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, January 12, 2012

Nominees for 2012 elections of Council and for Vice President of IAB

Biographical sketches of nominees for Council Member and for Vice-President 
Nominees to be considered for
Council Members

Please note we have 13 nominees, but only SIX open positions.

Alison Downing
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Biological Sciences
Macquarie University NSW 2109

I completed my Masters degree in 1993 on karst bryophytes and have continued with that work, and other allied interests, such as Pottiaceae and bryophytes of biological soil crusts, ever since. I have been fortunate in recent years to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Chinese researchers studying biological soil crusts in the Gurbantunggut Desert of NW China and, at the other end of the world, to work on subantarctic bryophytes. Currently I am working on the role of bryophytes in determining strategies for the long term management of subtropical rainforests in eastern Australia. I am a Senior Research Fellow in Biological Sciences at Macquarie University and I have had considerable experience working with undergraduate and postgraduate students, both in Australia and overseas. At a time when academic staff at universities around the world are more and more frustrated by increasing administrative work, my present position allows me greater opportunities to facilitate local and international collaborative studies. I would also like to promote bryology to the general public to overcome many of the less favourable preconceptions about bryophytes. Bryonet for example, could provide some wonderful ideas and source material for exciting and interesting articles for newspapers and magazines.

Akiyama Hiroyuki
Present Occupation: Assoc. Professor, University of Hyogo
Office Address: 6-chome, Yayoigaoka, Sanda, Hyogo 669-1546, Japan
Date of Birth: 1956
Citizenship: Japanese

Received Bachelor of Science from Kyoto University (Japan) in 1981
Received Master of Science from Kyoto Universtiy (Japan) in 1983
Received Doctor of Science from Kyoto Universtiy (Japan) in 1988

Professional History
Associate Proffesor, University of Hyogo / Senior Scientist, Museum of
Nature and Human Activities, Hyogo 1994 - Present
Research Field: Taxonomy and flora of East Asian mosses (especially, Indonesia,
Malaysia, and Thailand)

For more than thirty years, I have been doing field works in East and Southeast Asia and through such activities I have become friends with a number of reseachers and students in many countries. If elected, I would like to contribute to promote active information exchange more than now, especieally for young students in Asia.

Sanna Huttunen
Current position: Curator, Turku University Herbarium,
University of Turku, Finland
Address: Herbarium, Department of Biology, University of Turku, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland
I got my first introduction in mosses and bryology already during the first years of my botany studies in the University of Helsinki. Since that they have been my main interest in botany and my research work deals with the systematics and evolutionary history of Hypnalean mosses. I have been working in the Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki, and I defended my PhD thesis on systematics of moss families Meteoriaceae and Brachytheciaceae at the University of Helsinki at 2004. After that I worked in the Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, and in the University of Turku, in South Western Finland. Since autumn 2011 I have worked as a curator of in the herbarium of the University of Turku. Besides curating bryological collections my work includes both teaching and research on bryophytes.

During my research carrier I have learnt to appreciate tight international contacts among bryological community. Most of research work has been done in collaboration with colleagues from abroad and this network provides valuable support and insights on bryological work that is done in other countries. At national level I am a member of the Finnish work group for endangered bryophytes and a board member in the Finnish Bryological Association. As an IAB council member I hope to improve opportunities especially for young bryologists to participate IAB meetings and other activities and to contribute active international communication within the association.

Yong Kien-Thai

Yong Kien-Thai is a bryologist from University of Malaya, Malaysia, who have twelve years experience in the study of bryology. He has good field experience and general understanding about the bryophyte flora of his home country (Penisular Malaysia and north Borneo), as well as the neighboring region, such as Java and Sumatra. His main research interest is on the taxonomy and systematic of bryophyte, and always keen to learn more about the bryophyte ecology and get involved in the conservation of this tiny pretty plant. If he has been elected as a council member, he will contribute in promoting the researches and understandings on bryophytes among the bryological and non-bryological community, especially in the South East Asian region.

