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- HerbNews 3 -

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

October, 1997


  • Welcome to new Volunteer Mounties who have joined us since the last issue: Cindy Chan, Julienne Gleeson, Lyndall Spear, Virginia Neilson, Rosalie Hughes, Victor Hughes, and Doris Brotherton. Please make them welcome!

  • Welcome back to wandering volunteer souls: Alf McMicken returned after four months away on a trip to the USA; Pauline Wicksteed after a trip to north western Western Australia; Camilla Bennett and Jean Crawford after a trip to South Australia; Karin and Malcolm Fyfe after outback ornithology, and Peter Roberts after a trip to northern NSW.


  • We are all missing Helen Hewson since her retirement in early July from the position of Deputy Director of the Centre. Helen is however still associated with the Herbarium and CPBR as a Scientific Associate, and has been busy in the last few weeks investigating ways of finding outside money to support botanical systematics at ANBG, CPBR, and ANU. With Helen's retirement Jim Croft has returned to the Herbarium as the Director of ANBG Botany Section, including the Gardens-based Information Technology Unit.

  • Hello and Goodbye! Richard Sams, a new face around the Herbarium for the last couple of months, has been in Sara York's databasing position. Sadly, he has had an offer he can't refuse elsewhere and will be leaving at the end of October.

  • As foreshadowed in the last HerbNews, Lyn Meredith has commenced work at the Centre (CSIRO site). Lyn continues to be part of the Environment Australia Biodiversity Group's Threatened Species and Communities Section (TSCS formerly the Endangered Species Unit) and retains responsibility for a number of endangered species recovery plans. He has been posted to the Centre to strengthen the cooperation between us and TSCS. His work at the Centre involves coordinating the National Threatened Plants Database, which incorporates information necessary for the production of what was Rare or Threatened Australian Plants (ROTAP), the ANZECC Threatened Australian Plants List, and the plant Schedules to the Endangered Species Protection Act. Lyn is always interested to hear of any recent assessments of rare or threatened Australian plant species. He is usually to be found in Room 2.3 1, in the 'old' wing of the Herbarium building on the CSIRO site.

  • John Hook has returned to ANBG after a stint with the Environmental Resources Information Network (ERIN) in Civic. Tony Rosling, formerly with the Gardens' IT unit, has been absorbed back into the Environment Australia IT section at Belconnen; we wish him well. Andrew Crockett, who has been in charge of the IT HelpDesk at the Gardens, leaves in late October for a job elsewhere in EABG; his replacement is likely to be Arun Tape.

  • COMPUTER PROBLEMS? WHO YA GONNA CALL? With all these changes in IT, a summary of who to take your problems to might be useful. For hardware and software problems on the Gardens-based network (whether SUNS, PCs, or dumb terminals), email your problem from a Gardens-linked machine to to 'help'. Similarly, for hardware and software problems on the CSIRO-based network, send an email from a PI-linked machine to 'help'. In either case, include your name, contact phone number, and an outline of the problem. They will get back to you pretty quickly. Please don't phone the HelpDesks for problems of this sort unless there is no alternative.


  • Ian Brooker, Andrew Slee and John Connors have just completed EUCLID (EUCaLyptus 1Dentification), a huge project that has resulted in a published CDROM containing a comprehensive interactive identification key and information system for all 310 species and subspecies of eucalypt in southeastern Australia (except Angophora). EUCLID allows the identification of any of these taxa using a very flexible and user friendly program called LUCID. The EUCLID CD-ROM retails for $120. The Centre is pursuing outside funding to allow the development of EUCLID parts II and III, covering the rest of the continent.

  • Laurie Adams has been working on another large project, the Interactive Key to Flowering Plants. This project is nearing completion and a beta test version of the Key is available for testing.

  • Bob Makinson has completed his Flora of Australia treatment of Grevillea and it is now in the editing phase. Bob has also recently completed the Araliaceae treatment for the Flora of Victoria, in collaboration with Murray Henwood at Sydney University.

  • Andrew Lyne has received his Graduate Diploma in Science at the Australian National University. The diploma was awarded for his investigation of the geographic variation exhibited by Leptospermum brevipes.


