News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Nominees for 2014 elections of Council, Vice President, and President of IAB

The ballot for elections for IAB officers and council have been mailed to all paid members of IAB. If think you are a paid member and did not receive a ballot, please contact Mat von Konrat.
If you are not a member and would like to join, instructions are on the IAB website under the How to Join button on the right. 
Please email your ballot paper to Kristina Lugo ( by June 21, 2014. 
>>>Voting extended to July 26 - IAB Elections 2015 - Please participate.<<<
Janice Glime for the IAB Elections Committee  

Biographical sketches of nominees for Council Member

Please note we have 6 nominees, but only FOUR open positions.

Claudine Ah-Peng (South Africa)

Université de La Réunion, UMR PVBMT Pôle de Protection des Plantes 7 Chemin de l'IRAT 97410 Saint-Pierre Ile de La Réunion France.
I am currently employed as a researcher at the University of La Réunion (France). My general research interests concern the study of tropical bryophytes.
The first part of my bryological research activities began during my MSc with the laboratory culturing of an aquatic moss Fontinalis antipyretica Hedw. and its use as a bioindicator of water quality. The aim of this work was to set up a standardized moss culture, which could be used to monitor trace metal contamination in French rivers. Based at the French National Museum of Natural History (PC), I learnt to identify bryophytes. I was soon fascinated by these unique organisms and by their amazing diversity in the Tropics. My PhD work then focussed on the bryophytes of La Réunion, more specifically on the colonisation and succession processes of bryophytes on lava flows of The Piton de la Fournaise volcano. During the last 6 years, based at the University of Cape Town in Terry Hedderson’s lab, I have been working on the diversity and distribution of bryophytes along elevational gradients in the Western Indian Ocean area. More recently, in the framework of the Moveclim project “Montane vegetation as listening posts for climate change” (Eranet Biome), this research on bryophytes was extended to other tropical and subtropical islands (Caribbean, Canarias, Azores and French Polynesia). This research network promotes the study of bryophytes by involving bryologists and students (Ms and PhD candidates) from these different regions.
In September 2008, I organized the first Tropical Bryology Group workshop on the bryoflora of La Réunion. It was attended by fifteen foreign tropical bryologists who came to work on the bryoflora of the Mascarenes, for which I am preparing a flora of Liverworts and hornworts in collaboration with Dr. Jacques Bardat (National Museum of Natural History). I regularly organize training in bryology in Réunion Island for professional botanists from the National Park, Forestry offices and botanical conservatories and this was extended to Madagascar in 2009. We recently obtained a European Feder grant to pursue this training in Réunion and the neighbouring islands (Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mascarenes) and to enhance scientific collaboration.
In August 2009, Pr. Terry Hedderson and I had the honour to host and organize the IAB conference in South Africa on the theme of African bryophytes.
By being one of the IAB councillors, I wish to continue the promotion of the study of bryophytes, their diversity, taxonomy, ecology and phylogeography in Africa and neighbouring islands. I shall act as a contact point for IAB in the region, and do my best to develop the activities of the International Association of Bryology for the coming years.

Denise Piñeiro Da Costa (Brazil)

Denise Pinheiro da Costa was Born in Brazil in 1959. As na undergraduate she attended the Universidade Santa Úrsula, in Rio de Janeiro; she obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Universidade de São Paulo, both in botany, in 1995 and 1999, respectively. During her Ph.D. studies, in 1997, she worked at the Universität Göttingen, Germany with Dr. Gradstein studying the Metzgeriaceae of Brazil. Dr. Costa has been working with bryophytes at the Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro since 1983 and has been Curator of Bryophytes there since 1998. Since 2002 she has been on the teaching staff at the Escola Nacional de Botânica Tropical (ENBT) and the Museu Nacional (MN/UFRJ). Dr. Costa's main research subjects are the taxonomy of tropical hepatics and the bryoflora of Brazilian ecosystems. She has been actively involved in bryophyte research since the early 1983 and has authored 54 original papers, 18 chapters, and 5 books. She is a active member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (group of bryophytes), the IAPT (International Association for Plant Taxonomy), and the Organization for Flora Neotropica. She guides students in doctoral and master's degrees in two graduate program, ENBT/JBRJ and MN/UFRJ and is sponsored by the Brazilian National Science Foundation (CNPq) for over 10 years.