Yelitza Leon

I am a professor of the Merida Botanical Garden Institute of the Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela, also I am the Executive Director of the Institute and president of Merida Botanical Garden Foundation. As a bryologist I organized the XV bryologist world congress in Merida, Venezuela and also the II tropical bryology course in Venezuela in the year 1996. As part of the the Latin american association of bryology I have been the editor of briolatina during the years 2006-2010. Also I am one of the editors of the journal Tropical Bryology. I founded the bryology collection of the herbarium MERC and I have advised undergraduate and graduate bryology students contributing to the growth of bryology in Venezuela. I have had several projects on floristic, ecology and taxonomy of bryophytes. Including conservation campaigns for bryophyte conservation in Venezuela, building the redlist of venezuelan mosses, taxonomy of the Cryphaeaceae, ecology of cloud forest mosses and more recently tropical peatland mosses. Currently I am working on a database for the Venezuelan checklist of mosses which would very soon, enable specialists and public to handle and obtain information about Venezuela collections and species status. This project is financed by FONACIT. I have contact with latinamerican colleagues and I think as part of the IAB Council member I could be a good communicator and a voice in the council for latinamerican bryologists.

Itambo Malombe

I have worked as a research scientist at the East African Herbarium of National Museums of Kenya for the last fourteen years. i registered for tropical bryology course and participated in Taita Hills fieldwork organised by University of Nairobi in 2004. Since then i have been collecting bryophytes in various ecosystems of Kenya including the dryland inselbergs and rainforests which were hitherto less understood. I recently completed a study on epiphyllous bryophytes in Taita Hills funded by International Foundation for Science. During the same period i accomplished PhD studies in tropical bryology. My main interest is exploration of bryophytes in the tropics and systematic studies in Lejeuneaceae (Hepaticae). I have completed revision of the genus Cheilolejeunea in tropical Africa including the Mascarenes. I envisage to uphold the spirit of the International Association of Bryologists(IAB) to strengthen regional and international collaboration in bryophyte research if elected to the council. This will be accomplished through active participation in various activities, committees and events such as meetings and field work. I am currently a committee member to the East Africa RedListing Group and my experience will be useful in shaping up red listing activities of the IAB team.

Afonina Olga Mikhailovna

Komarov Botanical Institute Rus. Acad. Sci.- St.-Petersburg

My field of interest has focused on the investigation of moss flora of Russia, particularly in the Arctic and now in Southern Siberia, also on the study of some systematical groups. I am also interested in problems in biogeography. As curator of bryological Herbarium of Komarov Botanical Institute in St.-Petersburg I am finding time for herbarium work and I am also having interest in scientific exchange of herbarium material.

1968: MSc. in botany Biological Faculty of Moscow State University
1974: PhD. in botany, Komarov Botanical Institute of Acad. Sci USSR., Leningrad
2001: Doctor of Science in botany, Komarov Botanical Institute of Rus. Acad. Sci , St.-Petersburg, Dissertation: “Bryoflora of Chukotka”

Present position: leading research worker and Curator of Bryological Herbarium of Komarov Botanical Institute of Rus. Acad. Sci., St.-Petersburg

University of Alaska, 1992-1993, grant for work on Alaska (Seward Peninsula)
University of Alaska, 1998, grant for work on Alaska (Barow )
University of Alaska, 2001, grant for work on Alaska (Toolik Lake, Prince of Wales Island)
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 1997, travel grant for participation in conference on preservation of botanical collections. Krakow.
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 2003-2005, grant for studies of mosses of Kamchatka
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 2004-2006, grant for studies of pleurocarpous mosses of North Asia
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 2005, grant for field work in Kamchatka
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 2008-2010, grant for studies of bryoflora of Republic of Buryatia.
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 2010-2012, grant for study of bryoflora of Zabaikal’sky Territori (Southrrn Siberia).
Russian Foundation for Basic Researches, 2011, grant for field work in Zabaikal’sky Territori (Southrrn Siberia).

Professional activities:
1. Member of editorial board of journal of bryology “Arctoa”.
2. Member of editorial board of Botanicheski Zhurnal of Russian Botanical Society, St.-Petersburg.
3. 1992-2005 Member of editorial board of annual “Novitates systematicae plantarum non vascularum”.
4. Mambers of Scientific Council of Komarov Botanical Institute on defence of thesis’s.
5. Membership in scientific societies: Russian Botanical Society, Russian Botanical Society, Bryologists, American Bryological and Lichenological Society

Alexey D. Potemkin

Leading Research Scientist of Lab. Lichenology and Bryology, V.L. Komarov Botanical Institute, Russian Acad. Sci., St. Petersburg, Russia, Dr.Sci. Botany, 2001 (Thesis: Evolution, Phylogeny and Classification of the family Scapaniaceae (Hepaticae)), Ph.D. Botany (Bryology), 1990 (Thesis: The Hepaticae of the Yamal Peninsula).