  • Spring is sprung, and various herbarium, research, and Gardens staff are conducting field work. Among them:

  • Stuart Donaldson and Greg Flowers (both from ANBG Living Collections) have recently completed a 6 week field trip to the south-western parts of Western Australia, making over 2,000 collections.

  • David Jones has recently returned from a field trip to Western Australia looking at undescribed cycad taxa. David had not been back long before he and Mark Clements flew off to New Caledonia to collect orchids, on a trip funded by the Australian Orchid Foundation.

  • Andrew Lyne and Dave Mallinson (ANBG Living Collections) spent six days at the old grazing property Calperum, part of the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve on the Murray River near Renmark, making collections for Herbarium and Gardens.

  • Lyn Craven and Julie Matarczyk are in northern NSW and Queensland collecting Callistemon.

  • Randy Bayer and Chris Puttock made the most of their return trip to Canberra from the ASBS Conference in Adelaide, collecting Asteraceae (daisies).

  • Jeremy Burdon has made a quick trip to WA for discussions and field investigations of the Phytophthora pathogen problems in the heathlands of the south-west.


  • The National Conference and AGM of the Australian Systematic Botany Society was held in Adelaide this year from the 28 Sept. to 3 Oct., jointly with the inaugural conference of the Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB). A herbarium IT workshop was also held in the days prior. Judy West, Jim Croft, Ian Brooker, Randy Bayer, Jo Palmer, Penny Hohnen, Andrew Lyne, John Connors, Kirsten Cowley, Cathy Miller and Chris Puttock have been attending some or all of these meetings. Judith Curnow attended (on her own rec. leave time) the meeting of the Australian Mycological Society, also in Adelaide.

  • The annual meeting of the Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria (CHAH) is on in Hobart on 3-5 November. Bob Makinson will attend. The Council of Heads of Botanic Gardens (CHABG) meets concurrently Tim Richmond representing ANBG.


  • BIORAP. Databasing of selected families of New Guinean specimens continues, with Christopher Unkau (PNG Dept of Environment and Conservation), Ilaiah Bigilale (PNG National Museum), all working here in Canberra. Robert Kiapranis (Lae Herbarium) also spent three weeks with us on this project, which aims to repatriate to PNG the data from specimens gathered there over the years.

  • Updated Australian Biological Resources Study WWW Home Page. The ABRS World Wide Web Home Page is being updated, with much of the Flora related information already up. Anyone interested is invited to visit the site at http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/ . Already available are: descriptions of all published volumes in the Flora of Australia and Fungi of Australia series, the Flora of Australia Supplementary Series, Biologue, details on planned ABRS Flora publications (Algae of Australia, Robert Brown Diary, Species Plantarum) and the Glossary for Flora of Australia. The various Guides for Contributors and Guide for Illustrators will soon be added. The Grants Administration unit will be making available through this site details of Preferred Research Objectives, and successful Grants through the Participatory Program. The Fauna Section of ABRS will similarly be listing their publications and products. There is a link to information about the "Platypus" software. Please visit and let ABRS have feedback.

  • Updated CPBR WWW Home Page. The Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research World Wide Web Home Page has also recently received an overhaul. Visit the CPBRs WWW prescence at - http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr and have a look.

  • News from the Gardens Photo Collection: Jan Wilson (ANBG Visitor Services) advises that photographs taken by Col Totterdell (a photographer employed by CSIRO Plant Industry during the 1970's) for the book Kosciusko Alpine Flora were recently donated to the Gardens Photo Index Collection and have been catalogued and curated. A selection of 200 plant slides are being transferred to Kodak Photo CD, and will soon be on the World Wide Web. It is probable that many of Col's images will also illustrate the Australian Alps display soon to open at the Visitor Centre at the Gardens If you would like to see other images from the Collection which are already available on the Web visit http://www.anbg.gov.au/images/photo-cd/

  • Former Interns' news: Leilja Buza, a graduate of the 1996 Internship program, has started an Honours project at the Australian National University with Andrew Young as CPBR cosupervisor. Leilja will be looking at Swainsona recta (Fabaceae) population genetics and demographics.

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

    Return to the HerbNews Page

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