Boon Chuan Ho (Singapore)

The Herbarium Singapore Botanic Gardens 1 Cluny Road Singapore 259569

 I started bryology during my final year thesis project in 2001 at the National University of Singapore and mosses, have become my interest ever since. Thereafter, I have completed a M.Sc. at Leiden University, a phD at the University of Bonn, and a post-doc at Duke University. My post-graduate research projects have mostly concentrated in the moss order Hookeriales, in both taxonomy and molecular systematics.
I have special interest in plant biodiversity and evolution of tropical SE Asia region, and have been involved and contributed in several floristic projects especially in mosses. Although I have recently taken up a researcher position to specialise in legumes at the herbarium of the Singapore Botanic Gardens, bryology remains my passion. To better facilitate communication and exchange of research activities among professionals, students, and enthusiasts who are interested in the study or simply enjoy the beauty of bryophytes and lichens of SE Asia, I have volunteered myself for the past 7 years to manage and maintain an online discussion group. I have also started a facebook page about 3 years ago on SE Asian bryophytes and lichens ( so as to better promote awareness and share news in these understudied organisms, especially among younger generations in SE Asia.
 If elected, I would be a good facilitator for collaborative international and regional studies in SE Asia, due to my good contacts in the region. I would like to see more active bryological research projects in SE Asia which helps to better understand the biodiversity of this region and beyond.

Juan Larrain (Chile)

Juan is a Chilean bryologist with a doctoral degree in botany from Universidad de Concepción, Chile, where he studied the phylogeny of the moss genus Racomitrium and a taxonomic revision of the Latin American species of the genus.
Juan is currently working as a post doctoral researcher at The Field Museum, Chicago, contributing with the systematic studies in the liverwort genus Frullania started several years ago by Dr. Matt von Konrat. Juan expertise is focused in southern South American bryophyte taxonomy.

Michael Stech (Netherlands)

Currently I am researcher at Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands. Apart from research I’m actively involved in teaching at Leiden University and supervision of students from undergraduate to PhD level. I received my PhD in 1999 from Free University Berlin, Germany, based on a project on the molecular phylogeny of haplolepideous mosses. I continued with postdoctoral research in Berlin until 2006 and was assistant professor at the National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden University (now merged into Naturalis Biodiversity Center) from 2007 until 2013.
My current research interests comprise phylogenetic relationships and character evolution in haplolepideous and pleurocarpous mosses, species circumscriptions and DNA barcoding (especially in species complexes and taxonomically complex genera), phylogeographic patterns from the polar regions to Atlantic islands and the tropics, and the role of bryophytes in selected ecosystems such as the arctic tundra. In addition to long-term focal taxa such as Campylopus, I work on different moss and liverwort taxa to unravel patterns of bryophyte diversity and evolution.
My research is embedded in an extensive network of professional and amateur bryologists and I am actively seeking for cooperation to join expertise and develop synergies for bryological research. This is very much in line with the IAB objectives, and to be an IAB council member would be a perfect opportunity to further promote collaborations between bryologists worldwide. As a member of the editorial board of Tropical Bryology, now IAB’s journal Bryophyte Diversity and Evolution, I am actively engaged in promoting bryological publications, and planning to continue so in support of the IAB. I can furthermore imagine to contribute to IAB committees as well as dissemination and outreach activities to increase the awareness of bryophytes in general.