Author of over 200 scientific publications devoted to flora, systematics, phylogeny and phytogeography of liverworts and hornworts of Russia and Holarctic as well as to systematics and taxonomy of the family Scapaniaceae. Author of 1st volume of Liverworts and hornworts of Russia (Potemkin, Sofronova, 2009).

Contribution to IAB on the topics of interest, promotion and development of IAB ideas among Russian members of the association to get mutual understanding and common points of view on topics of interest.

Silvia Pressel

Botany Department, The Natural History Museum, London, UK

My interest in bryophytes began in 2002 with my PhD programme, which encompassed diverse aspects of bryophytes biology including physiology, cell and developmental biology, ecology and reproductive biology all variously interrelated to their systematics and phylogeny. In 2007 I was awarded the Irene Manton Prize for best UK PhD thesis in botany by the Linnean Society of London. Following on from my Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, at Queen Mary University of London (2007 -2009), which focused on bryophyte desiccation biology, I am now a Researcher in Botanical Diversity specializing in bryophytes at the Natural History Museum, London. At the Museum I maintain my diverse research interests embracing all three bryophyte groups. My current research projects include: the search and evaluation of novel morphological characters in interpreting bryophyte phylogeny together with developmental and functional studies of these and traditional characters used in systematics; the evolution and functional significance of bryophyte stomata; and the phylogenetic distribution and functional significance of fungal endophytes in bryophytes. I have also a keen interest in bryophyte conservation and I collaborate regularly with UK and international organizations on ex situ approaches for the conservation of rare and endangered species – I am a member of the recently established EBESCONet (the European Bryophyte Ex situ Conservation Network) and a Council Member of the British Bryological Society. I regularly present my research at international conferences, carry out extensive field work both in the UK and overseas (North America, South America, South Africa, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and China) and have now published over 20 articles on mosses, liverworts and hornworts in a range of international journals. As an IAB Council Member, I would be particularly keen on promoting and fostering bryological activities and collaborations worldwide, in particular those on experimental biology and evolution of bryophytes and on their conservation.

Matt Renner

New Zealander by birth, completed Masters degree at University of Auckland in 2002 and Doctorate at University of Sydney in 2009. Currently residing in Sydney, Australia where I am based at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Undertaking a revision of the genus Radula for Australia, investigating mode and tempo of morphological evolution within the genus, and illuminating the origins of Australian taxa, in collaboration with Drs Nico Devos, and Elizabeth Brown as part of this project. The systematics of challenging groups, including Radulaceae and Lejeuneaceae, are particularly rewarding to me. The discovery and descriptive aspects of bryology are those I enjoy most, particularly getting out into the field, in remote, under-collected and poorly known areas of Australasia. I was a member of New Zealand’s Department of Conservation Threatened Species listing panel for Bryophytes in 2006 and 2009. Member of IAB since 2006, and to the committee I would contribute enthusiasm coupled with a maturing outlook emphasizing co-operation and collaboration, and a willingness to do as I’m told. I’d most like to see IAB continue to expand its advocacy role, and increase returns on membership.


Michael Stech

Current position: Assistant professor, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Institution: Netherlands Centre for Biodiversity, section National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden University

Education: since 2007 Assistant professor, Leiden University (The Netherlands)
1999-2006 Postdoctoral qualification in Botany, Free University Berlin (Berlin)
1996-1999 PhD, Free University Berlin (Berlin)
1990-1995 Study of Biology, University of Bonn (Germany)

Research interests in bryology: I am interested in the evolution of bryophytes in time and space. My research comprises systematic, phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses of bryophytes, from relationships in major lineages to species circumscriptions and the population level. Current research lines include (i) molecular diversity of arctic bryophytes and their role in arctic food webs, (ii) phylogeography and disjunction patterns across the Atlantic Ocean, with a focus on Macaronesia, and (iii) phylogenetic inferences in haplolepideous and pleurocarpous mosses. Genera under study include haplolepideous taxa such as Campylopus, but also representatives of other moss as well as liverwort groups.

