6250 9480 or email

[Catherine Jordan]


  1. General Centre Matters

CPBR Christmas Lunch

It was great to see so many people together for our end of year Christmas lunch yesterday under the oak tree.  My special thanks to Val and Pennie who organised the event and did most of the work.  As with our other get-togethers lately, several people assisted and contributed with really good teamwork.  The tearful contributions of both Bob for the volunteers lunch and Frank for yesterday will be remembered, even if they don't line up for onion slicing next year.  Many thanks everyone.

On the topic of the more social side of the Centre, I'd like to thank Pennie and Peter for their hard work in organising, arranging, facilitating, cajoling the workshop guys and whatever other tactics they employed to make and 'hang' the sail on the patio.  I'm sure it will be really useful and already staff are making better use of the space.  Well done and thanks.

[Judy West]




Systematics Research appointment

Rogier de Kok has been offered the systematics research position in the Centre recently advertised in the field of Lamiales - and he has accepted. Congratulations and welcome Rogier.  Eleven applications were received and four people were interviewed.  We appreciate the assistance of Dr Barry Conn from RBG Sydney as a member of the selection committee.  Rogier will complete his current Pultenaea project early March and will then develop up projects in Lamiales systematics.

[Jeremy Burdon]



6. Other News

The Centre wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.