Li Zhang (China)

I’m a research professor of bryology in Fairylake Botanical Garden, Shenzhen, China, and also the Curator of Herbarium (SZG).
My research interests includes the following aspects, i.e. taxonomy focusing on taxa of Calymperaceae, Fissidentaceae, Frullania, Bazzania and hornworts, inventory of bryophytes from S and SW China, especially E Himalayas, horticulture, herbarium management, and public education.
I published 8 books and some 80 papers relevant to bryology. One of the books entitled The miniature angels in the plant kingdom, an introduction to bryophytes (2009) published in bilingual (Chinese-English) for students and amateurs which is widely welcomed.
I also worked in the following professional societies. Member, Special Committee on By-laws for the Nomenclature Section, XIX International Botanical Congress (2012-2017); Member, the IUCN SSC Bryophyte Specialist Group (2013-2016); Deputy chair, Bryological Committee, Botanical Society of China (1999-2018); Acting editor-in-chief, Journal of Fairylake Botanical Garden (2011-present); Council member, International Association of Bryologists (IAB) (2007-2011).


Biographical sketches of nominees for Vice President

Please note we have 3 nominees, but only ONE open position.

Efraín De Luna (México)

Current position: Investigador Titular C, Dept. Biodiversidad y Sistemática, Instituto de Ecología, AC. Xalapa, México. Website:
Current interests: Statistical analyses of morphological variation. Phylogenetic analyses of geometric morphometric data, in combination with molecular markers. Morphometrics and phylogenetics of Braunia (Hedwigiaceae).
Education: B. Sc. in Biology. Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM. México (1983). I was introduced to bryology as an undergraduate student. Under the direction of Claudio Delgadillo, I did a comparison of the moss flora at the extremes of the Neovolcanic axis in central México.
Ph.D, Duke University. Durham, NC. USA (1992). As a graduate student, I worked under the supervision of Brent Mishler, and was funded by a Mexican government scholarship (CONACYT 1986-1989), Duke University teaching assistantships (1989-1992), and a National Science Foundation Doctoral improvement research grant. My dissertation research focused on ontogenetic studies, morphometrics, and phylogenetic analyses of the Hedwigiaceae.
Research: I collected my first moss specimen in 1981, and since then I have been interested in the moss diversity of Eastern México, where I have been since 1992 at my home institution in Xalapa. In the 90´s I did pioneer work on molecular phylogenetics of bryophytes, especially the pleurocarpous mosses. I consider myself a bryologist, but often wander into the intersection of morphometrics and phylogenetics seeking for answers to such questions as how to analyse morphological character variation. My current research and teaching focuses on methods for the phylogenetic analysis of morphometric data. Over the last 20 years, I have advised PhD students and co-authored papers on phylogeny and morphometrics of bats, fishes, diverse angiosperms, myxomycetes, and even bryophytes (Google Scholar profile).
 As a taxonomist of Hedwigiaceae, I continue working on detailed morphometric comparisons of species towards a worldwide phylogenetic revision of the acrocarpous moss Braunia. I am also working on the molecular systematics of the Neotropical species of Braunia..
I have been particularly interested in educational outreach, using the Internet. I run web sites on bryology, morphometrics, and phylogenetics (all in Spanish).
Contribution to IAB: I have been IAB Councilor twice (1999, 2003). Also, I have been in charge of the blog for IAB (since 2008), and more recently, have been working as webmaster for our IAB website ( As a member of the Council as VP, I will encourage an increasing role of Internet resources to foster goals and activities of IAB as a society, particularly encouraging interactions, cooperation, and communication among all persons interested in bryophytes. I look forward to work in cooperation with the IAB Council to promote and making available online educational resources and bibliographic references in bryology.