Possible contributions to IAB: In line with the IAB objectives, I consider it very important to develop and foster collaborations and networks to promote bryological research and the awareness of bryophytes in general. As displayed by my broad research program, I believe that multidisciplinary projects integrating classical and modern systematic, genomic and ecological approaches should be further developed. I already expressed my willingness to contribute to joining forces for establishing the ‘Bryophyte Tree of Life’, as discussed at the IBC 2011 in Melbourne. The IAB plays an important role in such projects as a platform for communication and dissemination of results. I can also contribute my experiences of strengthening collaborations between professional and amateur bryologists. Although being a small country, the Netherlands has a very active Bryological and Lichenological Society, which participates in fruitful collaborations such as the DNA barcoding project of the Dutch bryoflora. Furthermore, I can imagine to contribute to IAB activities of collecting and disseminating information on bryological research, publications and other activities, which is an important aspect in the information age.


Juan Carlos Villarreal A.

Brief background: I completed a B.Sc. at the University of Panama on the morphological and anatomical variation of the hornwort genus Megaceros (now Nothoceros) in Panama under the direction of Noris Salazar Allen. Since then he completed a M. Sc. at Southern Illinois University, on the phylogenetics and ultrastructure of two hornworts: Leiosporoceros dussii and Phaeomegaceros fimbriatus under the direction of Karen Sue Renzaglia. I completed my doctorate at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) under the supervision of Bernard Goffinet. My research was focused on the genetic consequences of the transitions to asexuality in the Southern Appalachian endemic hornwort Nothoceros aenigmaticus using phylogenetic, population genetic, and genomic approaches. Funding for my research was provided by the National Science Foundation, the International Associations of Bryologists, the International Association of Plant Taxonomists, Southern Appalachian Botanical Society, Ronald Bamford Endowment, UCONN presidential award and the A.J. Sharp Fund.

Current interests: Hornwort systematics, ultrastructure and development, chloroplast physiology, molecular phylogenetics, population genetics, molecular dating, genomic approaches.

Contribution to IAB: I hope to contribute diseminating bryological research from Europe, North America, Asia and Africa in Latin America. There are many excellen researchers and students in all Latin America and sometimes literature has not become readily accesible. Science is advancing at large strides and little is known about the basic biology of many Neotropical species. Collaborative projects between Latin American researchers and from other continents may help to uncover our valuable biodiversity.

Jo Wilbraham
Senior Curator,
Botany Department, Natural History Museum,
London, UK
My bryological life took shape during my MSc several years ago with my thesis project producing a taxonomic revision of Zygodon in the Himalayas. My career has since led me to the Natural History Museum London (BM) where I have undertaken work on the bryophyte herbarium type catalogue digitisation project and have concurrently been able to carry on my research into systematics of the Orthotrichaceae family in sub-Saharan Africa. I am an active member of the British Bryological Society, serving as elected council member 2008-2011 and acting as coordinator for the Tropical Bryology Group (TBG) since 2006. My TBG role has included putting together the annual newsletter, maintaining the website and assisting with coordination of projects. Should I be elected to IAB council I would bring my interests in tropical bryophyte floristics and in the role of herbarium collections in addressing future needs in bryology. I would also bring my enthusiasm to promote bryophytes to the wider world!

Jo Wilbraham online CV:


Nominees to be considered for
Virendra Nath
Dr. Virendra Nath a pupil of  eminent bryologist of the country late Professor Ram Udar, F.N.A. has been working for last 38 years in the field of Bryology and  developed a School of Bryology at NBRI . He supervised research work on diversity assessment, morpho-taxonomy, bioprospection, and conservation studies of Indian bryophytes. He has made extensive survey and collections from various bryologically rich areas of the country which includes some of the remote areas as well as high altitude localities of western Himalaya (Gaumukh, Gangotri etc.), eastern Himalaya (Sandakphu, Phalut etc.) and South India, and also paid attention to the bryophytes of N.E. hill States: Sikkim, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland.
He has discovered 14 species new to Science and 15 new records to India and published 125 research papers, floristic accounts of Hepatics of Khasi & Jaintia hills, Tamia & Patalkot and bryoflora of Amarkantak & Achanakmar sanctuary, besides editing three books. He has also made monographic studies on Indian Frullaniaceae. In the year 1986 he was deputed to visit Poland under CSIR - PAS exchange Programme, and in the year 1988 to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London and visited the herbaria of the Reading University, Oxford Forestry Institute and British Natural History Museum, London under Common Wealth Programme. He also attended World Conference of Bryology at Malaysia in 2007.
The International Association of Bryologists (IAB) has nominated him contact person for India and was also elected as Fellow of Indian Botanical Society (F.B.S), Society of Ethnobotanists (F.E.S) and Palaeobotanical Society (F.Pb.S.).
He acted as Head of Bryology Group since last 27 years and also Area Co-ordinator of Plant Biodiversity & Conservation Biology Division at NBRI, Lucknow. He has supervised several research Projects as PI and Co-ordinator. He was also recognized as PI of All India Co-ordinated Programme on Taxonomy & Capacity Building by Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi. He supervised ten students for Ph.D. Degree.   
Besides, Life member of National and International Scientific Societies also elected as Treasurer of Society of Ethnobotanists (1991-1999), Secretary (1999-2005), and Executive Council Member of the Palaeobotanical Society (1998-2003), International Association of Plant Reproductive Biologists and Indian Botanical Society.
Besides, he organized National Conference on Bryology and International Conference of Bryology jointly with IAB and acted as Organizing Secretary, the Silver Jubilee Symposium on Ethnobotany in the New Millennium acted as Convener of the Symposium and also organized a UNESCO sponsored training course on Herbarium Curation at NBRI, Lucknow India.