Lars Söderström (Norway)

I’m currently working as a botany professor at Norwegian University for Science and Technology in Trondheim Norway where I teach various courses in botany and ecology, including conservation.
I have been a member of IAB since the 1980’s and I served as an editor of Bryological Times 1990-2003, first together with Lars Hedenäs, then as the Editor-in-Chief. During this time I was a member of the IAB Board. I have served IAB on several committees during the years after 2003 and I was heading the election committee for the 2009 elections. I have participated on all IAB conferences since 1991 and at several occasions organized sessions.
I have been active in conservation of bryophytes and was the chairman of the IAB supported European Committee for Conservation of Bryophytes 1994-2011. I am still a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission for Bryophytes.
Nancy Slack (U.S.A.) 

I have retired from teaching at the Sage Colleges, but still run a bryophyte workshop in my lab and herbarium there for interested people. I have a research grant (for four people) to study the alpine snowbed communities, including the diverse bryophytes, on Mt. Washington, NH, the highest mountain in the Northeast US, in relation to future climate change. It also includes locating and monitoring populations of rare bryophytes on the mountain. I have been teaching two seminars at the Eagle Hill Institute in Steuben, Maine: Bryophyte Ecology, and Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts from 2000 to the present. I co-organized the Andrews Foray (bryophytes and lichens) last September at Mt. Mansfield, VT. and wrote the Field Guide to New England Alpine Summits (2014), which includes plants and animals, including many bryophytes and lichens, I also co-authored a paper inEvansia about our Mt. Washington work in 2013.

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Biographical sketches of nominees for President

Please note we have 3 nominees, but only ONE open position.

Paddy Dalton (Australia)

I currently hold the position of Lecturer in Botany in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, where I completed my Bachelor and Masters degrees and a Diploma in Education.
My principle academic role is teaching and I have successfully incorporated bryophytes into undergraduate curricula and field courses in plant diversity and ecology. This has encouraged a number of students to pursue bryology into postgraduate study and successfully complete Honours or Masters degrees.
My research has centred on the systematics of temperate bryophyte floras and their importance in ecological processes in temperate vegetation. I have undertaken field study throughout Australasia and most recently (2013) participated in field work to document the bryophyte floristics in the Chilean Cape Horn Archipelago.
I have been a member of IAB since 1980 and have attended meetings in Vienna, Kuala Lumpur, Cape Town and chaired the organising committee for the Melbourne meeting as part of the 18th IBC. Locally I was editor of the Australasian Bryological Newsletter for 19 years and co-convened the inaugural Australian Bryophyte Workshop in 1988 and more recently the 2007 workshop in southwest Tasmania. As well as regularly attending these workshops, I have participated in many workshops conducted throughout New Zealand, and gained valuable experience during periods of study leave at the Natural History Museum London and the Institute of Systematic Botany New York. This local and international collaboration has provided me with a valuable network to support my interests in bryological studies and in addition it has made me acutely aware of the significant trends currently being pursued in cryptogamic research.
I certainly would look forward to the opportunity to work with an enthusiastic Council and hope that the experience gained over the past 40 years as an educator, researcher and administrator would enable me to promote and advance the goals of IAB.


Bernard Goffinet (U.S.A.)