Noris Salazar Allen

B.A. in Biology and Trinity College Washington, DC. (1969)
M.A. in Biology, with concentration in Botany (Bryology). State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo. (1973)
Ph.D. in Bryology, University of Alberta, Canada. (1986)
Postdoctal Fellowship, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (1989-1990) and Fulbright Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. (2003) Currently treasurer of the Sociedad Latinoamericana de Briología (Latin American Bryological Society).

My research focuses on the systematics and evolution of tropical bryophytes and, lichens of Panama. I am currently working on the worldwide revision of the thalloid liverwort Dumortiera and the Neotropical species of the moss Octoblepharum. I am also working on the morphology and distribution of the hornwort Notothylas in Panama and Central America and floristics of various sites in Panama. I am particularly interested in aspects of phytogeography and how it relates to conservation and management of habitats and policy making. I have a strong interest in educational outreach, using the various multimedia available.

As a member of the Council of the IAB I will encourage: an increase participation at the IAB, of bryologists and students in developing countries, particularly in the Neotropics; an increase in educational outreach by providing advise (consultation) and fostering training seminars for its members and those of other bryological associations on the use of the various multimedia available for dissemination of bryological research at all levels (and in different languages)and I will work towards strengthening cooperation between major bryological herbaria whose curators are members of the IAB and herbaria in third world countries to encourage training of personnel in bryology and development and/or improvement of bryological herbaria in these areas. By doing these we will be contributing to conservation efforts in these countries policy making and sustainable use of their natural resources.

Prof. Rui-Liang Zhu

Prof. Rui-Liang Zhu, is the head of the botany department of East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China, and the curator of Biological History Museum of ECNU (HSNU). He got his Master degree in bryology from East China Normal University in 1989, and PhD in Bryology from the Hong Kong Baptist University in 1999. He received Humboldt Research Fellowship in 2002, and worked on the taxonomic revision of Asian Lopholejeunea (Lejeuneaceae) with Prof. S.R. Gradstein in University of Göttingen. His main research interests are taxonomy and phylogeny of liverworts and hornworts. Currently he is the associate editor of “Journal of Systematics and Evolution” and “Cryptogamie Bryologie”. He has received various research grants from the Chinese government, including the grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China for Distinguished Young Scholars of China. In 2009 he was appointed as the president of the Bryological Society of China (BSC).

If elected, I will do my best for IAB. With the rapid economic and bryological development in Asia in recent years, as one of Asian bryologists, I will strengthen the Asian bryological activities for bryophyte investigation and conservation. I also hope to organize the first Asian bryological congress, and also hope to organize IAB congress in Shanghai or elsewhere. As the president of the president of the Bryological Society of China, I will also try to organize the bryological activities during the 19th Botanical Congress held in China in 2017.
An email has been sent on Jan 18 to IAB members with the paper ballot as an attachment (ballot for IAB 2012.doc). Contact Rod Seppelt (email) if you did not received it.
The ballot paper should be returned (as Word doc or PDF file) to  the Returning Officer:
Rod Seppelt (email).
If unable to email a return, please post by air mail to:  
Prof. R.D.Seppelt, 
Australian Antarctic Division, 
Channel Highway, Kingston 7050, 
Tasmania, Australia.

Thank you for being part of IAB and making this a successful process.

No comments:

Post a Comment