Bernard Goffinet completed his Bachelor at the University of Liège (Belgium) earning a degree in Botany. Inspired by a field course led by Dr. René Schumacker he completed a final thesis focused on bryophytes and lichens growing on old Fagus sylvatica. Bernard then moved to Canada to join the laboratory of Dr. Dale Vitt, in Edmonton. His doctoral dissertation was centered on the circumscription and phylogenetic trends in the Orthotrichales (Bryopsida), integrating morphology and DNA sequence-based inferences. Dr. Jon Shaw, newly appointed at Duke University then, recruited him for a postdoctoral position. The position offered a lot of freedom, at the right time (i.e., dawn of the molecular age in bryophyte systematics) and he initiated or collaborated on several projects centered on the evolution of mosses. North Carolina turned out to be the last pit-stop before his current position at the University of Connecticut, where he has been since 1999. He teaches Plant Biology, Green Plant Evolution and Biology of Bryophytes and Lichens.
Bernard had the opportunity to collect bryophytes in various countries on all continents, and the privilege to learn from local bryologists (or lichenologists). Bernard’s work primarily tests phylogenetic hypotheses using DNA sequences, but he still gains much (and perhaps most) of his satisfaction from identifying bryophytes. His most recent works focuses on organellar genome architecture in bryophytes, and bryophyte phylogenomics. He has (co-)authored about 100 papers and chapters, and (co)edited several books, including Bryophyte Biology. Collaborations with various colleagues provided new opportunities to venture into different directions, with perhaps the most satisfying emerging from meeting Dr. Ricardo Rozzi, and environmental philosopher and conservation biologist, who made him discover the Cape Horn regions. Together they developed the initiative of tourism with a hand lens through books and lectures. Bernard delights in opening the doors to the universe of bryology to naturalists, and school children. He seeks to be an advocate for bryology in and outside of the classroom.
Bernard has served as editor of the Bryologist, and on adjudication committees for IAB as well as the American Bryological and Lichenological Society. Bernard has (co-)organized several conferences, such as Moss 2012 and the 3rd International Symposium on Molecular Systematics of Bryophytes (Evolution and diversification of bryophytes: insights from genes and genomes) at The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx in 2012, the 1st international symposium on “Molecular Systematics of Bryophytes: Progress, Problems and Perspectives” at The Missouri Botanical Garden in 2003, or the Annual meeting of the American Bryological and Lichenological Society in Storrs, CT , in 2002.


Masanabu Higuchi (Japan)

Head of Division of Land Plants, Department of Botany National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan Professor, Graduate School of Science University of Tokyo, Japan
I received my Ph.D. from Hiroshima University in 1985 and the thesis is “A revision of the genus Gollania (Musci)” under the guidance of Prof. H. Ando. I had a position of researcher in the Hattori Botanical Laboratory in 1985 and Assistant Professor in Hiroshima University from 1985 to 1993. I moved to the National Science Museum in 1993, and since 1995 I have been assigned an Associate Professor of University of Tokyo. I have a research interest that is focused on the systematics of mosses, especially hypnaceous mosses, and the biogeography of bryophytes in Asia and Oceania. Changing the position to the museum made me more possible to do field work especially in the foreign countries. I have visited more than twenty countries and meeting friends there is my pleasure. I have collected and published more than 50,000 specimens and 200 papers respectively.
As an activity of the bryological society, I am a member of Bryological Society of Japan (BSJ), American Bryological and Lichenological Society (ABLS), British Bryological Society (BBS), Bryological Society of Taiwan (BST) and International Association of Bryologists (IAB). When I was an editor of BSJ (2002-2005), I edited “Methods in Bryological Research” as the commemorative publication of the 30th anniversary of establishment. I thought that it is more important for us to publish useful manual for beginners than a bunch of reminiscence by members. When I was a president of BSJ (2010-2011), I directed to revise it for the 40th anniversary of establishment. Since 2012 I have been appointed a chairman of the Committee for Endangered Plants including bryophytes, lichens, algae and fungi in the Japanese Society for Plant Systematics and compiled a revised Red List of bryophytes with assistance of members of the committee.
 I was a Vice President of IAB from 2007 to 2011 and learned the outline of IAB. As it is the object of IAB, communication is essential. When IAB meeting was held at Tokyo in 1983, I was a graduate student. It was a really good experience and inspired young Japanese bryologists to greater interests. The meeting should be as much as possible held in different parts of the world. Except for meeting we have excellent methods of communication, each has a quality all its own, such as newsletter (Bryological times), web site ( and mailing list (Bryonet). It is recommended for us to use these resources effectively. Now IAB is carrying out its important reforms, e.g. new journal, membership fee and its collection, etc. (See minutes of IAB Council Meeting in London 2013 on web site). I support it and keep always in mind that it must benefit all members of IAB.


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